My Christmas miracle was finding a tub of mascarpone – Kevin Buckle

A festive cheesecake disaster was averted thanks to a determined shop assistant in Marks & Spencer, writes Kevin Buckle

Saturday, 28th December 2019, 6:00 am
Youngest daughter's Christmas cheesecake was saved. Picture: Michael Gillen

Monday 23rd was the busiest day we have had since Avalanche opened in Waverley Mall and in the middle of a particularly busy spell a lady produced a couple of T-shirts and declared it a Christmas miracle.

They were nice shirts and not the easiest to find but I thought maybe calling it a miracle was stretching it. The lady explained further that she had been given a couple of last minute music T-shirts to buy and been given a small list of options.

Her problem was it was too late to order online and she thought all was lost until a friend told her of a record shop in Waverley Mall “with a better selection of music T-shirts than you will find online”. I can’t pretend I wasn’t pleased with the description especially as just recently another lady over from New Zealand and looking for a couple of more obscure punk T-shirts for her husband had been sent to us via another shop giving a similar description.

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Anyway I’m not a great believer in karma but when the Avalanche beanie hats I had ordered from Awesome Merchandise in Leeds arrived the next day after much effort on their part after the original date for delivery had been the 31st I did feel that maybe the universe was creating some kind of balance.

Christmas Eve was busy if not as busy as the day before and there had been a fair number of customers just firing bands names at me and asking if we had “anything”. Most of the time we did and the sense of relief every time was palpable.

Come 4pm when we planned to close I got a phone call from my youngest daughter asking if there was any chance I could find her some mascarpone cheese that she needed for a cheesecake she was making. She has already tried several places and they were all sold out.

Now I’ve seen enough Christmas specials to know this kind of challenge is at their core. Having established that grated Mozzarella from Sainsbury’s in the mall was not an adequate substitute I headed off to the Marks & Spencer food hall on Princes Street.

I was surprised at how busy the food hall still was and with lots of empty shelves visible I wasn’t hopeful. To be honest I wasn’t even sure what to look for so just kept reading labels in the cheese section.

I asked a young lad stacking shelves nearby and he pointed out there was also a Christmas cheese section nearby but I had no luck there.

Then I saw a more senior employee and he knew exactly what I wanted and went to look. He pointed to a completely empty bottom shelf and even peering underneath the shelf produced nothing. However, not wanting to give up he put his arm underneath the shelf and it went in right up to his shoulder as the unit was surprisingly deep.

Quite unbelievably he pulled his arm out and handed me a round tub of Mascarpone cheese. Now I understood exactly how the lady had felt the day before and I could not have been more grateful for the effort he had gone to. Karma in the universe had definitely been restored with a minor Christmas miracle!