HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Entry for April 29, 2007

Posted by HelenEdith on April 29, 2007

Last night I started making a bread pudding loosely based upon a recipe on Delia Smith’s website. We couldn’t find a dish of the right dimensions to cook it in, and as Stephen had brought home two loaves of stale bread, I decided to make 2.5x the original recipe and put it in a big dish. Then I found the bread wouldn’t all fit in one mixing bowl, and had to split it. I had a third smaller bowl with my dried fruit in it. Delia recommended marinating it in brandy, but Stephen didn’t want to waste booze in case the bread pudding wasn’t a success, so I just soaked the dried fruit in water. Then I decided that it was getting too late and put clingfilm over all three bowls and left them until this morning.

I woke up quite early this morning, which is surprising, as I’m not a morning person. I came downstairs to complete the bread pudding preparation, and found that Delia’s direction to add the melted margarine, brown sugar and spices and then beat the bread mixture with a fork really does take the lumps out. Then I added the dried fruit. I’d managed to consolidate all of the mixture into one bowl by this time. As I tipped the bowl with the dried fruit, nothing was happening and then all of a sudden, the whole lot shot out! Luckily most of it landed in the mixing bowl, but some ended up on the sink and on the floor. My startled “Oh!” was loud enough to draw Stephen downstairs to see what was going on.

Anyway, I finished mixing the bread pudding and got that into the oven and then got myself under the shower. (Apart from the normal reasons for ablutions, I think I had some very sticky spots where the dried fruit had got me during the bread pudding making project.)

Then it was down the M20 to Sutton Valence to meet the wind quintet for an hour and a half of music making. Lynne had brought along arrangements of “The Midako” and Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” which we hadn’t seen before. They were by the same arranger as the complete “Pictures at an Exhibition” that we tackled last time we met. We made a good attempt at “The Mikado” – we knew all the tunes, which was a good start. Then we moved on to “Romeo and Juliet” and surprised ourselves at how well we got on. We finished with a couple of bits out of “Pictures at an Exhibition” and then consulted our diaries to arrange another meeting. We found one date in late spring, and then couldn’t find a Sunday morning when we were all available until October!

The plastic reed I’ve been trying to break in isn’t good enough for quintet music and I switched back to my old and battered plastic reed that I’m trying to conserve. I really must get my lip into shape so that I can play on a cane reed – although if a plastic reed I was using in the last century is still playable, maybe plastic’s the more economical way to go – if only I could find another one as good. I think I’ll have to dare to take the scraping knife to one of the two that aren’t so good and hope that I improve it rather than ruin it. I’m sure I scraped the good one, but that was before I lost my reed adjustment book.

I made an incorrect route choice on the way home from Sutton Valence. I could see a queue forming on my usual exit from the A20 onto the A222 and decided to stay on the A20 to Fiveways and then come home via William Barefoot Drive. It was a big mistake, as I met the A20 tailback just after I’d passed the point where I could take the slip road for the A222 and I was stuck in the queue until it reached Fiveways. I think a car boot sale at Flamingo Park had just finished, which had filled the A20 up, and then to make matters worse, most of it was local traffic wanting to turn right at Fiveways and the lights just aren’t phased to cope with that amount of right turning traffic and that was just adding to the tailback.

I got home too tired to go back out looking for spring flowers before they’re all gone, so today’s picture is of a wisteria that I photographed a couple of years ago. Stephen has been by it in the last couple of weeks and says it looks pretty good right now.

Oh – and we’ve tried the bread pudding and it’s edible. I used Sainsbury’s Christmas spice and I’m not sure whether it’s got too much nutmeg, ginger or cloves in it, but I think I might try a different mix of spices next time. At least my soya flour did its job as a binding agent in lieu of the egg I deliberately left out and the bread pudding isn’t too crumbly.

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