Do you know when you meet someone who rubs you up the wrong way, and you’re chatting a while and you think to yourself, ‘Aren’t I an auld bitch because they’re not that bad?’ Inevitably though, out they come with whatever it is that has you wanting to stab them in the eye in with a fork. BAM! You were right all along- avoid them at all costs. Well, that’s how I feel about desserts. Not EATING desserts, but MAKING the buggers, from scratch. Take lovely sunny Saturday, for example. A lovely friend invited us up for dinner and oh the EXCITEMENT I felt at sitting with friends round a table indoors and not just freezing the absolute bollocks off yourself outside. I was in like Flynn- I’ll bring a dessert!
Last week, I was reclining with a coffee on the sofa perusing the Guardian Feast magazine. I took a fancy to a ‘mango-misu’ and bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t justify making it just for the four of us. This invitation thus afforded me the perfect opportunity. Diligently I set off to Sainsbury’s and bought the ingredients a day in advance. ‘I’m winning at this game,’ says I. I started making it in the morning to give it plenty of time in the fridge. This is when it started to hit me, though, why I hated making puddings. It’s all: Make the syrup in one pan. Beat up eggs and sugar in another. Leave to cool. In another bowl beat up egg whites. Stand and peel and chop about 60 mangoes. (six, actually, but I’ve never mastered chopping mangoes so it took a fecking week.) Shout at the older child who is supposed to be helping but drops sugar over the floor and brings over a chair to stand on which I trip over, spilling the zabaglione. Was there a bowl in the house left unsullied? There was not. This recipe was about fourteen steps too long and my mangoes, despite Sainsbury’s assertion that they were ‘ripe and ready to eat,’ where about as juicy and luscious as a boiled turnip.
Then I realized I hadn’t bought enough mascarpone and had to leg it to the shop for another tub. (There’s a whiff of the middle class about this post isn’t there?) By the time I got back the egg whites were no longer in stiff peaks- they were droopier than my boobs after the second lockdown. I had to get the Kenwood whisk out again, and I’d already washed the fecker. LSB is all, ‘Are you coming to take the dog a walk?’ and I’m like: ‘NO, I AM TOASTING COCONUT.’
It was an utter pain in the arse and I should have followed my instinct and bucked in a whole lot more rum because it was sadly lacking in that department and was barely detectable.
My friends liked it though and gave us some home. I’m after eating a dish for my breakfast there, so all wasn’t lost. But folks, I’ve learnt something. Marks and Spencer’s: it’s there for a reason. Use it.