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||I love custard, either 'proper' or made from custard powder, but don't get tinned custard at all. Am I the only person that thinks it has a really weird taste. It's totally synthetic and overpowers anything it is served with. Yuck.|
And while we're on the subject of custard, thank you so much for starting this thread. At school I was mercilessly mocked for loving school custard, and my disappointment when it was really thin and runny, instead of lovely and thick, or, even worse, it was chocolate sauce instead. Perhaps next year should be devoted to school puddings.
||All this talk of custard and carveries reminds me of a great moment of schadenfreude I experienced as a child. |
My grandfather, a retired policeman, liked to treat his family by taking them for Sunday lunch at the Metropolitan Police Club in Chigwell, Essex. Sunday lunch was a magnificent carvery. A table as long as an Olympic-sized swimming-pool stood against one wall. At the far right hand end were two jolly carvers, sharpening their huge knives promisingly over an immense joint of beef, a golden turkey and other assorted hunks of burnished protein. Down the rest of the table was spread a dizzying array of vegetables, glistening under the hot lamps. At the far left hand end was a selection of puddings to which each person could help him or herself after personally demolishing enough Sunday lunch for a family of four.
And between the last vegetable and the first pudding stood two big bowls with ladles: one brimming over (not literally, of course, that would be a bit disgusting) with a rich brown gravy; the other a font of purest 'real' custard. Imagine my ten-year-old delight when I saw a man arrive at the end of the line of vegetables, his plate heaped high with thick slices of lamb, roast parsnips, glazed carrots and all the riches the carvery had to offer, only to hesitate over the two bowls and finally plump for a generous quantity of custard ladled over every inch of his food.
I wonder what he thought when he sat down at his table and tucked in. And what on earth do you suppose he thought he was putting on his roast potatoes?
Incidentally, do you think this could be an example of the famed bottomless custard?
|Nicey replies: I reckon he thought it was cheese sauce. Certainly sounds like an impressive amount of custard, much more than you would see in the domestic setting, and probably requiring special equipment to make it such as a huge saucepan.|
||Dear Mr Nicey,|
Having not visited your site for some time I was delighted to read your dedication of the year 2006 to the pinnacle of pudding accompaniment – custard. I have yet to find a desert that could not be improved by the addition of lashings of the yellow food of the Gods. Indeed, many main courses would also benefit.
I appreciate your position regarding real custard however I have to admit to a liking for custard in nearly all its forms. The ready made and instant varieties all have their position in the custard spectrum and the world of custard would be a poorer place without them. Nevertheless, there is one feature of “real” custard that these pretenders cannot compete with – the skin. Only real custard, when left for the optimum period, forms the to-die-for gastronomic delight of custard skin.
I fondly remember the many fights I would have with my brothers over that skin. It was well worth a Chinese burn and a few tooth marks to get the first helping after dinner. Even to this day I try to time my visit to the canteen custard bowl to ensure that there’s a good chewy bit to layer on to the jam roly-poly. If anybody could manufacture and package that skin they’d make a fortune.
|Nicey replies: Yes Custard skin and Rice Pudding skin are delicacies. Perhaps this is the stuff you would get at a really really posh banquet with the Queen, your own individual giant Custard skin for pudding. I bet she has all sorts of such delicacies at her disposal, apart from caviar and quails eggs, such bacon rinds that have gone really crispy or the really crispy end bits from roast beef joints.|
||Hi Nicey and other fellow custard-lovers!|
I think your correspondent Paul should have complained under the Trade Descriptions Act if he only got half a pint of custard. But then I suppose you'd get the Health and Safety Executive saying that it wouldn't be safe to have a bottomless jug in case somebody got scalded. And then there's the Weights and Measures people - it's a bit of a minefield really, isn't it? I suppose one can only hope that, having polished off the first jug-ful, you find another full one appears immediately, as if by magic, on your table.
I suppose the opposite and ultimate disappointment would be to have your pudding fashionably "drizzled" with custard.
Last weekend I found myself at a Toby Inn Carvery place in Sheffield, and was tucking merrily into a shivering tower of beef and yorkshire puddings with all the trimmings when thoughts turned to pudding.
Imagine my delight when I spied on the menu a steamed treacle sponge which came with 'a bottomless jug of custard'. This was it, I had found the Holy Grail! Of course I ordered immediately, and regretted not bringing a suitable custard-carrying container with me. A children's paddling pool in the back of the car maybe.
Anyway, it turns out that bottomless means about half a pint. I was disappointed, but at least it saved me the mess of having to empty my coat pockets of custard when I got home. To be fair it was a very nice tasting half pint.
Have any of your other correspondents located the actual bottomless jug of custard at a Toby Inn? It would be worth travelling any distance to see. With my oil tanker.
|Nicey replies: I think you dealt with that very well, I wouldn't of put up with anything less than about 2pts calling itself bottomless. The younger members of staff can easily see off half a pint each.