Just a brief warning on today's blog, those of a sensitive disposition to their weight should look away now.
Our canteen staff are very good indeed; they care, they try to bring variety as best they can under the finance constraints they work under (they are self financing) and they are good people. However, sometimes they are ever-so naughty in some of the puddings they provide and today was no exception.
Chocolate crunch and pink strawberry custard. Oh my goodness I had to have some - I have let my diet go very badly this last few weeks and I am going to have to start redeeming myself, but frankly it's damned cold outside and I thought a few extra calories to keep the internal heater going would be in order.
I don't have many disappointments in life (well a few, but nothing major if you don't include Michelle Pfeiffer, but that's another story) but one of them relates to puddings. Chocolate pudding to be specific with chocolate custard. Now at my secondary school in Cottingham in the East Riding, a regular feature was the said combo of choccy pudding and choccy custard. As you do when you are a kid, I went home to mum and asked if she could make the same.
Now my mother was, and still is an excellent cook and a superb baker of sweet delicious things as well as cakes including the chocolate variety - moist and light. I don't know if you can understand this but the chocolate pudding at school was slightly stodgy but very filling and tasted like cheap chocolate. The Custard was the same, distinctive and nothing like the Bird's custard out of a packet my mother provided - actually thinking back, it was powder out of a tin.
What my mother could not do was replicate the taste of school puddings. She did great puddings, but it just didn't taste the same somehow. There was a cheapness, a sort of basic instinct quality to school puddings plus of course happy memories may exaggerate the quality, who knows, but if anyone knows why they tasted differently, please let me know.
Sticky, stodgy thick rice puddings with thick burnt skin on the top with dollops of strawberry jam were another favourite at school. Tinned Ambrosia from the shops never quite came up to scratch.
School meals were always bog standard stuff, roast meat, two veg and roast potatoes, thin watery gravy, plus a pudding - it rarely varied. No pastas, bolognese, sandwiches, fruit, chips or anything like that. A jug of water or dilute (very dilute) orange juice helped wash it all down.
So here's a salute to memories and school dinner ladies (sorry - they all were ladies) who were always prepared to put an extra roast potato on your plate if you looked appealingly at them and smiled and said a big thank-you, they had their favourites!
Here are some fun food related quotes from the daft and famous:
A man went to the doctor who told him he had just three minutes to live. "What can you give me doctor?" he asked in a panic. "A hard boiled egg?" the doctor replied. - Tommy Cooper.
A friend of mine drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong current pulled him in. - Tommy Cooper.
Two cannibals were eating a clown. One says to the other, "Does this taste funny to you?" - Tommy Cooper.
'This rock salt is over 200 million years old, formed through evolutionary geological processes high in the German mountains. Use by 30 September 2011.' - Label on a salt container.
I cook with wine. I sometimes even add it to the food. - WC Fields.
I'm at the age where food has taken over from sex in my life. I've even had a mirror put over the kitchen table. - Rodney Dangerfield.
Nouvelle Cuisine, roughly translated means, 'I can't believe I paid two hundred quid for this and I'm still hungry.' - Mike Kalina.
I went to a restaurant which serves 'breakfast at any time.' so I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.' - Steven Wright.
My doctor told me to give up eating those intimate little dinners for four - unless there are three people eating with me. - Orsen Wells.
Have a great weekend