Sunday, June 04, 2006

2006-04-15 016Sunday: Er, has anyone else woken up to a plague of bees? Did anyone else see that huge plume of smoke off to the east? And did anyone else give up trying to explain the references made by The Life of Brian to a certain Chinese girl?

Monday: Brief rehung Tateage (why is Dali's Narcissus echoed on the far mountain top?), followed by impromptu bread and butter pudding*. Bizarrely, it worked, even with Morrissons "cheap before it was reduced to five pence" white bread. It could have been then half tonne of borrowed nutmeg I put in. No photographs as it wasn't around long enough to dispatch (ok, just so happen to suggest to) SG to get her camera.

Tuesday: how odd, that horn sounded like part of Radio Gaga. Not much else excepting noting a snowclone based on Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade.

I happened to use "Half a tree, half a tree, half a tree onwards" when referring to some printouts of government PDFs (only the government think four consecutive blanks pages mid-document is a good idea). It seems no one else has thought of it (in the known world; i.e. that in Google's cache). But they have found some other variations.
Google brings up:
- half a book (writing)
- half a gneeve (folk music)
- half a metre (rising sea levels)
- half a farm (chicken poetry)
- half a hill (hiking)
- half a list (governmental answers)
- half a meal (free pub food)

A gneeve is apparently an Irish unit of land.

* Ingredients:
- Half a loaf of sliced bread (maybe a bit more).
- Some butter (Slightly Salted Lurpack Spreadable seems to work fine).
- Dried fruit of some sort (enough for liberal scattering and snacking). Assorted recipes called for currants, sultanas, candied peel. I had raisins so I used those.
- 300 ml of milk (the recipe said 275, plus cream, and not having scales there didn't seem to be much point in being too accurate).
- 4 eggs because they were small.
- 2 oz sugar (supposed to be caster, gets dissolved anyway, and four and a bit heaped tablespoons seems to be about right).
- Zest of a lemon, if yours are fresh enough not to just bend out of the way of the grater. Hacked up and stuck in gin and tonic instead.
- About an Indonesia of nutmeg.

Recipe (largely cribbed from Delia):
- Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 (180 degrees Celsius).
- Get accomplice to butter the bread.
- In a large bowl, add the sugar to the milk
- In a different bowl (or smaller casserole in the same Pyrex set), beat the eggs together (break open shells, pour contents into bowl, discard shells, mix; rather than try conkers style contests).
- Add eggs to milk, and mix well (or at least adequately).
- Add nutmeg to milky fluid. Keep adding. Decide that's enough. Change mind. Add a bit more. Unintentionally add a big lump that falls in (spot who's using pre-ground nutmeg). Decide that really is enough. Stir well.
- Cut bread into triangles (usually diagonally from corner to corner, but scalene away if you want).
- Layer, butter side down on the bottom of a baking dish (greased if non-non-stick).
- Scatter with raisins.
- Add another layer of bread.
- Scatter more raisins.
- Repeat, with occasional eating of raisins until pan is full (or you run out of bread). Raisins on top are optional, but they tend to burn.
- Pour over nutmegged egg-milk liquid, realising why jugs have lips, and making sure all parts of the upper layer of bread get wet.
- Stick in upper middle of oven.
- Cook for 30-40 minutes (or maybe 50, with quarter of an hour of having the upper element on as well, but I probably should have taken out the grillpan from the bottom of the oven at some point), until golden brown, or part of it starts smoking.
- Serve immediately, thereby destroying the soufflé effect.
- Realise it's a bit hot to heat, but it's too nice not to eat right now.
- Have seconds.
- And maybe thirds (but I hadn't had anything else to eat, except some toast).
- Put last remaining bit in the fridge, where it's still sitting very temptingly.
- Decide that next time I might pay attention to the add cream/egg yolks bits of various recipes, as if it was a bit richer, then I couldn't eat so much in one go.

I think it's just the nutmeg that makes it so nice.

[9th June: And remembering to click "Publish Post" at the end is probably a good idea. Sorry]


PS. Just found another snowclone:
X's blue, dilly, dilly; X's green.

Ok, so there's only one other version (if one blocks all variants of lavender), and it's based on dark matter, but still that's two people who've thought of it (although this could be seen as suggesting that I am unoriginal, an argument I refute, especially as theirs is better than mine, which I have to admit I only thought of because I was stuck and so trying work out how to link a yellow flower with Piccadilly).

But the burnt raisins on the top are the best bit!
I haven't had bread pudding in years - but I will be making some very soon.
I don't think I've ever heard of this dessert before. I may have to try it at some point.
Poons: Hurrah, I've found my purpose in life - reminding people of long forgotten foods.

Sin: My god, really? You poor fool (which are also really nice desserts). This mean I've got to teach you, just as you've got to teach me your legendary green curry [small hint]?
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