Tag Archives: milk

It’s all turned to custard

It rained on my mother’s birthday (15 June), it rained yesterday, and it rains still…and HOW! 110 ml in the past 36 hours.  Rivers and drains and ditches are overflowing and some of the city streets are flooded. When the weather deteriorates like this, or when anything worsens, New Zealanders often say ‘It’s all turned to custard.”

I don’t know the origin of this expression. When I left New Zealand in 1977, custard was confined to the family dinner table. When I returned to New Zealand in 1999, I was astonished to learn that a great many things, including our attempt to win the Rugby World Cup, had “all turned to custard”.  Why custard? Why was poor, innocent, humble custard chosen to represent the unbright side of life. Had New Zealand become a nation of custard haters in my absence?

I love my custard. So I am deeply affronted by the sullying of custard’s good name. 😉CustardI make all kinds of custard but,  for my favourite quick custard, I use Edmonds Custard Powder. Edmonds used to be a genuine New Zealand brand but it has been sold out to a bigger overseas concern . So does that mean even our national custard industry has turned to custard?

So, those are photos of  the beautiful custard which nourished my body and soul yesterday.  Here is how it was made: Three tablespoons of custard powder, mixed with one tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 cup of cold, full cream milk.  Mix into a smooth paste.  Add 1/4 cup cream, mixed with a lightly beaten egg to the mixture.  Heat 1 and 3/4 cups of full cream milk and add this heated milk to the cold mixture.  Put the combined mixture in to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently, with frequent stirring, until the custard thickens. Add a few drops of vanilla or almond essence and serve hot or cold. This recipe makes a very thick custard. ( I like thick custard with a thick skin on top! ) To make a thinner custard use 2 tablespoons of custard powder.

That’s the custard. Now look at the photos of the weather that has ‘all turned to custard.’ Can you see a connection to custard? I can’t.

Footnote: I have taken a light-hearted approach to custard, and the weather, but the weather and flooding are extreme in some parts of the country. There will be extensive damage  to land and property as a result.

© silkannthreades

Milk pudding; the mighty comfort food

Milk puddings. You either love them or hate them. My offspring hate them.Baked Rice Pudding

I LOVE them.  I love milk puddings for  themselves.  I love them for their association with grandparents and great aunts and happy memories of long gone kitchens, full of jellies and jams, bottled fruit, and pikelets, sponge cakes, roast dinners, cream, new peas, strawberries, boxes of apricots, flummeries, sponge kisses, sausages  homemade tomato sauce, porridge with cream on top and…….. milk puddings!

Tonight I made a baked rice milk pudding, or a baked rice custard, one of my favourite milk puddings.

Ingredients: I cup of cooked rice; 2 eggs; pinch of salt, 4 tablespoons of sugar; 2 cups of whole milk; a few drops of vanilla essence and some freshly grated nutmeg.

Method: Preheat the oven to 325F (not fanbake) or 140C ( fanbake). Grease a rectangular pie dish. Mine is 21cm by 15cm.   Place the cooked rice in the dish.  Lightly whisk the eggs with the salt and add the sugar and milk and whisk a little more till the ingredients are combined. Don’t over whisk. Add the essence and then pour the mixture over the rice. Grate a little nutmeg over the top of the ingredients.  Place the dish in a dish of water and bake in the oven until the custard is firm and set and golden.  Takes about 45 minutes to an hour in my oven. I like to eat my pudding with stewed fruit and cream.

Milk puddings are extremely good for older people so that means I can eat lots of them 🙂

© silkannthreades