I can cook! I swear I can! I’m not the best but I’m definitely not the worst. I think.
For a while though, custard has been my nemesis. For years it was baking powder (I sorted that problem out with self-raising flour) but now it’s custard (or f**king custard as I like to think of it.).
Last night I decided I desperately needed to have some delicious rice pudding, which I’d never made before, and thought that I could just invent a recipe. This kind of Rambo-style of dessert making is why I have problems. That and the fact that I try to read at the same time and I get distracted but anyway that’s not what this is about.
I bought custard powder a few weeks ago to solve my custard problems – I thought if eggs weren’t actually involved then it wouldn’t taste disgusting! Full proof plan! The boyfriend had used the custard powder when we first bought it and made a delicious bowl that tasted spectacular with marshmallows and ice cream! WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG???!!!! IF I ADD MORE EXCLAMATION MARKS IT WILL BE SO!!!!!
I had made the rice, perfectly, no issues there. So I got out a saucepan. I checked and double checked the instructions. I measured everything out beautifully, put it on the hob, turned the heat up and… decided I desperately needed the loo. So I ran. RAN, I tell you. But I came back to this:
That has been soaking overnight. Seeing as we were able to scrape some of the burn off there is still hope. But, yeah. Oops.
So it turns out you can’t leave it at all. You have to keep stirring from the beginning, not just when it gets hot. Okay, so scratch that. Now, I was about 20 minutes into this mess. We have a tiny kitchen so I had to keep cleaning as I went, getting ready for round 2. I decided to do it in the microwave this time around, easier than the stove, no constant stirring and the beeping would tell me when to do that. And! I could read! Plus, the instructions said 5 to 6 minutes. Done and dusted. So I start it off and FIFTEEN minutes later it’s still just milk with some stuff in it. I decided to do it in a 2 minute block instead of the 1 minute increments I had been working with. Two minutes later, I open the microwave only to discover that we’d had a custard explosion and there was actually none left in the bowl.
Again, in the microwave. 90 second intervals so that it doesn’t explode. Not quite right, but we’re getting there. I finally hit upon a genius plan: more custard powder and sugar (it was tasting a bit bland!). My slightly thick custard, which in hindsight would have done just fine for a runny rice pudding (my favourite kind) is now thicker. It’s thicker all right. The bits where there are enormous clumps of custard powder are so thick they are barely chewable.
There’s no more milk.
Okay, I can’t go for round 4, I have to just run with this. So I get a sieve and start sieveing (Nonesense, just stir it Una!) the custard directly onto the rice. I got one cup of custard out of it. It tasted like shit. There were about 6 cups of cooked rice in the bowl. Instead of just removing the extra rice I started mixing like a BOSS. I’d been dealing with this shit for 2 HOURS. I couldn’t even face it anymore.
Don’t judge me. And don’t look at my delightful 1970s counter either!
The cinnamon was a nice cover-up touch wasn’t it?
The in-sink-erator loved it.
The lemon yoghurt ice cream tasted just fine, thanks.