Dessert Island

Well: now that the gravy situation has been smoothed out, we can focus all the more clearly on what follows our savoury. I have long suspected some unidentified Great Desserts of the Fifties cookbook has provided the backbone of our meals here. Let me pay tribute.

Our first night we were met with an outstanding bread pudding – more of a bar, really – just chewy enough, with fruit, probably apples, huddled somewhere in the sweet middle. We’ve had raisin delight, butter tarts, chocolate wheat puff squares, rice krispie squares, a chocolate-cornflake concoction, almond crunch made with cornflakes and coconut (there’s not much you can’t do with breakfast cereal, one of us astutely observed between bites). There were gooey chocolatey coconut drop cookies, which one colonist identified as hermits (very fitting). And an absolutely heavenly rhubarb crumble, freshly crisp and perfectly sweet.

But let’s be honest: what can round out a simple chicken dinner (with gravy) better than a tub of chocolate and vanilla ice cream that you scoop out yourself and eye through the meal until it has just that perfect gloss that tells you the moment of ice cream bliss – the happy balance of smooth and soft but still frozen – has been reached and it’s time to apply the spoon.

On the other hand, yesterday’s lunch triggered something…


O red mystery, o berry
of the world’s branch.

Powder of my childhood
lunchbox, a fingerdip surprise
for snack time, cherry dust
in a tupperware nest…

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