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Time to act irrationally

Updated: Jul 9, 2021

So England are in the finals of the Euros and how many of us, I wonder, are now convinced that our lucky socks or pre-match ritual was what clinched it for the lads?

Worse still dare we tempt fate and change our behaviour and jinx it all on Sunday?

I for one am a rational being... yet come Sunday night I will surrender to superstition and prepare for the Wembley clash with precision.

Here's the thing. My household has been joining forces with another and we alternate as hosts for each game and before kick-off we sit down to a meal from the opposing team's country.

It got quite tricky when we ended up having to devise a Ukrainian menu. We wimped out of being too creative and did Chicken Kiev for the mains, but I managed to find a cottage cheese & raisin babka recipe for dessert. The English translation left a lot to be desired and using the scant details and the quaint instruction to "grind my yolks" I had a practice. Not good. Turns out a loaf tin was not a good idea and the resultant sloppy mess ended up in the bin. A quick trip to the supermarket to buy some more ingredients, more grinding of my yolks and this time using a pie dish I got the desired result both on and off the pitch.

This ritual along with with what has now been named as our "lucky bucket" left the Ukrainians buried by a 4-0 defeat as our boys progressed into the next round.

The bucket I should explain is an inflatable ice bucket adorned with England's red and white colours.. In it lashings of bottled beer (from the opposing country if possible) and 2 bags of ice that will keep everything nicely chilled, even to the end of a penalty shoot out.

So yesterday our hosts served up meatballs and a clever use of a 1990's Danish tour guide book which insisted the Danes love strawberries and ice cream meant we were ready for anything. But ...but just to make sure of our team's victory we were promised Danish pastries for the following day's hungover breakfast.

Yes it worked! So now I'm dusting off the recipe for a beef ragu as taught to me by an Italian Nonna at a cookery school just outside Sienna. That along with my recently acquired fresh pasta maker should give us all hope that my lasagne and tiramisu dinner and lucky bucket full of Peroni will ensure Gareth and the team secure victory on Sunday night.

I am superstitious enough to think it's worth a trip to the bookies.

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Impressed by your ingenuity! We're lucky enough to have pasta made by Tuscan nonna ... washed down with one of best years for local brunello. Not sure whether that risks jinxing result or not, but we'll find out on Sunday!

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