A stranger is parked in our driveway today.|
This morning, a middle-aged Chinese woman, who smiled a lot and was very polite and very very earnest, knocked on the door AND rang the bell and asked - pleaded, almost - if she could park in our driveway.
I couldn't quite make out where she needed to go, because she had an extremely strong accent and I'm not totally sure she was saying that part in English (she seemed to be having a somewhat stressful morning and English was clearly not her primary language; she might have forgotten to), but I think, from what I could make out and from her gestures, she was going to Princess Margaret Hospital For Children, which is walking-distance from our house.
There's very limited parking there and in this area.
However, I was willing to believe her need was genuine, given that she left her car key here in case we needed to move her car out of the way.
Sure, we're not going to steal her car, because patently, if nothing else, she knows where we live, but there's a fair amount of trust involved in leaving the key to it here, regardless.
I couldn't say no, and didn't. I was almost certainly going to say yes regardless, because she seemed very genuine, but if she's desperate enough to leave the key to her car here, she's definitely in real need, and the possibility that it will be A Problem is slim, because hey, I can move her car if I have to.
Of course, unless it's an emergency, I don't plan to do anything with her key but leave it on the table where I can be sure to find it easily when she comes back.
Still. Disconcerting moment, that. Despite the fact that we live in an area where parking is at a severe premium at the best of times, that's never actually happened before.
Meanwhile, today I've been cooking things.
First, my own invented Chocolate Custard Mousse, because I have a couple of friends coming over, who both love it. (Although the younger of the two was less than a year old last time he had it, I think, so it will probably be a fresh surprise.) I wanted to make it very fresh so that it wouldn't at all risk being pregnancy-unfriendly, since the older of my guests is in fact pregnant and already miserable with morning sickness, so I hardly want to give her food poisoning.
This is how you make it:
Step 1: Make custard. I use gluten-free custard powder, which I also find tastes better anyway, but this is up to you. Make it a reasonably thick custard.
Step 2: When the custard is about done, break up some chocolate and melt it into the custard, stirring gently until it's all melted and spread evenly through. (Doesn't have to be perfect, because this stuff will be whipped later.)
Step 3: Allow to cool. If making for pregnant friends and wanting to be paranoid, check regularly; when it has reached a state of reasonable coolness, proceed to step 4 without delay.
Step 4: Transfer to mixing bowl Add some whipping cream. (You'll note quantities are inexact; they don't have to be very exact, is why, and it depends how much you want to end up with.) Whip as if it were cream until it acquires a paler colour and a fluffier look.
It will be tasty.
I am also working on making sago pudding, but I'm not going to risk posting a recipe until I see if it works.
The thing with that is that my mother used to make a sago pudding when I was a kid that I *loved* - then Mum didn't make it for ages, and she forgot how. Most of the recipes I see for sago pudding-type things involve milk, which is patently wrong - the one my mother made was translucent and made with fruit juice, not milky and blurgh.