Posts Tagged ‘dumplings’

Hilarious memories

After an evening of reminiscing about my gap year with a friend, I just had to share some of this nonsense with you. The highlights of the evening discussions were:

1. The time a friend flipped his car and was all stressed that the police would get him so ran off into the sand dunes. We had heard about it and been given a lift to where he was. We also ran off into the desert and were covering his white shirt with Lucy’s long skirt, to avoid him being seen by a helicopter….! When one has consumed much alcohol, this seems to make perfect sense, that in a place where there is no ambulance service, they would be sending a helicopter out in the night to catch a man who had flipped his car. He was quite shaken so in my 18 year old mind, I decided the best way to be supportive was to declare my love for him. (I didn’t love him at all. I’m not even sure what made me say it.)

2. The time Lucy and I got in a car with a total random who drove us to Cape Town and, right before the border, while stopped at a petrol station, both went to the toilet at the same time. We suddenly realised what we’d done and rushed outside. Thankfully he hadn’t driven off with our stuff.

3. The time our friend, Ramon, came over and we made up a story about a purple fairy who lived in the garden called Finesse, then went down to the tree and started calling out to her.

4. The time another of the gap year volunteers went off with some random guy after two days in Cape Town, then came back one day, told us his name was Rudolph and he’d asked her to marry him and she’d said yes! (She didn’t end up staying and marrying him, much to the annoyance of the other girl at her project, who had to deal with her for the next year.)

5. The time I tried to climb up on the ledge round the house to look in the bathroom window, where Lucy had locked herself and fallen asleep after a night out. My arms and legs couldn’t handle the exertion of the climb so I just let go and fell straight backwards on to the ground. I’m surprised I survived that fall, actually.

6. All the times we ate plates of rice and faux dumpling-things or the peanut butter sandwiches the kids used to make as part of their activities at school, cause we couldn’t afford anything else! A box of Frosties was BIG news in our house! We only bought those when we’d just been paid and were feeling really flash with our money.

My worst food disasters

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I had a recent one and it’s been haunting me and making me think of other kitchen disasters I have had.

I’ve tried making chocolate mousse a few times and can’t quite get it sorted. I don’t know whether I’m not whipping the egg whites enough or something but it seems fine when I make it. It’s the right texture and all that. Then I refrigerate it for a while and when I take it out, it’s just solid. It’s not light and fluffy, it’s heavy and un-airy. And it depresses me. It make ME feel heavy and un-airy. I don’t try to make chocolate mousse anymore.

I made some flapjacks a while ago. They were going to be a present for someone so I made sure I did a good job. When I took them out of the oven, they looked lovely. I left them to cool and went in the front room… Came back ten minutes later… They were black! I’d left them to cool on top of the oven, with the hob on! I NEVER leave the hob on. I’m really strict about turning things off with the oven and hobs. Lovely apricot flapjacks, cooked and finished and ready to eat… and ruined.

When I lived abroad, as opposed to one specific disaster, we just had an ongoing disaster concerning our diet, which was mainly that we were 18 and didn’t really know much about cooking. We mainly ate plates of rice with something added, eg rice with sweetcorn mixed in, rice with chopped onion mixed in, rice with butternut squash, rice with rice. We also made these dumpling-type things which were just flour and water with something added, eg, dumplings with sweetcorn, dumplings with onions…..

My latest one was a marmalade cake. The recipe said to use self raising flour AND baking powder. I thought it seemed wrong but I trusted it anyway. So I made the mixture, put it in the oven and checked on it twenty minutes later. Disaster! The mixture was bubbling like crazy and expanding at an alarming rate. It had overflowed out of the loaf tin and formed a little cake mountain on the bottom of the oven. I didn’t know what to do about it, I turned down the heat and watched it closely. When it eventually stopped exploding, it then sunk into the empty space that had been created from all the bubbles in the middle of the loaf. It looked awful! I felt like a failure. The next morning I woke up and tried it again, plain flour this time. It worked!

I had used the Great British Bake Off cookbook for it and later found out the recipe was one that a guy used then got eliminated! His had sunk too! And then they just put the recipe in the book without changing it! Madness. For anyone else wanting to make a sticky marmalade tea loaf from that cookbook, use plain flour!

P.S. 21 days till first exam. Today’s study topic – Theft. And I can’t find any of my Land Law notes! Oops!