"and this bird you cannot change...ohhhhhh....*twelve minute guitar solo*...." ahem. Don't mind me, I'm just practically floating due to the enormous weight lifted from my shoulders - to wit - my last photography class was today. Hence why I've been humming Freebird (a song that will forever remind me of my parents dancing at their 25th wedding anniversary party four years ago...and yes, there's much more to Lynyrd Skynyrd than Sweet Home Alabama for those of you who only have the Forest Gump soundtrack...)
Because I'm feeling so darn sweet I've decided to stick to pudding photos tonight...dinner can wait for another day. Last night I was in a sort of crazy limbo zone - I'd submitted my final assignment for photography but I still had today's class to get through. However after all the many hours of my life that had gone into it (let me tell you, it's not fun walking home through the red light district in torrential rain at 9.30pm and knowing you have to go back again tomorrow to wrangle photoshop) I decided that a small pudding would be appropriate. So; crumble for two.
Above: I didn't follow Nigella's recipe at all (I'm talking about the Jumbleberry Crumble from Nigella Express) apart from cooking times, but I definitely credit her with the inspiration. I mean, I didn't have anything resembling "jumbleberries" and I always just make up my own crumble toppings...but I wouldn't have thought to make it had I not been flicking through this book.
My version ended up having a base of canned peaches and a sliced apple. Low-rent, sure, but I love canned peaches, and I have a bit of a nostalgic view of them (well, as nostalgic as someone who only turned 22 last month can possibly be) since quite a few of the puddings I had as a child involved canned peaches...Peach crumble, for one thing, but also peach sponge-topped pudding, peaches and ice cream, peaches, cornflakes and evaporated milk...I tend to make a lot of crumble topping - even for two smallish ramekins - out of foresight, because there's no use pretending I won't eat half of it before it gets sprinkled on the fruit. Have you ever tried raw crumble topping? There's something incredible about that combo of butter, brown sugar, flour...I also craftily added a large spoonful of custard powder which gave a certain creaminess to the crumble mixture, and made the fruit somehow saucier. Anyway before your arteries start throbbing in sympathy I added rolled oats to this as well which means that the butter barely even counts. These were so delicious - I don't make crumble that much, but every time I do it feels like the perfect, unimprovable pudding and I wonder why the heck I ever make anything else.
Above: Buddino Di Cioccolata, half done. I knew I was going to want something rather ridiculous for pudding tonight to celebrate. What could be more ridiculous than this silky, silky chocolate pudding? (also from Nigella Express)
I used some of my Donovan's 80% dark chocolate purchased from the Wellington Food Show. I only tried the milk (which is 50%) at the show, so I couldn't resist having a nibble of this...I was very impressed, it was smooth and dark and slightly bitter but rounded (not sure if I'm describing this properly here) and perfect to counter the richness of this pudding. No recipe this time because I just can't be bothered but I found a copy of it here (sorry it's in American measurements though!)
Above: I took this photo on top of our washing machine. The cup was part of a Living Kitchen set that my flatmates got me for my 21st last year and as you can see, doesn't just have to be used for measuring...This chocolate pudding was just so silky, I realise that's the third time I've used the word but I just can't think of a more pertinent synonym right now. Seriously, the texture is amazing, and provided you have fairly decent cocoa and chocolate, so is the flavour. Tim, Paul and I ate this while watching Scrubs tonight (that show has managed not to jump the shark yet, am I right? Mind you, there was that musical episode...) and all agreed that yes, Nigella is high priestess of the universe. What better way to celebrate never having to stress about photog again than with chocolate?
Speaking of amazing women...I'm sorry to keep bothering you with Idina Menzel videos (*voice offstage* "you're not sorry at all!") but truly, I am continually astounded by Youtube. (and her, obvs.) Just when I think there can't be much left to find, a video will pop up that I've never seen before. Tim, bless him, keeps pretending to be interested when I relay this information to him. Tonight I discovered what is allegedly Idina's first performance of Over The Moon from when Rent moved to Broadway. Even if it's not, it's the only video of this song that I've seen from that era - 1996! - and it's an amazing piece of history...
Thank you deeply for the ongoing well-wishing during my photography class, I hope I didn't come across as too petulant (even though most of the time I probably was being petulant) because I did get a lot out of the class and also appreciate all your kind words! Here's hoping next term isn't quite so stressful. If I sound a little manic in this post, well, you already know why. I still have two exams to get through but it's amazing how much lighter my brain feels already. Oh, and funnily enough all this business with my photography assignment hasn't put me off Tetris. In the Guinness Book of Records Gamers Edition (yes, such things exist), I found that the record score was 9,999,999. I think I've got it in me to challenge that...