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Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Custard karma

Married couples find "surprise" gifts almost impossible to devise. If either of us has a need or a whim we don't hang around. Time isn't on our side. The mutu-gift (opera DVDs, champagne) is one solution.

That leaves the "mini surprise" – something  cheap  to be opened on the day. This Christmas I bought VR a bottle of Advocaat, a Dutch liqueur that looks like, and tastes like, alcoholic custard. How strange, you say. Aren't the Rs pinot noir fans? He's finally off his rocker.

I mentioned this to younger daughter, Occasional Speeder, and she knew why I'd done it. So did VR opening the wrapping.

Edna, VR's mum, liked Advocaat. Over several evenings we drank the yellow stuff (Don't think booze, think dessert) and reminisced about her.

In pre-credit-card days I found a suit in Folkestone (Edna's home town) but they wouldn't take a cheque. Edna said hang on, disappeared upstairs, handed me over the requisite cash.

Suspicious of anything new, Edna had problems visiting us in Pittsburgh. Yet I told her she'd like whisky sours and she did. Not too inflexible.

Regarding the US Edna believed I was kidnapping her daughter and grandchild (Professional Bleeder). Yet looked after PB for a fortnight during our valedictory tour of Europe.

I didn't like my Dad much. However, introduced to Edna at our wedding, he said: "I bet you could still get into your wedding dress." Edna just managed to suppress her (favourable) reaction, knowing it was true.  Briefly I approved of my Dad.

Like most young married couples living in London we were desperately poor. But on return journeys from Folkestone in our hideous Austin Cambridge there was always comfort on the back seat: a leg of lamb, chicken, brisket.

13 comments:

The Crow said...

A good mother; even better mother-in-law, it seems. I haven't any Advocaat this morning, but I lift my cup of coffee in salute.

Occasional Speeder said...

When you were skiing (early 1980s?) she came to stay. She hurt her tooth on a piece of walnut in a cake from M&S. She grumbled so I wrote to them and complained - enclosing nut piece. They wrote back in 4 days with a £5 voucher and humble apologies. I gave this to her and after initially refusing it (as she did) we both decided to splurge it on many sweet things in the food hall. It was a very rare but memorable moment.

Roderick Robinson said...

Crow: See terms/conditions:

This list is...

OS: How come I've never heard this anecdote before? Edna had a sweet tooth - was consumption as pleasurable as acquisition? Was she eventually entertained by the idea of getting summat...

The Crow said...

Did I miss something again? I thought your post, like drinking the Advocaat, was a compliment to Edna. Isn't she the one who gave you the silk boxers you wrote about?

I didn't find the terms and conditions.

Joe Hyam said...

A cocktail, not to my taste but popular at the time, comes to mind. It consisted of a mixture of Advocaat and lemonade. It was called a snowball.

The Crow said...

I found what you meant by terms and conditions, which I did not set, nor would I ask/expect you to abide by such.

When I wrote that you had redeemed yourself, in response to one of Mike's comments two posts ago, I was complimenting your humor - referring to him as Quasimodo. It made me laugh out loud. It was funny. Something else I'd neither ask nor expect of you.

Lucy said...

Snowballs were one of the first alcoholic things (as you say, you can't really say drinks) I came to like, probably at age about 11. I then made myself a bit queasy on them, and didn't drink it again till much later, and discovered it was rather nice. I'd try it again now, I think. I also remember a radio advert for Bols Advocaat with Barry Humphreys as Dame Edna, for which I can find no on-line reference whatever.

Really nice post. I like it that Edna always gave you meat items. I also like it that Advocaat has two 'a's together in it.

Blonde Two said...

You all have it wrong - I remember, from visits to a German family as a youngster, Advocaat on ice-cream. It was, as I remember, delicious.

My own mother-in-law use to muddle up the green pitted vegetable and the custard drink in her pronunciation and gave us "advocados" with our prawns.

mike M said...

is it pronounced Advo-Cat or Advo-Kate?24332949

Roderick Robinson said...

Crow No. 2/Joe/Crow No. 3/Lucy/B2/MikeM: I'm now told 30-word comment limit was a mistake. I'm not sure. Terser RR more lovable, more extinguishable. Vote yes for lovable RR, no for off-at-the-mouth RR (ie, same old stuff). Limited re-comments start after colon:

Crow 2: My intention - not to compliment Edna, be real about her. Sorry: haven't used up quota.

Joe: Unavailable in Bowling Green Lane area. Did it designate a certain type of drinker. Rest of quota (see above) not used.

Crow 3: Why not? I'm smart, stupid and honourable. Complimenting my humour (note spelling - eg, example of "humour") like Anne Boleyn approving of axe's sharpness. Hey, less than 30!

Lucy: You got me worried. I emerged from Great Nutch Storm looking stupid and forgetful. Signs here not looking good. Edna good on meat - true! Never Advocaaahhh; little knowledge, etc.

B2: Ask for it at What-was-it? Tor café and they'd burn your boots. An androgynous drink, I fear. Like tonic and bitters (my secret quaffage). Stick with Cointreau.

MikeM: Neither. Advo-caht. Thanks for under-30-word question.

marja-leena said...

I remember first having Advocaat at my then future in-laws, they called it egg liqueur in German. One Christmas my mother-in-law made her own with lots of egg yolks, cream, sugar and vodka. Yum. It's been a long time since I've had it as I seemed to have lost my taste for it. Still, a nice memory awakened by this post and curiously related re mother-in-laws!

Roderick Robinson said...

M-L. New 30-word limit applies to my comments and re-comments. Starting now:
VR/I would never choose advocaat normally: self-mortifying gesture really. If memory was "nice" gesture didn't work; I looked for reality. Warts and all. (Whoopee! Six words short.)

mike M said...

no