My mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2010. This is a blog about coming to terms with her absent mind.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Any suggestions

I need to find a non-alcoholic substitute for sherry. Ma has started to refuse tea or coffee and ask for sherry or wine. Even at 9 in the morning. Now I like a snifter as much as anyone (and possibly more than most) but you can't go drinking sherry at breakfast, notwithstanding the fact that drinking it makes you, and by that I mean Ma, very aggressive.

Refusal to supply sherry this morning resulted in three hours of crying which isn't really a good thing. So any suggestions?

This afternoon Ma spent most of the time clutching a hymn book Dad half inched from church a few years ago which had a small shopping list written by him tucked between the pages. Poor old soul. I sent Simon a text telling him that she'd been holding this hymn book but neglected to say why. He replied asking if she was going to sing. This sent me into such uncontrollable giggles that I had to leave the room. I know that sounds insensitive but it's a huge family joke about how dreadful my mother's singing is... it is still making me fight the urge to laugh out loud.


I've been reading a spot of modern romantic fiction for light relief (and also sobbing like a loon at the endings) written by Mandy Baggot. I urge you to read them, highly recommended. (especially for you Lizabeth! x)


Just made a thing (technical term) using chook thigh fillets, wine, stock, onion, garlic, cream and blue cheese. Served with broccoli and a bit of rice for Ma. It was bloody lovely actually.


  1. The only thing I can seriously suggest is Methodist Communion Wine. I think it is grape juice - but perhaps stronger than most.... just decant into sherry bottle and perhaps there will be a little happiness. Perhaps fortify it with some juice from tinned prunes to give it a sherry kick without the %.
    Not prepared to do tasting tests, personally - but it might be worth a try.
    Good luck.
    Thanks for your posting - just realised I forgot to put in some thyme sprigs with the potatoes (AArgh) to go with the duck breasts. xx

  2. I did wonder about Wincarnis which I thought was non-alcoholic but it isn't, not by a long way :(

    Will try and track it down, thank you x

  3. Any chance of the recipe, Bee?! x

  4. Ah Met, tis simple.

    Chuck some onions into a bit of oil and cook until golden. Add a tray of chicken thighs, a small tray of mushrooms thickly sliced and a big slosh of wine, a stock cube, some dried herbs (Thyme/bay leaves both or none if you haven't got them - I hadn't) and a crumbled chicken stock cube. Simmer until the chook is tender then remove the lid and reduce the stock until half the volume. Add a good slosh of cream and about 100g of blue cheese. Simmer gently until the sauce has thickened and serve with whatever you like - mash, rice, noodles, spinach, broccoli, cauli rice etc.

  5. Hmmm Communion wine is only available in cases of 12. Reading around Welch's grape juice seems to be a popular alternative. So I think we might try that and tweak it as necessary. I've just remembered that there's a new product on the market which is apparently a very good non-alcoholic soft drink which isn't sweet or full of sweeteners. Buggered if I can remember what it's called though! Off to trawl Dougal...