Fooled again

Sorry, I have to apologise, my title is very silly… I have decided to make a fruit fool for dessert tomorrow when friends come round for dinner. My friend had a sudden and unexpected and potentially very serious illness, which luckily was caught and she was treated well in our great NHS hospitals and was home after about four days… it makes me a bit shivery to think how dangerous her situation was, and I am so glad all is well and she is recovered. However, it has left her feeling very weak and she tires easily – as much to do with the drug blitz she had, to combat the nasties. When I rang her once she was home I asked if there was anything I could do, get, buy etc… and she said she would love a nice casserole. So I got some steak, carrots, onions, and before long I was knocking on her door with a plastic box full of casserole for her and her husband. I stayed a while for coffee and asked if I could bring something else for the next couple of days, chicken and ham pie perhaps? She thanked me but suggested she would really love to escape the house and come for dinner… so tomorrow she and her lovely husband are coming round for the chicken and ham pie.

I thought we might start with some prawns, just really simply cooked in garlic and butter, then the pie… and then dessert. Just recently I had a great success with a peach and blueberry custard pie from a recipe given to me by another friend – one who I’ve never met but only know on-line…


But then I realised you couldn’t have chicken pie then fruit pie – we would be pie-eyed (sorry… another dreadful pun…) I suggested to my husband that we could have chicken and ham in a sauce with pasta – but no, it had to be chicken and ham pie!

We have some brambles growing along our hedge and we picked some, and I thought I could make a fool, nice and easy… isn’t it? Just custard and fruit? And then I got wondering about the word fool, where does it come from, and is a fruit fool of the same derivation as a silly fool?

The word comes from the old French word, fol, meaning a mad or insane person, and then to be a jester or joker. Originally it could also mean a blacksmith’s bellows – and I’m not sure whether the idea of a thing which is empty and puffed up, like bellows, led to a person who is empty-headed and puffed up being called the same name, or whether the two things emerged from the one original meaning.

However, a fruit fool, a dessert, seems to come from something different, meaning just that, a dessert, and its been with us since the sixteenth century…

So on the menu for my now recovered friend and her lovely husband, prawns in garlic and butter served with crusty bread; chicken and ham pie with carrots and sweetcorn, served with sweet potatoes and runner beans, followed by an apple and blackberry fool, then cheese…

Just listen, now… Fool #1….


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