Britta's proud post on the creation of Bavarian Cream, coupled with a little trip I made down Nostalgia Avenue last night, has got me thinking about some of the lighter aspects of my past.
Every time - and I mean every time - my mother made any dessert involving fresh cream, I played the same trick on her, and it also worked every time. It is a very simple one which you could try yourself at home, but since my mother is now dead and I do all the cooking, I rarely get the opportunity to carry it out these days.
She would dish out the pudding with a mound of cream on top, and I would take a spoonful of it and pull a slightly sour face as I sniffed at it gingerly. "Do you think this cream has gone off?" I would ask, and hold the spoon out so she could take a sniff as well.
As soon as she got within range, I would quickly bring the spoon up, leaving her with a dollop of the white stuff on the end of her nose.
She never got wise to this little joke, and could never understand why I found it so funny. Having gone through the war years, she hated waste, but her only party-trick that I was ever aware of was her ability to wrap her tongue completely around her own nose to lick it off. Actually, that, and playing 'Nola' very badly on the piano about once a year.
I cannot imagine how some women would react to this 'joke' these days, and I think I got off extremely lightly every time I played it on my mother.
I had a girlfriend once who did all the cooking, and was usually pretty pleased to do it as well. She was the classic product of an American Jewish mother - another American Jewish mother.
It was from her that I learned how to make the perfect cheesecake (it HAS to be Philadelphia cheese, btw), but despite this, I have never made a cheesecake in my life.
One day, she was cooking a great pot of spaghetti for me and her daughter, and was trying to decide if it was cooked or not.
I managed to irritate her from a sedentary position at the laid table by informing her that the correct way to test if spaghetti was properly cooked is to throw it at the wall. A cooked strand of spaghetti will stick to a painted wall, whereas an undercooked one will fall off.
Without a word, she picked up the entire pot and threw it with great force at the kitchen wall. Most of it stuck.
Her 4 year-old daughter and me looked at each other for a couple of seconds, then all three of us burst out laughing.
I cannot remember what we ate that night.