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||My wife inherits her late fathers hatred of custard. Just before he died, whilst still in hospital having undergone various operations, his surgeon came to him to try and help encourage him to begin eating again. He didn't respond as he was in a coma, but when the surgeon suggested he might try a little custard he awoke temporarily, sat up, waved his hands scornfully and uttered mournfully NOOOOO!|
I have been married for 28 years and only eat the delicious yellow sweety when visiting my old Mum.
|Nicey replies: Glad to see custard can play both the light and dark pudding roles.|
||Those Custard Days|
While my parents might share the 'crisp' & 'fresh' memories (& meolodies) of their 'Salad Days', many of my fondest memories hark back to hearty, honest, one-shilling-per-day school dinners. Before catching even the slightest whiff of custard, I would have already dodged, ducked and dived to earn the privilege of being near the end of the dinner queue (or dinner 'line' as we liked to say) - to be one of those lucky few to enjoy 'leftover heaven' at the end of the sitting. Like Winnie the Pooh & his honey pots, I'd be joined by a few loyal, fervent custardologists, all armed with spoons, blissfully surrounded by not-quite-empty custard pots - surrendering their last few spoonfulls of sweet, smooth sauce (and denying the same for all the pigs we were told would finish our dinner if we didn't). School custard came in a wide variety of comforting flavour variations, not to mention other variable physical characteristics, such as viscosity, temperature, chromaticity and hue (it would be a serious digression to even mention 'pink' custard, or 'chocolate' custard, but surely such misnomers only serve to emphasise the central 'cementing' role that custard enjoys in our proud culinary heritage). Of course there would always be plenty of skin (or 'coat') left for all the custard-chewy-bit enthusiasts amongst us. This was quite unlike the home sitatuation - you could cut the tension with a knife as, during the latter part of the dinner course, a nice thick, dark, chewy coat develops at the top of the wide, amply-filled custard pot. Anxious to avoid 'skin submergence', 'coat sticking to spoon' and and other coat or skin calamaties, Mum became a deft custard coat cutter, eager to please the coat-lovers amongst us - herself included (she still calls it 'yellow peril'). And the story doesn't end at school or home - oh no. Those 'custard days' also included the many times our family's little old lady friend who used to sit me down with a nice shallow bowl of sugary, runny, hot custard (I can still hear the clanking of her custard spoon against the side of her beaten up little saucepan over the gas cooker). And then of course there's my Great Aunty Mary. She didn't have a canary, but she always had a nice dish of hot custard waiting for me.
And finally, I'd like to add that Wifey's apple pie and custard has just become my wallpaper - nice to see someone else still going to the trouble of pastry leaves - and making sure that at least one slice comes with a whole leaf. If she's ever in the mood for a rhubarb pie & custard, I'd happily add that to my wallpaper too.
Living in America as I do (& alas my wifey doesn't care for custard), I thank you for bringing such pleasures from seeming so far away.
|Nicey replies: Very good, but it was me me who made the pie, and the custard for that matter. I always do pastry leaves as the younger members of staff like them especially when its sweet pastry. Very pleased to hear that at least one person has the custard picture as their wall paper, as I took that too. And yes I think it was me who ate that bit of pie, so it wasn't an entirely altruistic project.
||Dear Nicey and Wifey, |
writing on behalf of the worlds most Northerly custard appreciation society (Longyearbyen, Svalbard (Norway) 78 degrees North), I'd just like to say well done for promoting the year of custard! At work we have all been very concerned with grant applications for next year's 'International Polar Year' (IPY) but at home we have been busy making and eating custard as our contribution to this year's YoC. Not an easy feat given that supplies of custard powder have to be flown in and milk is often unavailable in the shop for weeks at a time! Yum yum, think I might sneak off home early and devour lashings of the stuff...
Lis Cooper, custard lover in exile
|Nicey replies: Hello Lis,
What a lovely part of the world, your webcam makes it look particularly inviting. Glad to hear you are having plenty of hot puddings at such high latitudes that seems very sensible.
||Hi Nicey & Wifey|
It's fantastic to at last see a focus on one of the roots of our great culture, custard.
I for one suffer at the hands of a wife who is neither interested in:
and who has sought to indoctrinate the children in the ways of 'salad' and 'organic vegetables' and eschews the cornerstones of what I consider to be the point of eating, biscuits and custard.
I have however been stealthily making proper powder custard when the wife is away and feeding it to the children. With cake, and biscuits, and pie.
Personally I am currently veering heavily into chocolate cake made with Green & Blacks, liberally covered in warm custard, and mixed up a bit so it goes super gooey. This is a triumph, as I personally have to make the cake myself and the children help me by licking the bowl, spoons etc and then stuffing as much down their faces as possible. Any 'slops' that fall on the floor are immediately handled by our Border Collie, who becomes stealthy and ninja-like when the cake process is underway, darting from under the table as soon as a 'splat' is heard.
My wife has many other fantastic qualities, and one should not condemn for a lack of interest in tea, biscuits, custard and chocolate and cake.
However, as she has a degree in Philosophy, I am attempting to convince her that her position is Absurdist, but she simply implies that she doesn't like it and that fact leads to Existentialist Tension running through the household, which is to be welcomed.
Personally, I am not convinced. I just want biscuits, cake and custard.
|Nicey replies: Hoorah for you, the kids and the dog!
We also eat lots of salad and organic vegetables (we get a big box delivered every Thursday morning). Wifey too is not fussed on custard which we see as a positive advantage as it means more for the younger members of staff and me. She very sensibly slopes off at pudding time leaving us to it, whilst she marauds around the internet sorting it out.
Mind you Wifey has taught herself how to make cakes now which she is extremely proud of.
Cooking proper puddings with your kids is something you should be proud of too, and your too Wife even if she's not keen on them.
For some reason the chefs where I work insist on calling Custard "English Sauce" whenever they put it onto the menu! Is this some strange EU directive that means its not allowed to be called Custard unless it comes from the Custardy region of France or Germany or where ever? Whatever the reason, I can report that it tastes just the same. Maybe we need a capaign to Save Our Custard!
On a different point, my childhood favorite desert was Banana Custard, which my brother and I used to make by pouring a generous helping of custard over a sliced banana. Delicious!
|Nicey replies: Bananas and Custard are a proper pudding. The younger members of staff and myself often tuck into a bowl.|