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The Emperor Of Ice Cream

June 1, 2011

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Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Wallace Stevens, The Emperor of Ice Cream (Harmonium 1922)

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I bought an ice-cream maker the other day. I was actually shopping for a food processor but I saw this gleaming, burnished-steel ice-cream maker, fashioned by cunning Italians (who know about ice-cream) and couldn’t resist. I’d made ice-cream years ago and I recall it being a tedious, time-consuming hand-cranked business: this baby does all the work for you, leaving your imagination free rein.

As is always the case, I tend to get a bit carried away with new enthusiasms and I now have a chest freezer bursting at the seams with ice-cream: coffee, chocolate and hazelnut; rum, dates & toffee; fresh mango & raspberry swirl; Bailey’s, strawberry and bitter chocolate; fresh peaches, brandy & almonds; and many more. I must have made damn near 20 gallons of the stuff. Oh, well…you can never have too much ice-cream.

I don’t have much of a sweet-tooth but I do like ice-cream; there’s something about the combination of cold, flavours and emollient smoothness as it slides down your gullet that pleases me.

Suggestions for ice-cream flavours and combinations, please…and verse about desserts.

65 Comments
  1. mishari permalink*
    June 1, 2011 8:05 PM

    Sarah Palin, continuing her tour of America’s venerable national monuments, visits Donald Trump in New York City. —photo caption, The Grauniad, today

    So, Donald ‘A Wolverine Is Eating My Head’ Trump is a ‘venerable national monument’? Who knew?

  2. Edward Taylor permalink
    June 1, 2011 9:59 PM

    Friends happened across Blue Cheese ice-cream in Tokyo.

    Several years ago Manchester International Festival commissioned Heston Blumenthal to make some ice-creams – they were, as you might expect, hellishly expensive.

    The one I tried ( which I could only afford to share with 2 others ) was vanilla ice cream with tapenade, essence of leather, raspberry sorbet and space dust ( that 70’s industrial sweet powder that popped and fizzed in your mouth. ) It sounds foul but actually was pretty good. Even if I wasn’t diabetic I’m not sure I’d eat one on my own but it was memorable in a good way.

    There was a bacon and egg ice cream too but it was WAY beyond my wallet.

  3. mishari permalink*
    June 1, 2011 10:15 PM

    I did give some thought to Blumenthal’s peculiar variations but then I thought ‘Egg and bacon ice-cream? Nah…’. I seem to recall he even did a snail ice-cream…

    Blue cheese ice-cream (and I love blue cheese) is just wrong.

  4. Reine permalink
    June 1, 2011 10:22 PM

    Not a big ice cream eater but have had lovely coffee and raspberry ripple ice cream and lemon curd, lemon and amaretti biscuits (you can use broken meringue pieces either or additionally). Well, let’s face it, you can put anything you want in it.

    BROWN BREAD ICE CREAM (from Murphys of Dingle)

    Ingredients:

    130g sugar
    4 Egg yolks
    220ml cream
    200ml milk
    1/3 vanilla bean
    250ml volume stale brown bread crumbs
    75g dark brown sugar
    1 tablespoon water
    What to do:

    Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and put in a saucepan with the milk.
    Bring the milk to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
    Stir for about a minute. Remove the vanilla bean.
    Beat the sugar and egg yolks together until thick and pale yellow.
    Beat the warm milk into the eggs and sugar in a slow stream (dont over mix).
    Pour the mixture back into pan, and place over low heat.
    Stir until the custard thickens (around 60C).
    Allow the custard to cool.
    Stir in the cream.
    Melt brown sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar crystals have dissolved.
    Stir in the bread crumbs and allow to cool.
    Freeze the mix using a domestic ice cream machine, or cover and place in the freezer.
    Add the brown bread once the ice cream is thick.
    Notes: 1. Use a very dark brown bread for best results. 2. If it is a fresh loaf, you can crush it into crumbs, spread it on a baking tray, and bake it at low temperature (50C) for a couple of hours to dry it out. 3. A fast way to make (small) bread crumbs is to use a blender or food processor.

    Some more recipes here:

    http://icecreamireland.com/category/coffee/

  5. hic8ubique permalink
    June 1, 2011 10:29 PM

    I Despair

    Don’t do that
    I want to scream
    you pimple!
    just eat it
    eat all of it
    the whole bite
    at once
    it’s this simple
    if your teeth are cold
    take less on the spoon
    the only thing
    as paroxysmal
    is scrabbling French-toast
    to and fro
    with the edge of your fork
    habits abysmal
    to cut it
    use a knife!
    and once you take a bite
    I want it never
    ever so help me
    to see the light.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 2, 2011 8:21 PM

      Calm down, mum.

  6. Edward Taylor permalink
    June 1, 2011 10:32 PM

    I like the Namib best
    The Gobi comes in next.
    I like the animals that live
    There in such a harsh context.
    The Sahara spreads from coast to coast
    So beautiful that it hurts
    Just re-read our blog-host’s poem request
    Ah… he wants one about desserts.
    I like Summer pudding the best
    Chocolate mousse comes in next
    I like tarts very much as well
    But not the ones that you pay for sex.

  7. mishari permalink*
    June 1, 2011 10:45 PM

    Sorry, Reine…for some reason, wordpress decided your comment was spam (it does it sometimes). That’s why your comment didn’t appear. Fixed now…

    • Reine permalink
      June 1, 2011 10:54 PM

      It’s intuitive maybe. Sorry then if you had several near-identical spams as my frustration mounted.

      Hic, I hear you sister.

  8. Reine permalink
    June 1, 2011 10:50 PM

    What’s for Dessert?

    Hooray, hooray
    It’s crème brûlée
    With passion fruit my love

    Tap, tap, tap, tap
    This golden cap
    Will shatter yet to prove

    That there within
    Lies custard sin
    In primose-hued prostration

    My tongue revels
    It peals its bells
    Across the palate nation

    Come one, come all
    Let us enthrall
    Our senses with this unction

    Hard shard, soft cream
    I want to scream
    Here’s no egg-tile dysfunction

    • mishari permalink*
      June 1, 2011 11:06 PM

      Y’know, if I didn’t know that you were pure in thought and deed at all times, I might think you weren’t talking about dessert at all, God forbid…

      A lot of these people living in retirement homes are veterans who gave their lives for their country. —BBC News, today

      Of course, it is terribly easy to confuse retirement homes and graveyards…

    • Reine permalink
      June 1, 2011 11:14 PM

      Oh happy confluence!

  9. Reine permalink
    June 2, 2011 12:31 AM

    Wedding Fare

    … Said a swain to his betrothed…

    I’m fond of you
    But of fondue
    I’m fonder

    (A chocolate waterfall
    Seemed quite off the wall
    To ponder
    …tacky, tricksy, tasteless)

    We watched the stick
    Strawberries prick
    And dribbled

    Watching them dipped
    Our class-mask slipped
    We kibbled

    Pineapple, chunked
    Juicily dunked
    In rivers

    Of molten choc
    It’s quite the shock
    I quiver

    In mallowed bliss
    I place a kiss
    On your lips

    We look a sight
    Chocolatier fright
    Bliss soft slips

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 2, 2011 1:07 AM

      Ok, I won’t go thread-backwards again, since it is apt to make our host fussy.
      I love ‘mallowed bliss’.
      I admit, pathetically, to puzzling over ‘egg-tile’.
      No really, it gets worse… I very nearly Googled it.

      Ginger frozen-yoghurt or gelato is my favourite. I bought a tub of pistachio yesterday in my first flight of seasonal inspiration. It’s really almond-extract flavour with pistachio nuts in
      (if you’re lucky). It was the only variety of fro-yo, and I wasn’t wild… it being sort of fluffy and blah, but the boyo’s nearly finished it off.

      I do remember my Dad, of noted Birthday, making ice-cream with fresh peaches and the old hand-cranked method. The rock-salt looked highly suspicious to me. It seemed an unlikely ingredient.

    • mishari permalink*
      June 2, 2011 8:32 AM

      I could be wrong, but I think ‘egg-tile’ is a play on ‘erectile’…

      The salt is to make the ice melt into small crystals, which is what you want for smooth ice-cream…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 2, 2011 1:43 PM

      Yes, thanks kindly. It took me far too long, but eventually the dimwit fog cleared.

  10. Edward Taylor permalink
    June 2, 2011 8:49 AM

    Good old Ann Atkins on Thought for the Day – trying to use a journalist’s expose of cruelty towards patients at a care-home to explain why God allows bad things to happen. He’s busy collecting evidence apparently.

    Only He’s not, the journalist is the one doing the spadework…. unless the journalist IS God of course.

    The thought remains that if God is this celestial newshound which paper does he work for and why, as he was so pathetically slow in uncovering the years of abuse by Catholic priests did the paper not sack him?

    These questions are directed at Ann Atkins of course, it goes without saying that she’s a regular reader of PH

  11. mishari permalink*
    June 2, 2011 9:13 AM

    Anne Atkins is a laughable nitwit…as indeed are most of the rent-a-gobs they get on Thought (sic) For The Day. Mind you, I always enjoy Rabbi Lionel Blue, whose cheery think-of-God-as-a-pal-who’s-bad-at-staying-in-touch shtick is a giggle…

  12. June 2, 2011 12:56 PM

    I have to say I am so over
    Tucking into a pavlova.
    I’ve never really got the hang
    Of why people enjoy eating meringue.
    Tucking into custard tarts?
    I’d sooner watch a game of darts.
    A heaped-up plate of chocolate mousse
    As a Scotsman (1.) I wouldn’t have it in the hoose (2.)
    Apple crumble is so over-rated
    It’s a foul dish that I’ve always hated.
    Full of rock-salt and pig-fat most ice-cream
    Is not at all what it seems.
    The sensuous nature of raspberry ripple,
    The culinary equivalent of jogger’s nipple
    Viennese whirls really are the pits
    Tasteless and filled with gritty bits
    Trying to convince you it’s a sweet with class
    The reality of which is pure farce.
    I say it again I am so over
    Cherry pie, apple turnover,
    Trifle, jelly, tarte avec creme anglaise
    All symptoms of a childish phase.

    But all this bravado is bathetic
    You need to say this stuff if you’re diabetic.

    (1.) true fact not a rhyme born of poetic desperation. I was born in Aberdeen and my mother’s side of the family is Scottish.
    (2.) however I don’t pronounce house like this so this is an example of poetically desperate rhyme.

  13. Reine permalink
    June 2, 2011 1:21 PM

    I like that Ed; trying to figure out what kind of an affliction jogger’s nipple is … salty?

    The chocolate fountain referred to above was at my cousin’s wedding in Bray (home to Heston’s Fat Duck and to Lord Wogan or whatever he is these days) some years ago. At the beginning, people mostly stood about pretending to be too cool to dip but after a few drinks, there was hardly any room around it. Even the most sophisticated types threw caution to the wind and bared brown smiling teeth at their neighbours mid-plunge. Very amusing.

    Not as delicious though as the rhubarb souffle I ate at the Waterside Inn a day or two later. Ah, the good old days when I had money to blow on air filled puddings.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 2, 2011 1:41 PM

      The Celt will out!
      That ripple/nipple is the most fascinating bit, isn’t it. I took in in the sense of ‘just not wanting to know’.
      The Namib one got me. I admit to going back to check M’s spelling. *eye-roll*

      Mowbray isn’t normally away this long without a small gesture of leave-taking.
      I don’t like it…

  14. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 2, 2011 1:51 PM

    I’m back. I’m thinking about pudding.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 2, 2011 2:15 PM

      Ah, Thank you. I’m all patience now.

  15. mishari permalink*
    June 2, 2011 2:26 PM

    I knew MM would want to sink his dessert-enfeebled teeth into this one…

    The cost of insuring Greek government bonds rose on Thursday after ratings agency Moody’s said there was now a 50% chance of the country defaulting on its debts.

    The warning came as Moody’s cut Greece’s credit rating to Caa1, almost the lowest rating assigned to any country. — The Groan, today

    Remember what I said the other day? Mind you, it is those idiots at Moody’s saying it, the same incompetent twits who saw no problem with debt-backed securities…

    • Reine permalink
      June 2, 2011 2:37 PM

      No Better, There is None (mmmm)

      It wibbled, it wobbled
      In its Waterford Glass
      The only bowl deep ‘nough
      To take its dense mass

      Assembled, it sat to cohere
      In its parts
      While attention was turned
      To the baking of tarts

      There is no denying
      That when first in its dish
      It wasn’t at room temp.
      Much more than a squish

      Of jewelled jellies
      And sponges, high on Bristol Cream,
      Fruit cocktail and custard
      A peachy kind of dream

      But, alchemically speaking,
      Its merits grew distinct
      When a spell in the fridge
      All its elements linked

      She’s not known for trifling
      Moreso for her trifles
      Her tarts hot on their heels
      She’s a long list of rivals

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 2, 2011 8:25 PM

      3 quality dishes, Reine.

    • Reine permalink
      June 2, 2011 8:58 PM

      Thanks kind sir.

  16. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 2, 2011 4:53 PM

    Sweet Thoughts

    My family weren’t sophisticates,
    and had no interest in cooking,
    the usual pudding on our plates
    was generally sourced from a tin,
    and took seconds to prepare:
    Arctic Roll was gourmet fare.

    At school the food was pretty vile,
    blancmanges and Manchester Tart
    usually made me run a mile:
    the only dish that won my heart,
    the combo which did the trick
    was custard and Spotted Dick.

    As a youth I was very keen
    on winning erotic success,
    lacking allure I used to lean
    on stylish cuisine to impress:
    really, what could be better
    than a Walls’ Viennetta?

    All those sweet memories are gone,
    like my teeth and most of my hair,
    and my norms of mastication
    are set by what my gums can bear;
    I hate to be a croaker
    but I’m sick of tapioca.

    • Reine permalink
      June 2, 2011 8:59 PM

      I hate to think of you eating tapioca, I hope that is entirely fictitious.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 2, 2011 10:51 PM

      God, I hate the stuff. I haven’t touched it since school, along with Manchester tart and most of the others. Macaroni pudding was particularly disgusting. I’m still very partial to steamed syrup pudding – in fact we have it instead of Xmas pudding – and jam roly poly.

      That Donal Og you did was really good. Seems to have vanished now.

    • Reine permalink
      June 2, 2011 10:57 PM

      I thought I had overdone it, was going to try again. The melancholia of it appeals to me. Only messing about. At least my Mayo accent got a chance to shine.

      I don’t think I’ve ever had steamed syrup pudding.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 2, 2011 11:29 PM

      You’re missing a treat. Sponge pudding is far superior to suet, should you be tempted to try it, and don’t stint on the syrup. The leftover chunks can be fried in butter, with hot syrup sauce poured over them. It’s advisable to have a team of paramedics on standby in case of cholesterol overload.

  17. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 2, 2011 8:05 PM

    Sorry, didn’t mean to be brusque earlier – I was a bit pressed for time.

  18. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 3, 2011 2:38 PM

    Liked the Donal Og, Reine. This one more on the indignant side than the previous version’s passive suffering. Or so I thought.

    Dessertless at the moment, which is odd considering how much of my time is spent thinking about them.

    • Reine permalink
      June 3, 2011 4:18 PM

      Oh dear. I listened to it again, sound like I just about stopped short of saying “you bollocks” at the end of it.

  19. Reine permalink
    June 3, 2011 5:34 PM

    The difference in rhyming patterns between the Irish and English version of this nonsense verse is marked.

    Uachtar Reoite

    Ó gliondar, ó chomh gleoite
    Is breá liom uachtar reoite
    Ar maidin nó um oíche
    Ní stopfaidh mé choíche

    Rough phonetic…

    (Ookthar Roach-ah

    Glunnthar, glow-cha
    Iss braw lum ookthar roach-ah
    Air modge-in no um eek-hah
    Knee sthup-he may ch-wee-hah)

    (Ice Cream

    Oh glee, oh how gorgeous
    I love ice cream
    In the morning or at night
    I will never stop)

  20. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 3, 2011 11:43 PM

    What a surprise! I’m greatly honoured, Reine. Thanks.

  21. Reine permalink
    June 4, 2011 12:00 AM

    Ah, Mowbs, I should have asked but I took a chance. Thanks for not calling in the lawyers. It’s quite the yin to Donal Ó’s yang or the vice to his versa.

    (Fellow posters, I recorded a poem of MM’s from Everyone’s Sense of the World… at the following link if anyone is interested.) I am sure I will outgrow this fad soon … please God you chorus)

    http://soundcloud.com/you/tracks

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 5, 2011 3:41 PM

      I see I never went far enough up the thread last evening…

      I’d say you’re still growing into it, Reine. These are beautifully done. Your Shakespearean training comes into good use.
      I hope you’ll continue to experiment and expand this fine little collection. They are gems.

    • Reine permalink
      June 5, 2011 11:28 PM

      You are kind to say so K. I must find one on which I can go all-out Lady M-hysterical.

  22. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 4, 2011 12:31 AM

    The Food Of Love

    The entrees go by with barely a glance
    and the main is met with a roll of the eyes;
    the haut cuisine of the restaurants of France
    might as well be a Big Mac and fries.

    Only when the garcon makes his return,
    bearing a trifle or patisserie
    do the components of the menu earn
    any display of interest from me.

    It’s exactly the same with you, my dear,
    those inferior courses passed me by,
    it was only when the dessert appeared

    that I suddenly felt compelled to eat,
    you’re my icecream, my custard, my Banoffee pie,
    in the repast of life you are my sweet.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 4, 2011 12:35 AM

      Ice cream, ice-cream or icecream? I don’t know.

      Time to insert the 99 of my body into the cone of my bed, I think.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 4, 2011 11:19 PM

      Aw… you old charmer. ‘The repast of life’; that’s lovely.

  23. mishari permalink*
    June 4, 2011 9:34 AM

    Ice-Cream: A Dessert In Transition

    Full-cream and flavours,
    in chunks and in bits:
    in fact, it’s all rather a muddle;
    out on the table, it patiently sits
    until all that you’re left is a puddle.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 4, 2011 11:32 PM

      Door-way: A Pet In Transition

      Dog hair and dander,
      with fleas and with ticks:
      a mongrel who’s rather a mud-hole;
      there in the hallway, it silently sits
      until all that you’re left is a puddle.

  24. Parisa permalink
    June 4, 2011 11:25 AM

    À rebours or How I Learned to Love the Apple

    Crème Caramel was always my fave –
    For it when young, I really did crave
    Pale custard middle, darker on top
    They didn’t sell that in ye olde tucke shoppe
    Crème brulée is great too
    Oh my – what to do
    I fancy some now but
    Mustn’t be a glut
    Goes straight to the thighs
    Ho hum (& with sighs)

    Oh well – she says crunching an apple
    Or possibly downing some boring old Snapple.
    Ice cream is yum
    With cranberry and plum
    Coffee has a strong grip
    Pomegranate with no pip
    Asparagus I’ll pass on
    Though good with fresh salmon.
    Too bad – there it is
    Guess that’s po-biz

    Now what was I here for?
    Ah yes – not to ignore
    Too much cold gooey stuff
    Makes your tummy sore!

    ~

    Hey Mishari & hello folk –

    Hope all is going good. I am really glad to see that Mishari is up & about again – back to his old self. I hadn’t visited PH for a bit but – & not to remind you, M – but last time you weren’t buying ice-cream machines! Anyway – I hope you’re as fit as you sound – that’s fab. Have a lovely Spring/Summer you guys & take care!

    stay cool – hang loose –
    Andrea/Parisa

    ~

    Easy Peasy Creme Caramel recipe:

    Total Time:
    1 hr 10 min
    Prep
    10 min
    Cook
    1 hr 0 min

    Yield:
    8 servings

    `
    Ingredients

    * 1 cup sugar
    * 5 eggs
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt
    * 3 cups milk
    * 1 teaspoon vanilla
    * Fresh whipped cream, for garnish
    * Sprigs of mint, for garnish

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Butter 8 (6-ounce) custard cups. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt 1/2 cup sugar with a couple drops of water, stirring constantly until it is a light brown syrup. Pour syrup into buttered cups. Place cups in baking pan for easy handling.

    In large bowl with mixer at low speed, beat eggs, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar until lemon-colored. Gradually beat in milk and vanilla. Once mixture has settled, with all air bubbles out, pour mixture into cups.

    Pour hot water into baking pan to within 1-inch of top of cups. Bake 1 hour or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool, loosen custard with knife; invert.

    Cook’s Note: Try sprinkling ground nutmeg on each custard before baking.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 4, 2011 11:35 PM

      *Yum*

  25. Reine permalink
    June 4, 2011 7:15 PM

    Hi Parisa, thanks for the recipe. I have no great success with custard-type recipes but maybe this will be the exception. Hope you are keeping well; hectic activity in cuckoo-ville I see. R

  26. Reine permalink
    June 4, 2011 9:30 PM

    Eggsit Strategy

    Let me sink my bottom
    Into your bain, Marie
    Your watery, warm haven
    Will do the trick for me

    I feel I’m cracking up
    My insides almost curdling
    Let me in quick please Marie
    I’m towards your tin bath hurdling

    I’ve got my ceramic togs on
    I won’t pollute your pool
    Just want to slosh about a bit
    Let me in please, don’t be cruel

    Up yours Marie, you tight-ass bitch
    When did you become so mean?
    “You can’t come in here any more
    You never leave it clean”

    I can’t help it if I spill a bit
    Or prematurely leak
    Jesus, I’m a souffle
    I have to reach a peak

    Well, you’ve burst my bubble there Marie
    Your waters can stay virgin
    This is the last time I’ll succumb
    To your lapping, wavy urgin’

    I’m going to change direction
    Become an amuse bouche
    Slip into a snazzy shot glass
    Stay cool, play it more louche

    So good luck with everything Marie
    Now you can lick creme caramel
    You’re just a tepid lapping slapper
    No, really, I wish you well

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 4, 2011 11:38 PM

      Brilliant result (of a fevered brain!)

    • Reine permalink
      June 5, 2011 1:38 PM

      Parisa sowed the seed and it just burst into flower … or something like that.

      Flicking channels last night (very poor offerings all ’round) I started watching a film on BBC with Clint Eastwood, The Gauntlet. When I say with, he was not on the couch beside me rather in the film. Not one of his best by a long shot, speaking of which that was mostly what went on – lots of shooting and fraught escape scenes etc. Clint is sent to bring a feisty witness from Vegas to Phoenix and after a shaky start, they fall madly in love (though not so much as a kiss passes between them unless I nodded off which is quite possible). She has been held at gunpoint in a hotel room by a very powerful man – in this case she was the prostitute he ordered- the Commissioner who tries to thwart them at every turn to prevent her testifying. Well, it all works out in the end. What struck me most though is how very exciting such a film must have seemed in a pre-media saturated age on its release in 1977. No wonder everyone thought Americans were bonkers, trigger-happy types (notwithstanding the accuracy of that impression in some cases).

      The only other thing I watched was an episode of Grand Designs revisited, featuring an annoyingly smug couple who built a house on a lake in Scotland. She looked a bit like the Lady of Shallot, not that I wish her the same sorry end. I think she just pressed my hair envy and house envy buttons simultaneously and all I could think was they have this fabulous house but they seem to be complete dry shites so they will never have any decent parties. “Never envy anyone” Granny always said and I try not to but sometimes, when my defences are low, it creeps in. Sorry Granny.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 6, 2011 12:33 AM

      I walked past the place Grand Designs did on the IOW yesterday. It’s a huge dark wooden box which ought to make the owners die of shame. We have a fantasy of lugging a flame-thrower along there and barbecuing them in their own modishly stained timber dwelling.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 6, 2011 12:36 AM

      Good poem, too (sorry, overwhelmed by architectural rage).

    • Reine permalink
      June 6, 2011 8:51 PM

      Shallot/Shalott

      The Lady of Shallot
      Was distantly related
      To the Lady of Shalott
      Though not as often feted

      While the former peeled small onions
      For her hearty winter stews
      The latter pared her bunions
      And longed to hear some news

      Of life abroad in Camelot
      Specifically of Lance
      She wished that he could take her out
      One Friday for a dance

      The Lady of Shallot
      When all is said and done
      Was luckier than her cousin
      Who down the river, dun

      Floated in her boat
      Wan, heart-sick and sore
      Poor long haired lady died aboard
      And weave she would no more

      Meanwhile the Lady of Shallot
      Made a rustic coq au vin
      Coq and vin, her favourite things
      Flavoured with shallot and sin

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 6, 2011 11:55 PM

      I weep for the Lady of Shallot.

  27. mishari permalink*
    June 4, 2011 11:09 PM

    A Generation ago, the very idea that a British politician would go to Ireland to see how to run an economy would have been laughable. The Irish Republic was seen as Britain’s poor and troubled country cousin, a rural backwater on the edge of Europe. Today things are different. Ireland stands as a shining example of the art of the possible in long-term economic policy-making, and that is why I am in Dublin: to listen and to learn.

    After centuries of lower incomes, Irish average incomes are now 20 per cent higher than in the UK. After being held back for decades, the productivity of Irish companies — the yardstick of economic performance — has grown three times as quickly as ours over the past ten years. Young Irish families once emigrated in their millions to seek a better life overseas; these days it is young people across Europe who come to Ireland to find good jobs. Dublin’s main evening newspaper even carries a Polish-language supplement.

    Ireland is no longer on the edge of Europe but is instead an Atlantic bridge. High-tech companies such as Intel, Oracle and Apple have chosen to base their European operations there.

    What has caused this Irish miracle, and how can we in Britain emulate it? — George Osborne, in The Times, 23. 2. 2006

    Relax, George…you’ve done a bang-up job of emulating it: now we’re as fucked as they are.

    • Reine permalink
      June 5, 2011 1:42 PM

      I hope for all your sakes, you are not quite that fucked.

  28. Parisa permalink
    June 5, 2011 4:13 AM

    Hey Reine & Hic – I may try that brown bread recipe – looks rather tasty. It’s always the sugar though – though I do have a bit of a sweet tooth, have to say – & in summer time when it’s steaming hot – ice cream always goes down a treat.

    Btw, Mishari, I’ve tried that Preparation H thingy under my eyes – it really works – it’s been going for yonks. (I don’t mean me!) That second wife (third?) sounded good – ie being a cook & all & with a lovely family – I’ve only done the nuptials bit three times – & none of my significant others were a good cook until now – so I’m sticking!

    All best, Andrea

  29. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 6, 2011 11:54 PM

    Rich Flavours

    Our ice cream has the best ingredients,
    ethically sourced and fully organic,
    its flavours are profound, rich and intense,
    a sensual experience. Try a lick.

    This variety we call Mother’s Milk,
    we usually buy the base from abroad
    it’s finely textured and smooth as silk:
    extensive hygiene screenings are secured.

    All ethnic groups are covered by our buyers,
    should racial interests come in to play,
    and, of course, all of our suppliers
    are compensated by our partners, Nestle.

    In the Erotic Range, Pink Surrender
    is very highly regarded by some,
    but if you prefer a different gender
    you may possibly be tempted by Come.

    Would you care to… no? Very well, now this
    is popular with some of our clients,
    and it’s become known as Essence Of Piss.
    Our chaps are still working on the science,

    it’s still too yellow and harsh on the throat,
    owing, we think, to problems in selection:
    there can be a strong alcoholic note
    depending on the day of collection.

    We also have some amusing proxies:
    this brown one, for instance, you might compare
    to chocolate, or one of the lighter coffees –
    don’t lick it! Oh… there’s a bucket over there.

    • Reine permalink
      June 6, 2011 11:59 PM

      You have a warped mind. Love, pot.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 7, 2011 12:14 AM

      Thanks, kettle.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 7, 2011 12:31 AM

      100 up for the Vision. Congratters.

    • Reine permalink
      June 7, 2011 9:24 AM

      Thanks, I don’t know who is reading it. I may be responsible for a rise in national patriotism levels yet and get a medal from the President (although I would prefer earrings tbh).

      I tried a Paul Durcan one for its Mayo appeal but really only he with his ott delivery can make anything of them.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 7, 2011 12:23 PM

      Quite prosy, the Durcan, I thought: hard to take in the details from a recitation, which led me to find and read the poem. I hadn’t come across him before.

      Another cough. You should see someone about that.

  30. Reine permalink
    June 7, 2011 1:35 PM

    Oh, sweet Jesus, you’re not serious? Just checked, you are serious. I think I’ll leave it as a kind of signature.

    Durcan has strong connections with Westport, his mother’s uncle was John McBride (married to Maud Gonne, muse to Yeats), executed in 1916 for his part in the Rising. His first collection is titled O Westport in the Light of Asia Minor. Billy isn’t a fan as far as I recall; I’d imagine Durcan is way too much the windbag for his tastes. He is a windbag, there is no denying it. I like that poem though, suppose because it encapsulates some of my own internal town mouse/country mouse conflict.

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