Thursday, May 21, 2015


In the height of summer we had a series of power outages the result of storms passing through.  Milk in the refrigerator does not keep if the electricity is off and the daytime temperature is the 40's.  So, I bought long-life milk ... to me coffee without milk is quite simply Y U K!
Months later there are still packets of long-life milk in the pantry cupboard.  Knowing that I wouldn't likely use it before its 'best by date' I decided to make blancmange, which to me is just another glorified word for custard.  Last night we had rhubarb and blancmange as dessert.
While stirring the mixture in the pot a recollection sprung to mind.  Long long ago when a child I read about girls going to boarding school, and I will confess that at the age of nine or ten attending boarding school and getting up to all the hi-jinx described in the pages of books I would have loved to spend school terms at boarding school.  [That desire did wear off ... before I was of boarding school age!]
The mention of blancmange for tea at boarding school sounded to me the height of luxury.  [I didn't realise it was only custard.]   The use of a 'foreign word' in the context of a school dinner resounded in my mind ... anything foreign must be great to a country girl who had travelled no further than 50 miles north to the nearest city, and that was a huge adventure.
As I dished up the rhubarb and blancmange my mind was still back in last century where girls had daring, and exciting, adventures attending boarding school, and where they ate blancmange for tea.