It started earlier in the week, when for various reasons, I had to use up a lot of eggs and so made a big cake; it was a sort of marbled chocolate and vanilla cake and came out very well but even bigger than I had expected. We had the fortnightly art group, and served them cake with their  tea; they enjoyed it very much and were most complimentary. A friend invited us round for a curry and I said as I had cake I would make a trifle and bring to finish the meal; splendid, she said.

This was where I had a bit of a brainstorm. English trifle is so easy, sponge, fruit, custard, cream (sometimes jelly) For a completely unknown and now complexly ridiculous reason, instead of cutting a few fingers of cake I proceeded to line the bowl with cake – yes, ludicrous – and to make it worse I had the uniform coloured top on the outside so it showed through the glass bowl as just brown… plain brown… dull brown… instead of the nice marbled effect from the inside.

I won’t go into further detail except there was fruit and there was custard (no jelly) and there was more cake (why, oh why, oh why??) I came to finish off with more fruit and cream and suddenly saw it as it actually was… it looked like the sort of thing a nine-year-old might make…
I decided it needed rescuing… I would get individual dishes and make pretty portions with fresh fruit attractively arranged…

Last year was the year of getting rid of things, and I was very proud of myself, almost smug with the amount of stuff we got rid of. Except now we have no pretty dishes to serve individual trifles in… never mind! our friends like whisky, let’s serve it in whisky tumblers of which we have six matching ones… except no we don’t… somehow three of the have vanished…

I have made six desserts… they may taste OK, cake, custard, fresh summer fruits, cream… but they look like the sort of thing an embarrassed Masterchef contestant says works perfectly every time at home as s/he surveys the bowl of slop s/he has presented to the judges… ‘I don’t know what went wrong…’

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