Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the gimp in the bright blue mask

friday last did not start at all well. i had a feeling that i had a dentist appointment but could not remember the time. i had been prevaricating for a couple of months anyway; the root canal that was promised had no hold over me. i rang the dentist to find that i had to be there in 15 minutes, cowbridge to bridgend. quick change, no shower and a quick brush of the teeth to remove the last of the morning's conflakes and i was in the car. five minutes late, i arrived. usually you have to wait another 20 minutes or so, while the overbooking sorts itself out and you take up your seat at the time allotted for someone else. usually i'm not a fan, on root canal day, i may have been, had not my thoughts been interrupted by the call for a 'wayne thomas?' Son of a bitch, i was up and walking in. usual pleasantries over with and i'm sat in the chair, huge liz taylor glasses over my own and the whirr of a drill behind my right ear. regular readers of this blog will know that when this tooth really started to kick, i would have done anything to be in the position that i was now in, but now the tooth had stopped kicking. out came the filling and then out came the big metal thing and the bluee latex mask.

i have a 'thing' about knowing what is about to happen to me, so i stopped mr owen in his tracks and demanded, in my meekest voice, 'what's all this for'. 'just put the pool ball between your teeth and bite down' he replied. actually no he didn't, he said, 'this is to isolate the tooth and for the next twenty minutes i had a piece of blue latex obscuring my mouth completely with a big metal frame, rather like a clamp, keeping it stretched. i have a feeling that the cheeky so-and-so was also hanging bits of kit on the side of my mouth. by this time i was too scared to care. i tried to meditate, failed misearbly and then it was all over, new glass stuff in my mouth and a threat of something in three months.

to celebrate, lets have some sweet recipes. the cooking sensation of the moment is the elderflower meringue, so lets have that.

elderflower cordial.

you will need about 15-20 good sprigs of elderflower
50 ml lemon juice
500g sugar
500ml water.

add the lemon juice, water and sugar to a pan and boil for 2 minutes to make a stock syrup, everything should be dissolved. this is a sweet one because i need that for the next bit. whilst hot, add the washed elderflower (there is tons around) and steep in the hot liquid. allow to cool than strain through a clean tea towel or muslin.

elderflower meringue mousse; this makes quite a lot

6 egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
60 ml elderflower cordial
350g caster sugar

place in a large bowl and place over a pan of simmering water, so that the bowl is suspended above the water, it must not touch. using an electric whisk, whisk the mixture until it reaches a temperature of 70 C. take off the heat and continue whisking until thick and stiff. cool and transfer to a plastic container. place in the freezer until needed. this is a great method and can also be used to make queen of puddings, snowdon's pudding, baked alaska etc.



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