Welcome to Diana's Blog

I blog about anything that interests me - my local area, things I've seen or heard on the news, politics and human rights, gardening, arts and crafts, poetry, photographs and general advice.

And, when you've finished reading, don't forget to leave a comment - I love hearing from people



Tuesday, 19 August 2014


How to Make Custard the Easy Way, to go With Pudding and Trifle


The Secret of Making Smooth Custard to pour over your Pudding

this lens' photo
Custard is a delicious accompaniment to any pudding -
but does your custard turn out lumpy?

What goes wrong? How do you stop the lumps forming in the first place, or, if necessary, get rid of the lumps in your custard once you've made it?

The secret of lump-free custard is revealed below, and you can benefit from my experience gleaned from making custard regularly whilst I was helping to run a restaurant.


These are the Things You Need to Make Custard




- A jug,
- a measuring jug,
- a measuring spoon,
- a spoon for stirring,
- custard powder,
- milk,
- sugar,
- and, of course, a saucepan


Bird's Custard Powder 300g


Method for Making Perfect Custard:

It's so easy to make custard - just follow the instructions on the packet or tin


Making custard This is the easy way to make custard from a packet or tin – not the gourmet’s way of starting from scratch, using eggs.

We haven’t got time for all that, have we?

As long as it’s quick, simple to make, and tastes nice, that’s all we need worry about.

That’s what you have here, in this recipe, which has been good enough for my family ever since I was a child. And that speaks volumes, because in my family, we all love our food.
  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:
  • Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 2-3 heaped dessert spoons Powdered Custard
  • 1 pint of milk or you can use half milk and half water
  • 1-2 dessert spoons of sugar

Instructions

  1. Basically, you put about 3/4 pint of milk (or part milk, part water although they don't tell you that) to heat up in a saucepan.
  2. Put the required amount of custard powder with l or 2 dessert spoons of sugar, according to how sweet you like it, into a large jug.
  3. Add about a tablespoon full of milk and mix to a smooth paste. Then gradually add a little of the warmed milk, and again mix to a smooth paste. Gradually add all the milk to the jug, and mix thoroughly,
  4. Then pour the whole mixture into the saucepan, and stir furiously whilstheating it slowly on a low heat, to ensure that lumps don't form, being careful to scrape the bottom and sides. Let it bubble and boil for a minute, and you should have smooth and beautiful custard without a lump in sight.
  5. If you have not followed my instructions to the letter, you might have a few lumps, and, as lumpy custard is an abomination, pass the mixture through a strainer into a jug. The strainer will hold back all the lumps.


The Secret of Making Smooth Custard Without Lumps:

Lumpy custard is disgusting!


Have patience:

- Ensure powder is completely
   mixed with liquid
- Add heated milk to mixture in jug
- Mix thoroughly
- Only then pour whole lot into saucepan
- Boil slowly
- Stir constantly
- Squash all lumps as they form


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How to Make Custard



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Some of my Foodie Designs on Zazzle

You Can Get these Designs on a Card, Mug, Shopping Bag, T-Shirt , Apron or Button, on Zazzle


You can even insert your own wording, or choose the colour and style of your items. Zazzle is just such a pleasure to play about with:
                                                  Shopping Bag - 5 Red Tomatoes on the Vine
Shopping Bag – 5 Red Tomatoes on the Vine by GloriousConfusion
Create your own bag at Zazzle.

                                                  Apron - Five Tomatoes Ripened on the Vine
Apron – Five Tomatoes Ripened on the Vine by GloriousConfusion
Make custom print aprons at zazzle.com

                                                  Red Hollyhocks Mugs
Red Hollyhocks Mugs by GloriousConfusion
Check out Hollyhocks Mugs online at zazzle

                                                  Apron -
Apron – "I Love Yummy Home Cooking" Cake by GloriousConfusion
Many more cooking aprons online at zazzle
See more of my designs in my Zazzle Store: Glorious Confusion


Kitchenware on eBay

Why not join an eBay auction and get a Foodie bargain?


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eBay



Leave a Comment - What are your thoughts about custard?

Don't be a cowardy-custard, spill the beans and say what you think



The Sightless - A Short Film





The Sightless - an Eerie Film

First Published on May 3, 2014 by 2nd Year Students, University of Bolton, UK

A short film loosely based on Maurice Maeterlinck' play 'Les aveugles'. 

Very atmospheric.





Thursday, 29 May 2014

Have a Bit of Fun with a Blue-Flashing Kettle

This kettle is such fun - it lights up and flashes blue lights all the time it's heating up....And it's efficient too.

 See my Squidoo review of a similar kettle:

Ovente Glass Electric Kettle with Flashing Blue Lights

Here's a photo of my own kettle - I just love it: 













 

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Women's Rights in Afghanistan

What is it Like to be a Woman in Afghanistan?
                                                                                 

Image: BBC News - South Asia

We all hear snippets of news about how women are treated in Afghanistan, and a little about women's rights in that part of the world, but it was only when I read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini that I really began to realize the full horror of what it was like to be a woman in a culture which values women merely as child-bearing slaves.

 It would not be unreasonable to say that, by Western standards, women's rights in most of Afghanistan are precarious or non-existent.

 Women must obey their husbands, and all the males in their household, including younger brothers.  Even boys treat their mothers in ways which we would consider disrespectful.


Domestic violence (one-way naturally) is normal.  It is not illegal for the men of the household to beat a woman by way of chastisement if she does not do as they wish, and sometimes even the woman's mother-in-law will join in to beat and punish her .  There is no such concept as marital rape, and women do not have any say in the mode or frequency of sex. Basically she is treated as a slave, to do the housework, and to do what her husband and his family tell her to do.  Before marriage, she must obey the males in her household.

In some communities, an Afghan woman must not be seen outside the home without being covered with a burkha from head to toe including her mouth, and nose.  In some cases even her eyes are covered by gauze so that they can't be seen.  Imagine having to walk around in temperatures soaring above 100 degrees muffled up like that so that you don’t attract men's attention and arouse their evil desires. It makes you wonder what sort of animals the men must be if the mere sight of a woman's nose is sufficient to ignite uncontrollable passions. It brings to mind something Golda Meir said many years ago, that if men can't control themselves when they see a woman, it should be the men who are put under curfew, not the women. 

Afghan women must not talk to strange men or any male who is not part of their family, and, of course, must never have physical contact with any man to whom she is not married.

Even if she treads carefully and conducts herself according to the morality of the society in which she lives, the Afghan woman is still likely to be subjected to beatings, but would normally avoid serious injury, such as public stoning, and public whipping,
judicially decreed by the local mullah, not to mention  assault by family members such as having boiling water or acid thrown over her. 

Oh, and I almost forgot – if an Afghan woman brings shame on her family, by refusing to marry the man chosen for her or to whom she has been sold or exchanged for land or other favors,  or if she has a relationship with a man, or behaves in any way which could be viewed as unseemly, her own family might feel morally bound to murder her. Quaintly enough, this would be considered to be an honour killing and would be socially acceptable.


Three thought-provoking films from YouTube about what it’s like to be a woman in Afghanistan.




Saturday, 26 October 2013

Don't Call it Failure - Call it Practising for Success

Many people get discouraged if they don't succeed immediately when they try something. Sometimes the fear of failure is so strong that it even puts them off trying in the first place. But success isn't a black or white conclusion, it is more of an ongoing process, where you learn by your mistakes, try things out, see what works and what doesn't, and begin to understand things better, step-by-step.

There are many sayings and proverbs in the English language which reflect this:

  • "Rome wasn't built in a day"
  • "from the smallest acorn mighty oaks grow" 
  • "Many a slip 'twixt cup and lip"
  • "If you don't ask, you don't get"
  • and even "God helps those who help themselves" 
         ( I can't help adding here "and God help those that do!")
 
And here are some classical oft-repeated sayings which have  become part of our culture:

  • from Confucious, followed by Mao Tse Cheung: "The longest journey starts with a single step"
  • from Aesop's fable, The Tortoise and the Hare:  "Slow and steady wins the race"
  • and from the poet Robert Burns: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again"
                                       ***************

Here's an impressive Tweet from @WMoss. I found it on Clipboard:

"Steve Jobs was born out of wedlock, put up for adoption at birth, dropped out of college, then changed the world. What's your excuse?"

If you want to follow up this subject about how to achieve success, I have expanded on it in my Wizzley article Don't Call it Failure, with a list of things to help you achieve your goals, and a poll.