Friday, 27 February 2015

An Ode to Custard



A good friend of mine had the excellent fortune to marry an extremely lovely woman.  Unfortunately for the rest of us, she’s from America, so they went out there to get married, and that’s where they’ve stayed, except from occasional visits.  While out in the US, he has occupied himself in raising three wonderful children and developing an accent.  He has however been pining for British foods, including proper British tea, black pudding, decent chocolate (now prohibited in the colonies, and available only in back-room speak-easies run by the mob), and Marmite (there’s no accounting for taste…).  He has also been craving proper custard, and asked me whether I’d ever written an ode to custard, and if not, why not? 

I had to admit, to my great shame, that I had never turned my keyboard to the task of composing a panegyric in praise of this peak of perfectly pleasant pudding peripherals, and promised that I would do so.  Here then is the fruit of my labour (best served in a crumble, with lots of custard), dedicated to Ian Barrs.

Credit must go to Mark Wilson for coming up with a word that rhymes with ‘fluid’.


An Ode to Custard

Why does Birds suddenly appear,
Whenever pudding hastens near?
Greatest garnish, finest sauce!
(Other brands exist of course.)
It tastes like heaven, looks like mustard,
Hail the joy that’s known as custard!

No silly fad, no passing phase,
Is our love of crème anglais.
Brewed up first by ancient druids,
Best of non-Newtonian fluids,
All of human skill was mustered,
To steal the god’s ambrosia, custard.

It’s stormed our minds and won our hearts,
As a filling for our tarts.
It eases stress and makes us mellow,
With its lurid shade of yellow.
Bringing joy when life is bumpy,
Just make sure it’s not too lumpy!

Enjoyed in palaces and yurts,
This, the best of just desserts.
Eat it breakfast, eve and noon,
Drink it down or use a spoon.
Have it cold or have it hot,
Just make sure you have a lot!

Good with pies and cake and crumble,
Unpretentious, ever humble.
Soul’s desire, and fondest wish,
This, our nation’s greatest dish.
So if you’re getting stressed or flustered,
Have a bowl of lovely custard!

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