Hot Polka Dot
3Sep/10

Creeps and Cake.

Dear Creepy Neighbour,

I saw you creeping last night. What you were really doing at 1 and 2 am in your front yard with a tarp, a halogen lamp and a stack of junk I'll never know.

I know what it looked like you were doing. I half expected you to drag a lifeless body out your front door and start rolling that sucker up.

Which is why I felt it was my civic duty as unofficial head of neighbourhood watch to leer out my upstairs window at you. I may or may not have busted out my telescopic camera lens to leer a little closer. Those things don't work so great at night... or so I hear.

Just a word to the wise, try your very best not to do weird things at all hours of the night. I have a very big imagination and it will, without a doubt, conjure up a much more interesting explanation for your midnight activities than the truth. Folding up tarps and shining lights into people's windows doesn't exactly get you invited to all the cool barbecues.

Speaking of which, do you think you can manage not to shine 500 watts of light willy nilly around the block including into my bedroom windows? Halogen work lamps aren't flashlights. That would really help me sleep at night.

And by the way, it's called a yard not a landfill. You have ten square feet of dirt to look after. A patch of grass or even a small tree is much more aesthetically pleasing than a pile of all manner of junk. Do you think you could, oh I don't know, clean that mess up? You know, as long as that doesn't stimulate your trigger itch. I don't want to wind up snug as a bug in a... tarp.

I'd suggest you channel your creepy energy and redirect it on some cake baking. It's a much more constructive task when compared to your regular activities like scaring the neighbours, glaring at pedestrians, harbouring mean cats, collecting broken down piece of junk cars, or hiding bodies in your freezer.

Thanks a bunch.

Sincerely,

That girl across the street.

PS: You don't get any of my cake!

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7May/10

The Custard Thickens.

I consider this dessert a pivotal personal achievement. I've been putting it off for a long time now since a certain incident involving custard. Very stubborn custard. It was just awful. I don't like to talk about it...

...Ok you twisted my arm.

So it was New Year's Eve and I wanted to make something fancy to celebrate. We bought a shrimp ring and veggies with dip, I made sweet and sour cocktail meatballs and a layered salsa dip. There was just the dessert left to contend with. My mother started making this Angel Icebox Dessert for family functions years ago and it quickly became a family favourite even rivalling my Oma's coveted Cherry Delight. I thought I'd give it a try. How hard could it be right? Famous last words.

So there are three different layers. I didn't have the time or patience to make my own meringue nests or pavlovas so I bought some. Don't judge me, I'm impatient. Next is the whipping cream. That's easy. Then comes the custard.

Up until now I had never made custard and it was a little intimidating to say the least. Despite that I set aside my fears and soldiered on. I followed the recipe exactly. Six eggs yolks. Check. Sugar and salt. Check. Flour. Check. Scalded milk. After a googling what that even meant, check. Vanilla. Roger.

As I was stirring my custard in my makeshift double boiler feeling pretty darn happy with myself I'd come this far I realized to my horror that it wasn't thickening. Why was this happening? What had I done wrong? Were the custard gods punishing me for some significant sin? I read and reread the recipe dozens of times finding no evidence to my fault. After 45 minutes of tedious stirring to no avail I decided to refrigerate it and hope for the best.

Nope. Not even a little thickening. It was custard soup. That just won't do.

So my mother got a frantic phone call that day. Apparently the freshness of my eggs was questionable having bought them from a supermarket and not straight from the hen. I also should have used whole milk instead of 1% like I normally do.

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