Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Twitching in the kitchen

I'm a fan of cooking, and have been ever since, as a kid, I figured out that the best way of getting to lick out the cake tin was to make the cake yourself. There've been a few bumps on the way - the time, for instance, I decided to make fried rice by, er, pouring dry rice onto a frying pan and, er, frying it. But mostly it's been a pretty sweet relationship, as you'd expect for something involving so much sugar and butter and milk and treacle and sultanas. 

So, you'd think that, after all this time, I'd know how to cook something so simple and basic as a good apple crumble, right? Wrong; even now I still manage to get this quite obvious recipe wrong. Apples, sugar, flour, and butter make a surprisingly large amount of combinations together:

 Apple fumble
This was a very obvious error on my part. After stewing the apples sufficiently, I somehow thought that the way you made apple crumble was mixing together the sugar and butter and flour, and then stirring it through the whole apple mixture and putting it in the oven. I learned my mistakes from that one pretty quickly.

Apple bumble
Bearing in mind the lesson from the previous week's Apple fumble experiment, I nevertheless somehow contrived to stuff up the entire recipe by adding altogether too much butter so that what resulted on top was not a crumble, but a thin gruel that seeped through the entire mixture anyway, just like the fumble.

Apple humble
On one or two occasions I have managed to turn out a fairly decent Apple humble. And no-wonder I'm humble about it, too, because it's not me doing it at all, I'm just following a recipe out of the Stephanie Alexander cookbook sitting on our shelf.

Apple grumble
You would think that I would have been content to follow that recipe ever after but, oh, no. I just went back to my old ideas about throwing this and that and what have you together and producing something even worse than you'd expect. At this point when I see what happens, I add the grumbles, the crucial ingredient for the dessert, and everyone applauds.

I could go on; and I probably will go on, in future, producing endless variations on this theme. What next? Apple stumble (smashed crockery)? Apple rumble (a dessert that makes you run for the toilet?) It is a dreadful vision of things to come, all right.


Anonymous said...

Apple rumble - from the cast of West Side Story

Anonymous said...

And, when I read the title I initially thought the piece would be about bird-watching in the kitchen. Alas, that will be another story.

Hey, maybe if I'm feeling adventurous and energetic I'll make rhubarb and apple crumble for 'afters' on Cheese Sunday. That would be Apple Rhumble...

TimT said...


Anonymous said...

As a practising food artist I often make Apple Scumble - scumbling as you well know is 'To soften the colors or outlines of (a jam tart, bread pudding, or crumbly object of lustful deviant devouring gratificationary yearnings)by covering with a film of opaque or semiopaque color or by rubbing.'
I often frame my Apple Scumbles, but often like to see them unencumbered, positioned strategically on gallery walls, in seductive and most lascivious postures - this has been controversial in the past, and I have indeed been called 'The naughty Avant tartist of the scumbled crumbled thing-in-itself'. But where would life be without such transgressive adventures?


Phillipe de Montewurgle-Fraccon

flipsockgrrl said...

Seduced by the golden crust and the cinnamon fragrance, my guests upped spoons and eagerly dug in. As they savored the first mouthful, each person's expression became first puzzled and then, in quick succession, thoughtful and slightly furtive.

"Mmm, it's... mmm... very, really quite... mmmm," said one, lifting her napkin to her mouth. The others followed her lead, emitting a muffled chorus of reviews from behind starched white linen.

Success. I had invented the apple mumble.

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