Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Masterpiece

"Hey, everyone, come and look at my chef-d'oeuvre!" called Son 1 at lunchtime today. A chef-d'oeuvre is a masterpiece, and we all agreed, giving it a 10/10 (parental vote) and 9/10 (begrudging brotherly admiration). The boys have been wonderful this weekend, Son 2 producing a spaghetti bolognese to his own high standard yesterday evening (he does need me hanging around, but it was a whole lot better than making it myself), and Son 1 offering to take on the pudding when I was struggling with Sunday lunch today. He gave himself lots of time, and got everything together to produce this family favourite.
It comes from a Stork Family Cookbook - Ben saved the Stork margerine wrappers for it when we were at university in the late '80s.
The above stage is the weird bit. You mix up a cake-type base and then sprinkle walnuts, sugar and cocoa on top. Over that you pour hot sugary coffee just before it goes into the oven!
It's still very runny and bubbly when you take it out of the oven. Quite wonderful.Now, Ben and the boys did enjoy the pantomime very much. For those who'd like to know more about the pantomime, I've copied a bit from Wikipedia's entry - you can find the full details here.

Performance conventions
The form has a number of conventions, some of which have changed or weakened a little over the years, and by no means all of which are obligatory.

The leading male juvenile character (the 'principal boy') - is traditionally played by a young woman, and usually in tight-fitting male garments (such as breeches) that make her female charms evident.

An older woman (the pantomime dame - often the hero's mother) is usually played by a man in drag.

Risqué double entendre, often wringing innuendo out of perfectly innocent phrases. This is, in theory, over the heads of the children in the audience.

Audience participation, including calls of "He's behind you!" (or "Look behind you!"), and "Oh, yes it is!" and "Oh, no it isn't!" The audience is always encouraged to boo the villain and "awwwww" the poor victims, such as the rejected dame, who usually fancies the prince.

A song combining a well-known tune with re-written lyrics. The audience is encouraged to sing the song; often one half of the audience is challenged to sing 'their' chorus louder than the other half.

The animal, played by an actor in 'animal skin' or animal costume. It is often a pantomime horse or cow, played by two actors in a single costume, one as the head and front legs, the other as the body and back legs.

The good fairy always enters from stage right and the evil villain enters from stage left. In the medieval mystery plays the right side of the stage symbolised Heaven and the left side symbolised Hell.

Sometimes the story villain will squirt members of the audience with water guns or pretend to throw a bucket of 'water' at the audience that is actually full of streamers.

A slapstick comedy routine may be performed, often a decorating or baking scene, with humour based on throwing messy substances. Until the 20th century, British pantomimes often concluded with a harlequinade, a free-standing entertainment of slapstick. Nowadays the slapstick is more or less incorporated into the main body of the show.

In the 19th century, until the 1880s, pantomimes typically included a transformation scene in which a Fairy Queen magically transformed the pantomime characters into the characters of the harlequinade, who then performed the harlequinade.[7]

The Chorus, who can be considered extras on-stage, and often appear in multiple scenes (but as different characters) and who perform a variety of songs and dances throughout the show. Due to their multiple roles they may have as much stage-time as the lead characters themselves.


Michela said...

Hi Floss! ..I'm drooling over your son's cake, it looks yummy and so easy to make! How are you? Could we please have an update for you too on your sidebar? xxx

Andi's English Attic said...

Hahaha! Typical brotherly reaction. I STILL can't get a compliment from my brothers without it being followed by a punchline. The cake looks soooo good, I can almost taste it.
The panto notes are very interesting. I knew most of them, but not that the villain enters sl and the goodies sr. Very helpful to this would-be playwright. Thanks. xx

Catherine said...

Yum Yum!It's great when the kids cook! Long may it continue!

TheMadHouse said...

I think it is wonderful how the children are old enough to muck in. We have had helpers in the kitchen today too. We made button cookies and a victoria sponge!

magsmcc said...

Goodness, thanks for all that research on our behalf- interesting debate on BBC 2 last night on Wikipedia and all Internet associated things- it's a new series called the Virtual Revolution- can you access BBC iplayer outside UK? LOVE the cake! I have an old salvaged copy of The Dairy Cookbook that is a staple here!

Joy said...

Good for them for taking on the cooking and baking for you. That looks wonderful.
♥ Joy

Glenda/MidSouth said...

That is great - Looks like your son is becoming quiet the chef! It is great that you and your husband encourage them.
Have a great week.

Pondside said...

Thanks for the recipes for pudding and pantomime!

Rebecca S. said...

The pudding looks fabulous! I will have to try it. Congratulations to the chefs!

marigold jam said...

Looks delicious!


jus said...

That looks absolutely delicious! My youngest is a natural in the kitchen (she says, just polishing off the last piece of his beautiful lemon cake!) x said...

Floss that cake is making me drool! I hope you are feeling a bit better. How are you getting on? suzie xxx

Sarah said...

Yum yum, that looks lovely. You can't beat Stork recipes. I've got an old Stork recipe book somewhere!
Have a good week.

summerfete said...

Hi tiddly pom!

I made a guess that you would be the first to comment on the tiddly pom, and I was right!

Strangely having just read your chocolate pudding post, I have been reminded of a similar recipe in an old pooh bear cook book.

I've not looked at this book for many years, and there it is. Chocolate surprise pudding!
With the hot liquid added before cooking.

There goes the healthy eating for the year!!

Clare x

Kate said...

Hooray for sibling rivalry - at this rate you may never need to cook again! Son 1 has indeed produced a masterpiece, looks delicious, and I actually think 9/10 is more than mine would give each other.

Do hope you're feeling better.

Anonymous said...

Well done sons 1 and 2 :o)

and many thanks for sharing the recipe x

Lululiz said...

You are blessed with two wonderful boys, they really are amazing.

Oh, and I am so going to try that cake recipe, I literally started drooling when I saw the pics and read the recipe.