Well, you see, it was like this. After depositing a goodly proportion of my family onto the docks at Southampton, I proceeded to spend the rest of the weekend at my pals' remote rural idyll in Darkest Dorset. I was told that for our Sunday lunch dessert, and as a treat for behaving myself, there would be rhubarb crumble with, wait for it, Bird's Custard. This was a nod to my O.B.E. (blogs passim: Old Brand Excess) where life is enriched by certain pantry staples. I refrained from asking to see the tricolour packaging, but as the moment drew near and I adjusted my serviette tucked into my shirt collar, Mrs. Pal appeared at the dining room door and quietly mumbled that she'd just realised that there was in fact no Bird's Custard in the Pal Pantry. A silence descended over the table, just the sound of a blackbird in the privet hedge coming in from the open window. "But I have got this!". The above receptacle was deposited in front of me. I can't remember the last time I had condensed milk, but I have to say it was a very evocative (and sinfully sweet) accompaniment to the delicious rhubarb. For the technically minded, the lighting rig was two Maglite torches held by my hosts, and the drip of milk echoing the printed version was entirely accidental. Honest.
Alan Aldridge: Tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
22 hours ago