Sunday, January 31, 2010


How to make trifle by KAZ's mum.

Take a pack of those trifle sponges that taste and feel like expanded polystyrene, slice in middle and make sandwiches with lashings of raspberry jam.

Place in bottom of large valuable bowl that just appeared one day from nowhere and add nearly half a bottle of Harvey's Bristol Cream bought from the woman at no12 for £1 - no questions asked.

Add very very deep layer of custard - must be Birds

Add very very deep layer of whipped double cream.

Do not under any circumstances add jelly or fruit.

Never sprinkle hundreds and thousands or chocolate buttons on top.

It was orgasmic - and it started a lifelong passion for custard which was reactivated in hospital last week.

I even loved school dinner custard which was watery and beige and poured in copious volumes from grey metal jugs onto Rainbow Sponge, Manchester Tart and Spotted Dick.

For the more sophisticated there is Crème Caramel or 'flan' as they call it in Europe.

My present favourite is Crema Catalana

Perfect to round off a feast of Paella and Calamares.

So - what's your comfort food of choice?




Blogger Steve said...

Chocolate suits me anyday, anytime but sometimes you can't beat a picked onion. It depends on my mood. Sausage casserole is great for a cold evening too.

3:12 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

'grey metal jugs'. That brings back memories.

Spooted dick and custard suits me. But not my waistline.

3:24 pm  
Blogger Rosie said...

I'm the wrong person to ask. I sleepwalk into the kitchen and eat gooey, French cheese. I can put on kilos doing this!

3:33 pm  
Blogger Rog said...

I think my Mum must have read the same recipe as yours on the trifle front, although we sometimes had halved glacee cherries on the top if I hadn't managed to seek them out and eat them.

Microwaved treacle pudding, Yorkshire Pudding, Bread & Butter Pudding - in fact, anything with the word "pudding" in it does it for me.

PS I think you'll find that a tube of Harvey's Bristol Cream will cure spotted dick in a few days.

4:03 pm  
Blogger xl said...

Lima beans as cooked by my grandmother.

I always order crème brûlée if it's on the menu.

4:03 pm  
Blogger Rog said...

PS Is Dave thinking about Madonna?

4:04 pm  
Blogger I, Like The View said...

when our French exchange students came to visit when I was a teen, they always left with tins of Birds Custard Powder, "creme anglaise" they called it; whereas my mother used to make "French custard" at least but usually more than once a week, using only egg yolks*, warm milk and sugar. . .

. . .once or twice a week I'd stand at the cooker, stirring the custard (to make sure it didn't catch). . . we'd have it hot with steamed syrup pudding or cold with sliced bananas. . .

(*she'd use the left over egg-whites to make meringue, for pudding on another day)

after she died, I tried to make the custard that was a part of my childhood heritage, but to no avail - I never paid attention to the quantities my mother used used

so, a bowl of French custard would be my comfort food of choice (and the recipe)

(on the other hand, her meringue - made with some dissolved Nescafe Gold Blend, which turned it into a kind of coffee toffee - would also be nice; I don't have the recipe for that either)

4:15 pm  
Blogger Kerrie said...

Oh my god I am having an orgasm reading about that trifle!
I like anything with treacle for example treacle sponge or pancakes with treacle. I love the gooeyness.
I also usually order Bannofee Pie if it's on and I am going up market ( i.e using the cutlery ).

4:21 pm  
Blogger Mopsa said...

It's YEARS since I've had one, but the thought of a frey bentos steak and kidney pie has me in the same place as custard has you.

4:30 pm  
Blogger MJ said...

Anything of a creamy consistency including custard, rice pudding, tapioca pudding, butterscotch pudding, Gerber baby food in the tiny jars especially banana and apricot flavours, oatmeal and cream of wheat.

Looking at this list, it is apparent that I would prefer not to chew my food.

4:32 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Chocolate doesn't count as you eat it all the time!
Does the sausage thing have mash?

See Rog below - you are allowed to ignore him.

Never mind - Kilos doesn't seem as bad as pounds.
Is Dick your middle name by any chance?

She gave in once and put on some chocolate buttons just to shut me up.
It didn't work.
Thanks for the cure - I assume you speak from bitter experience.

This looks so comforting - my Gran made beef tea with barley.

4:39 pm  
Blogger Geoff said...

I always knew MJ liked baby food. I can see her in her high chair being fed by her houseboys.

I used to love school bananas and custard. My mum's trifle was good but it didn't beat gypsy tart.

4:40 pm  
Blogger Steve said...

P.S. A picked onion is like a pickled onion - only more select.

4:40 pm  
Blogger MJ said...

*reads Geoff's comment*

I knew I shouldn't have confessed to the baby food.

4:42 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Yes - that's why he's off on a religious retreat.

Ah yes - 'proper' custard as made by my dad's sister who had a confectioner's shop.
I used to urge her to put more vanilla in it.

We agree about cats and David - but not treacle or gooey.
I'll stick with the custard pie :)

Ah yes - student Sunday meal in the 60s.
Don't you think we'd find it very disappointing now?

Well - I've heard of Nursery food - but this is taking it too far.
Tapioca was the evil pudding of the school dinner routine. No one ever had so much as a spoonful.

4:48 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

..with her teeth in a glass?
I think Gypsy Tart is a Kent thing.

No more that I would expect from you.

Let's hope Beast and Garfer pay me a call.

4:51 pm  
Blogger xl said...

[files MJ's baby food fetish for future reference]

4:54 pm  
Blogger MJ said...

*considers deleting comment before Beast and Garfer show up*

Oh criminy, there's XL now.

Try it! Surely SOMEONE else here has sampled a jar or two.

4:55 pm  
Blogger geraldgee said...

If I may but in...Custard and ice cream. Sorry.

5:21 pm  
Blogger Rosie said...

Kaz, did I know you in another ballooning? Dick is not my middle name but close.

5:35 pm  
Blogger Christopher said...

*knocks diffidently at door*

Why, this is inspired. I'm printing it out, framing it and hanging it on the wall. You've no idea what an uplift it's given to a pud-starved expat. (Tho' I do have 27 tins of Ambrosia Creamed Rice in the larder, just in case.)

5:44 pm  
Blogger Arabella said...

The major league comfort food for me is steak and kidney pie or pudding.
The little leagues include:
Heinz tomato soup and a cheese sandwich.
Chip buttie made with white bread and butter.
Chocolate cake - my own. Making it is part of the comfort.
Bread and butter pudding with custard.
Anything Cuban.
A salt beef bagel with mustard.

The list is long but if I had to wait for Steak & Kidney pie comfort in America I'd be a weeping wreck.

5:47 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Revenge is a dish better eaten cold

and baby food.
Is this rapid regression we are observing?

Oh no - in the same dish?
hot and cold?
MJ would love that - no chewing required.

The only ballooning I do is after eating a huge helping of Spotted Dick and custard

Good to see you.
Ambrosia Creamed Rice? No it simply won't do.
Dave and Rog will put a food parcel together.

Mmmm chip buttie - it's been so long.
I'm just packing to come over to sample that chocolate cake.

5:56 pm  
Blogger Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

O yes - like the other gerald, apple pie with both hot custard and cold (vanilla) icecream is simply brilliant!

6:27 pm  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

If MJ would keep her teeth in her head, chewing wouldn't be an issue.

And I have tasted apricot baby food, but only because I was actually feeding a baby (not mine - there are none) at the time and it smelled wonderful. I do love apricots.

I have lots of comfort foods: homemade macaroni and cheese with toasted croutons on top, baked in the oven. (Has to be made with McLaren's sharp cheddar), Vinetarte (Icelandic cake we have a Christmas), oatmeal date cookies like my Grandma made (and I do have the recipe), fried chicken (cold) and potato salad with chocolate cake for dessert.

All of the above must... absolutely must... be homemade.

There. I think I just gained ten pounds... :-\

6:36 pm  
Blogger mago said...

Comfort food ... would be Grüne Klöß' or Serviettenkloß. Only good with a silky sauce, sähmig that is. Yes it is Bohemian influenced. Afterwards Kaiserschmarrn, coffee, Cognac, chaiselongue ...

9:05 pm  
Blogger Tim said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:18 pm  
Blogger Tim said...

Getting back to trifle, I'm surprised nobody (except Rog in an aside) has picked up on the essential ingredient, Bristol Cream. Back in the fifties it was discreetly called 'sherry trifle', and was the only socially acceptable way to get surreptitiously pissed of a sunday lunchtime. I reckon my mum's trifle started me down a road I'm still on.

9:36 pm  
Blogger Madame DeFarge said...

Mashed potato, with lots of butter. Tomato soup, especially when ill. Toast dripping with butter, Chips. Boiled eggs. Triple decker salad sandwiches. All made me the woman I am today. Well comforted.

9:42 pm  
Blogger Kevin Musgrove said...

Tater hash. Or a chip butty (docker's sandwich with ginormous chips and lashings of butter).

I suddenly have a yearning for mince and peas...

10:11 pm  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

I had to google 'chip butty'...

Whoa... Never in my life have I seen or eaten one of those. Obviously not one of the English traditions that made it to Canada.

I can't give an opinion one way or another, but would be willing to try it. Maybe...

10:44 pm  
Blogger Arabella said...

Ponita - it's very second-best but you could try the crisp sandwich: soft and crusty white bread and butter filled with 'plain' salted crisps or American chips. Not only is this a cold comfort but its also very messy. The more butter the better chance of crisps adhering to sandwich.

3:57 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

What is it with you Geralds - eh?

Some of that list sounds delicious especially Grandma's cookies.
You're a gal who knows what she likes.

You are sounding very Franconian today.
I understood coffee and Cognac

Hello Tim:
Yes - the sherry was the main ingredient.
Mum once used whiskey which was even better.
I never stood a chance did I?

An excellent list - mashed potato is my thing of the moment
And toast is the love of my life.

Chip butty is in the lead I think.
(ignores mince and peas obscenity).

Don't waste a minute.
White bread, loads of butter and salt and pepper.

Good advice,
Just don't use prawn cocktail flavour.

8:22 am  
Blogger zIggI said...

My mum put jelly in ours with tinned fruit in it - we must have been very common! I only used to eat the cream off the top though, custard is yuk.

My favourite pudding is anything with meringue and clotted cream and fruit if you must, but only red ones.

11:59 am  
Blogger Scarlet Blue said...

Apple crumble with lots of crumble and with custard... and sultanas.
Anything warm and sweet and stodgy.

12:17 pm  
Blogger Rol said...

I love custard too. I could easily eat it all by itself, though I prefer it with a nice sponge or crumble. I need some right now, in fact.

3:59 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

We are like Jack Spratt and his wife
You will eat no custard and I can't stand meringue.
It takes all sorts.

Yes but no sultanas.
Dave tee hee?
Shall we rename him spotted Dick?

Yeah - another vote for custard.
Sponge, crumble - and do you remember cobblers?

4:59 pm  
Blogger Nic said...

Generally I'd say "How to make trifle....don't bother it's shite." But your mum's one sans fruit and jelly sounds like it might be OK. Though I'd miss out the whipped cream and add more custard. I like custard.....real custard out of a tin or carton, that is, none of that home-made nonsense stuff. I'm not really a puddings type person.

.... cheese is probably still my favourite comfort food. But not with custard.

5:04 pm  
Blogger UberGrumpy said...

Heinz do spotted dick?

Well roger me senseless. I bet they don't sell it in the US

6:09 pm  
Blogger Z said...

My mother made trifle just the same way - jelly was frowned on and I think fruit would have been pretentious. The sherry was amontillado, because no one in the family liked sweet sherry. She decorated it with whole almonds, which had had boiling water poured over them before I took of the skins, glacé cherries and angelica, all arranged into flowers.

I daren't touch comfort food when unhappy, because I wouldn't be able to stop and then I'd be more miserable for the sweet stodge I'd eaten. Bracingly, I eat a slice of dry bread or some fruit to take away the yearning. But If I am cheerful and want comfort food, I make risotto because it fills all the needs except sweetness and the making it of it is a self-indulgent pleasure.

6:44 pm  
Blogger Betty said...

Banana sandwiches with brown sugar on brown bread.

Chip butties.

Tinned prunes and custard.

Creamed mushrooms on toast.

Sausages with tinned plum tomatoes.

"Proper" rice pudding with skin on top.

Hmm, I've not eaten any of them for years. Presumably I don't need to be comforted!

7:55 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

It was alcoholic.
Another custard fan - excellent palate.

They don't - when looking for the picture I found several American bloggers who were smirking and sniggering.

No decoration for mum - just slap it all in and leave to stand a bit (vital for flavour mixing).
Dry bread is for prisoners - they don't even give you that in hospital, but risotto sound lovely.

Wonderful list apart from the tinned prunes - custard was invented for better things.
Obviously Geoff is doing a great job!

10:26 pm  
Blogger Roses said...

My ex-MIL brought me over to the pudding side. Custard, trifles, steamed puddings, rice puddings...

The trouble is, since she died, no one could quite come up to her high standards.

When I'm in serious need of comfort it's a cheese, leek, potato and salmon pie for me.

9:25 am  
Blogger BEAST said...

I am with MJ on the creamy stuff and that extends to the savoury I love creamy pasta sauces .
We used to have Gypsy tart at school , it was some sort of thick brown sludge in a pastry was delicious(I must find a recipe). I also have a real addiction to ryvita's thickly spread with cold butter and marmite and butterscotch angel delight.
Actually it would be quicker to list the foods I dont regard as comfort foods which is fish :-)

11:45 am  
Blogger white rabbit said...

All sorts of stuff but they all involve lots of melted butter ;)

1:50 pm  
Blogger BEAST said...

Lest you feel I have let Miss MJ off without suitable comment , I am cogitating on this one

5:25 pm  
Blogger MJ said...


How vulgar!

5:29 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

That pie sounds like health food to me. You're not trying!

Ah Ryvita - haven't had one for years.
I fancy cold butter, Feta and piccalilli.

I presume that's full fat butter.

I could hear her breathing a sigh of relief.
May your cogitation bear fruit.

Masticating is even more vulgar - is that why you don't do it??

8:01 pm  
Blogger Kerrie said...

What about David with treacle? could you go for that?
I don't know how Steve can even bring up anything with sausage after the previous sausage post and tell Scarlet Dave with custard could be very fattening!

8:42 pm  
Blogger Roses said...

I think half the tub of double cream and the massive hunk of butter would beg to differ on the health front.

10:20 am  
Blogger mago said...

It is very Franconian, or better Thuringian, or Bohemian in this case ... now I feel like crap and wanna go home.

5:32 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Of Course - but David with custard would be sheer perfection!

Point taken.
But you'd stll get your omega threes.

Fortunately there was a Spanish translation.
The Serviettenknödel looks nice.
"wanna go home" - I thought you were home.

8:17 am  
Blogger CyberPete said...

I love custard. I just eat it so rarely.

Are you in Spain again? I have a bit of snow for you in case you missed it

*throws snowball at Kaz*

8:48 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Hi Pete:
No - I'm in Manchester and can make my own snowballs.

8:30 am  
Blogger The Poet Laura-eate said...

Jacket potatos fresh out of a Pickwick (or similar old style oven), slightly smokey-skinned and filled with lashings of butter and baked beans.

I like custard too, but not with the potato!

3:40 pm  
Blogger CyberPete said...


At least that's something. It just looked like you were off galavanting in Spain again. Which should not be permitted when I'm cold and winter depressed in all this snow

3:53 pm  
Blogger Nota Bene said...

That recipe is strangely familiar. I am comforted by marshmallows...but only when made by Princess

5:47 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Yeah - but no beanz pleaze.
I like dahl on a baked potato - Sainsbury's is best.

I share your pain.

I haven't the Princess ones - but I love the chocolate Tunnocks' variety.

7:59 am  
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3:57 am  
OpenID missbehaving said...

Aaagh! don't tease me, no custard here, no Birds and I LOVE the stuff. I CRAVE custard, my mum used to mix in cocoa and make hot custard on top of vanilla ice cream, wicked wicked memories.

9:32 am  
Blogger mago said...

KAZ, dearest! How is it in Manchuria? I see the sun - imagine!

11:52 am  
Blogger leazwell said...

I adore a good trifle but I'm skeptical about the custard powder. However, I shall give it a try.

1:11 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

is that really you Mago??

Sorry :0(
Another mention of hot custard and cold ice cream. Weird.

Not a single raylet of sun shines on Manchester today.

We Brits love our Birds.
They don't seem to sell it anywhere else - but do try it if you can find it.

3:47 pm  
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11:35 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

OK - But what about custard?

4:07 pm  
Blogger Scarlet Blue said...

What about it?

4:25 pm  
Blogger Scarlet Blue said...

Oh, I see... somebody is insistant upon talking about the weather.

4:26 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Perhaps his favourite comfort food is SPAM

10:14 pm  
Blogger Scarlet Blue said...

Ha ha!!

10:29 am  
Blogger an animal life said...

These comments are making me drool!

Fray Bentos steak and kidney pie with mash and extra gravy, followed by spotted dick and custard would be the best meal I have had in a long time.

And yes, those grey metal jugs do bring back some memories.

5:26 pm  
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5:32 pm  

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