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||The Queen has never had Custard...|
My Dad (sadly, departed and much missed) was a master chef and cooked for the Queen (gawd bless 'er), Heads of State and the odd American President... His cookery books which are THE final word on cuisine have come into my hands. I've just checked - no custard. Well, except Baked Custard which is just the same as the classic baked custard tart but without the pastry case. There are variations on Creme and Creams which have the basis of classical custard (such as milk, eggs, sugar) but not one recipe for custard as we know it (a la mode de Messr. Bird, which is to say side dish to a pie, tart or some such).
All of which leads me to suggest, that the Queen (gawd bless 'er) has probably never known the gastronomic delights of Swiss roll and custard, Arctic Roll and Custard (a 70s thing I admit) and my favourite, ice cream and custard. I really think after a hard day's reigning her Majesty should have the culinary delights my Dad bestowed on his kids!!! Actually most of Queenie's pudding recipes are milky, eggy and cholesterol enhancing... In case you were wondering - one recognizable recipe for biscuits - the good old ginger nut (its an ethnic English food apparently, the next entry along is aniseed cake which is an ethnic Israeli biscuit by all accounts). All other biscuity recipes are petit fours and more like baked edible trays to carry buttercream and fruit/nut combos into the Royal gob.
|Nicey replies: Of course there is the possibility that the Queen demands lashings of proper Custard over all her puddings as a matter of course, and given that the instructions are on the side of the tin your Dad never felt the need to write them down.|
How about a poll on the best use of custard? I rather like in it those little fruit flans. In fact I donít think the flans work without it, so itís a top usage in my eyes.
Also, custard when frozen is icecream Ė now thereís a top use. Although that does work better with the old-fashioned type made from eggs and cream than the powdered type!
|Nicey replies: Indeed. Though perhaps a quick straw poll on our newly deployed Custard icon would be pertinent. I tried to think of something clever and in the end settled for a small lump of it.|
I am a devoted fan of your delightful and informative web-site.
Imagine my horror upon landing on your home page to find a globulous and vomit-inducing photograph of custard.
I nearly choked on the M&S Viennese Finger I happened to be enjoying.
Custard is the Devil's own sweet sauce sir, and should not grace the same site as biscuits.
Disappointed from Sheffield
||Evening, Nicey, I seem to be becoming a regular correspondent, which is a refelction on a brilliant website that gets down to life's real issues.|
Don't wish to hog this section, but I had to reply to Alison Debenham to reassure her she is not alone in the marmalade making industry. My wife Sheila and I took over our family marmalade manufacturing concession about ten years ago, when my mother, then aged 80, decided she'd had enough (of slicing up oranges, that is). We are about to go in search of Seville oranges, a quest not so easy in Finchley now as there is only one greengrocer left - last year I ended up paying half as much again for them in Waitrose. We usually make three batches, each using three pounds of fruit - there is always a demand from family & friends as the finished product is so superior to the commercial one. My favourite is Three Fruit, made from a combination of Sevilles, pink grapefruit and lemons, although I can't resist spiking a few jars of Seville with Bell's whiskey (for personal consumption). I have also found a recipe for rum and raisin marmalade, which we may give a try. I think that once you are used to the home made stuff, anything else is just not up to standard. We are also masochistic enough to make our own jams, wine, chutneys, and pickles. So no, Alison, you are not alone, you are not sad, you are helping to preserve a bit of old England, and long may you continue to do so.
Incidentally, a great and simple pudding can be made by making a sandwich of a McVities Jamaica Ginger Cake (that has preferably been left to mature for six months, they improve with age) - filling it with a liberal helping of marmalade of choice, wrap in foil and bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes. Serve with lashings of (Bird's) custard.
And on the subject of custard, Nicey, you are raising an issue which seriously needs addressing. Sales are slumping - the British are not taking their custard seriously enough, and I don't understand why. Do you ever meet anyone who says "I don't like custard"? Proof enough, surely.
||I just read your news item about model cities out of biscuits. I know of an artist who uses biscuits in her sculptures and thought you might be interested to see|
|Nicey replies: Hi Tim,
I'm feeling ever more vindicated about the Hanzel and Grettle section in our book now.