*this post is pretty much what the inside of my head is like ALL THE TIME it is a wonder that I'm not mad oh wait
Yesterday (wrote 'yeasterday' and almost didn't catch it) I cleaned my aunt's house and walked the dog and went to a friend's for dinner. It was a good day. But I'm not going to talk about it yet. I'm going to tell a boring story about my MP3 player. Ready? Ready!
My iPod SHUFL has developed an embarrassing predilection for Queen, specifically 'Don't Stop Me,' and it tries to play it all the time. Trying to listen to music now goes like this: I hit 'shuffle' button. iPod starts playing Queen. I hit shuffle button again. Two songs later, iPod is all "how about Queen now, are we ready for Queen now?" "No!" Two songs later and it's all "OK how about...now?" God damn it, iPod. I don't even know why I put that song on there and now you're all "but it's my favourite!"
ANZAC service this morning was good, but for some reason they decided to give us some time for 'reflection,' which is usually accompanied by a nice reflective piece of music, you know, 'Nimrod' or something. Usually 'Nimrod' but sometimes a hymn. Not this time! We were treated to the longest pre-recorded song in the world, a dramatically crappy epic ballad sung by someone who was trying to sound noble by over-enunciating everything and sounding like a wanker, and it had an entire verse where the tune was carried by synth brass. This pissed me off no end. I mean, synth brass has its place (somewhere? probably?) but definitely not in a song of remembrance for the dead, albeit a cringe-inducingly tacky, gratuitously melodramatic clichéd one. Jesus Christ. I mean, so you had an okay writer and a truly awful lyricist and a singer who apparently thought he was in a Disney movie, but would it really have cost so much to get an actual brass section?
The whole song had a decided air of patronising B-grade celebrity about it. It was totally inappropriate and it made me very angry. But apart from that the service was good and the bugler did not fuck up and what more can you ask for, really? Would have been nice not to have the pipe band but oh well, lest we forget, etc.
To skitter off on a mental side note, I was reading a homewares catalogue yesterday (in hindsight I am wondering why) and I came across a guacamole bowl that was unlike anything I have ever seen before. The description says it all, really - 'This gorgeous, hand-painted ceramic bowl looks uncannily like a giant avocado.' Indeed, the resemblence was uncanny. You couldn't have canned it if you tried.
Also I have a question about America's Got Talent or, as I like to call it, America's Got Too Much Free Time. Why is there always a yokelish family who all play stringed instruments? (the 'string family' hur hur) Why is there always a family of about 10 who do Irish dancing? Why is there always someone with an average amount of talent but some sort of disability? It turns out that I have several questions. Burning questions. What is the purpose of 'cloggers'? Why have they kept the dancing trombonist? Does anyone really think the singing four-year-old is actually going to win? America's Got Poor Taste in Entertainment Acts.
Oh yeah also I thought I might do a post of brass band-related misadventures. Would that be fun?
Here's a recipe. It's delicious and easy and pretty much unfuckuppable. Go and make it. It makes a lemon pudding that is spongy on the top & gooey on the bottom! Technically it is called Aunty Mary O's Favourite.
Sugar (regular, but brown/icing/caster will do)
Butter (but margarine or oil will do)
Lemon (just the one)
Milk, about a cup
Cream 3 quarters of a cup of sugar and just over a tablespoon of butter. If you happen to be out of either of these, don't panic - you can replace the sugar with brown sugar, icing sugar, confectioners' sugar or caster sugar (two of those might be the same thing, but oh well), and the butter can be replaced with margarine or cooking oil. It'll still work, but you'll need to change the quantities a bit. Just add sugar and butter repeatedly until the mixture is creamy-lookin'.
Add about 2 tablespoons of sifted flour and the grated rind & juice of a lemon. I'd recommend just grating the rind because juice is hard to grate. Cook's tip: if you pour the juice over the grater on its way into the bowl, it washes lots of the rind that is stuck in the grater into the actual mixture. See? I am good at this.
Mix that all about a bit. There should not be lumps, but there probably will be because you didn't bother sifting the flour. You should have listened to me, and now you'll have to stir it for longer until all the lumps are gone.
Add about a cup of milk. You're welcome to use the actual cup measure, but if you can't find it or it's dirty then just use a teacup that's lying around. Quite frankly it doesn't seem to make a lot of difference. Also add the beaten yolks of two eggs. JUST THE YOLKS, PEOPLE. Don't chuck the whites out, though, we will use those later on. The yolks don't need to be hardcore beaten or anything, just whipped about with a fork a bit. Mix the whole thing until it looks right. You'll know. You'll just know.
Then whip the egg whites. Not by hand with a fork unless you have about half an hour to kill. With a beater or an electric mixer, until the white forms what I like to call 'flaccid peaks.' Not too stiff, please. Do not over-excite your egg white.
Spoon the egg white into the mixture and sort of fold it in. Mix, but don't obliterate. (Important.)
Eventually the mixture will Look Right - you'll know - and then you can tip it into a greased bowl. Easiest way to grease a bowl is to scoop some margarine out of the tub and then rub it round the inside of the bowl, but you can be more hygienic about it if you like. Then pour the Right-Looking Mixture into the greasy bowl, and stand the greasy bowl in a shallow dish of hot water. That is important. If you don't have the dish of hot water the pudding will go all wrong. (I know I said it was unfuckuppable but that's the exception.)
Put the pudding in the dish of hot water and put the whole thing in the oven. Oven should be at about 150 C - will take 45 minutes to cook. If you are impatient you can give it half an hour at 180 C. Whatever.
Seriously, make it. It's really easy and delicious. I would not lie to you about this.