Salford, 12th February 2017
I have a vague recollection of Local Authority school puddings.
I speak of course of school dinners.
The sweet smell coming from the ovens whilst great vats of sweet smelling sauce bubbled away on a stove away from the main course.
The very idea of cabbage (or worse, curry) permeating through the desert ovens was a nightmare reserved specifically for Mathematics classes. Horrors unleashed over a protractor or set square. Thankfully, the cooks saved us from that.
Of course, there were likes and dislikes.
Pears in Syrup with cream (or if you were lucky – Chocolate custard), Peaches in Cream (or Custard) and Fruit Cocktail were regulars on the pudding menu – Fruit Yogurt on Odd days, and if it were something special – Angel Delight. Of course, the good stuff was always balanced out with the bad – Prunes made an appearance on more than one occasion – and it took a load of Condensed Milk or Custard to take the taste away.
The Chocolate sponge and Apple pie always ended up with empty plates – They always covered the pie with vanilla custard, so thick – it would coat the back of the spoon and refused to budge. Mash up the sponge in the custard, and it made an interesting (but very tasty ) Mix, and very little ended up in the slop heading for the litter bins. Jam covered sponge (mostly strawberry) and Fruit sponge (mostly sultanas) were also favourites
Tapioca – a lesson in life if ever there was one and Rice pudding were regular puddings, if you got the rice pudding – you always got a drop of strawberry (or damson) jam
it changed your rice a different colour when you swirled it round.
And despite you all meeting up in the hall, and getting your dinner together – there would always be more than one goldilocks moaning her sponge and custard were cold.
As I got older – I understood where they were coming from.