Saturday, May 22


I was hired by a company that produce an organic range of food products. They wanted me to perform a cookery demonstration for some church-going folk (in their church). Loads of planning and preparation was involved, recipes were to be supplied in advance so that the congregation could follow along as I was cooking, I was hoping that they would sing the recipes to the tunes of my favourite hymns while I cooked – sadly this did not happen.

After a week of testing many variations of courgette fritters and rhubarb desserts* I was looking a bit green and a friend asked me if I was getting well paid for this job, I replied indeed not, the money for this is derisible.

I produced a 3-course supper for 30 people in one hour, there was laughter and applause, as I was packing up people came by to say some very lovely things and I left the church feeling entirely delightful.

The following day the lady who hired me called, not to thank me but to make a tight-lipped criticism of a small aspect of my work - something that could have been spotted and resolved before the event. I remembered that she signs emails off with this little homily

'Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.'

* Rhubarb Mess
Serves: 2
4 dessertspoons sugar
the juice and finely grated zest of 1 orange
200g rhubarb cut into inch-long pieces
2 individual meringue nests broken up
a small handful toasted almonds
2 tbsp double cream, softly whipped

Put sugar, orange juice and zest into a pan and bring to boil (the pan should be big enough to contain the rhubarb in one layer)

When sugar is dissolved, turn heat to medium, add rhubarb put on a lid and poach for a couple of minutes, or until the rhubarb has softened, take off the heat and let it cool.

Carefully remove the rhubarb with a slotted spoon, put into a large mixing bowl with the broken meringues, whipped double cream, and half of the almonds, combine gently.

To serve, spoon the mixture into glasses or ramekins and sprinkle over the rest of the almonds


  1. I'm always wary of people that have cute email sign offs...
    Pray tell... what was her complaint?
    Bet it was something daft... like the napkins weren't made from recycled paper...

  2. It was to do with the way that I had put in the order for my ingredients the previous week !!!***%(

  3. Good grief... does she want you to do it bending over backwards next time?!

  4. what a bitch!

    forget her and tell me how i make a meringue nests? ;~D xoxoxox

  5. What a Wankerooni! I think I would weep at the feet of anyone who made me a courgette fritter. And if they'd treated you well, loyalty could have meant more successful ventures.

    I'm not sure why people don't think about the bigger plan. I just got charged £1.65 for a can of cola (to take away) from a local cafe with delusions of grandeur. I think they think they are located in Knightsbridge or Norway or something. They'll be bust soon because they're all fur coat and no knickers. Fools...

  6. Rhubarb Mess, how sweet the sound,
    That gave a job to meeeeeee.
    I once was gruntled but now I'm not,
    Was happy, but now I seethe.

  7. Scarls - no she just wants me to be telepathic

    Sav - I wonder what you call them in the US. Meringue nests are ready made individual little meringues about the size of a small woman's fist (nest-shaped because they are usually filled with cream and fruit like a mini Pavlova). a cheat but I was demonstrating Fast Food.

    Glory - diplomacy clearly not a strong point in her case. Some people are great big nincompoops.

    Xl - your serenade has restored my gruntlement - thank you

  8. To serve, spoon the mixture directly into my mouth.

    Thank you.

  9. Deck the bitch - Ricardo

  10. You were obviously fighting the wrong battle. She should be drinking soup through a straw.

  11. She sounds like a very stupid woman, not even remotely like Rhubarb Mess which sounds utterly divine.

  12. You were clearly at fault...
    first, there were no nests left over
    second, if there had have been any left over, they were too small and delicate to be used as custard pie substitutes to adorn tight lipped Mrs. Trite.
    Whatever must her inferiority complex be like?

  13. What a tosser!

    By the way Lulu, with all your other extraordinary powers, I just presumed you were also telepathic. Perhaps that was her problem too

    anything remotely resembling pavolva or containing meringue and cream gets my vote!

  14. The bitch! No more to say on that subject.

    Your rhubarbe dessert looks fantastic!!! I'll pay you to come here and cook for me!

  15. MJ To serve, spoon the mixture directly into my mouth.
    I'll have a pipeline installed

    Alphawoman - and totally calorie-free

    Ricardo - I have made a drawing that I stick pins in. Nice to see you home sweetie xxx

    Kevin - She should she should..

    Eryl - I think she might describe herself as 'conflicted'

    Fly - Meringue pie fights - I like that!

    Nursey - tosser - such an excellent word, will use at next opportunity

    Will make meringuey/fruity/creamy thing for you anytime

    Dedene - See my note to Nursey, friends eat for free, you'd be very welcome

  16. Maybe you could ask her to 'tosser' the salad for you next time!! Pff - sounds like your average church fête organiser to me. You should've went with a sign saying ' you organise church dinners so you are obviously going to bitch about something. Please let me know in advance so I can bring knee pads and rosary for adequate repentance. PS _ Sex is often good for getting over the 'little things that bother us''

    BISOUS Lulu


  17. Ange - sounds like you've already been down this road.

    I don't believe that last thing for a moment!

  18. Bloody idiot woman! I guess the little sign off thingy is there for her own self. Translation: I reserve the right to be unkind but oh, my life is full of battles so don't you be unkind to me.


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