a recipe, by Aquarion & Lonecat

Decide to make apple crumble. You will require:
Apple. Note singular. Large. Not as many as you thought you had.
Flour. Ordinary. White. 6oz thereof.
Caster sugar. Much. Realise you have no castor sugar. Use granulated instead.
Margarine. Yellow. 3oz. Not really much we can say about this one.
Water.
Spices. Ones that will go well with apple.
Small number of sultanas to add to the flavour, but see below.

In the beginning, take your flour. Carefully measure it out onto the scales. Look carefully at the sieve and decide whether to sift or not. Resolve that life is too short. Add the margarine, take a fork and rub in. Do not, repeat not, use your fingers. Why on earth do people feel the need to use their fingers? All that happens is you get covered in loads of gunk, and it’s not like it works any better. In fact, the margarine will stay cooler if you use a fork, which is a major consideration if you’re making pastry. We’re not, but I think my point holds.</rant>

Where were we? Oh yes… Weigh your apple. Note that it is far less than the required 1 and a half pounds of fruit, and add sultanas until it isn’t. While this is being done, the other chef can add the required amount of sugar to the crumble. The required amount being 3oz. Actual amount added: unknown. Possibly 6oz. Decide not to worry about it and carry on.

Peel, core, randomly chop and slice your apple. Realise that resulting weight of apple is even less than apple plus core and peel. Think about adding more sultanas. Remember that this is apple crumble, dammit. Was apple crumble, dammit. Decide to leave it as it is.

Place sultanas and apple in a 1 and a half pint casserole dish. Add further 3oz of sugar and stir. Attempt to add 2 tablespoons of water. Note complete lack of any kind of tablespoon within kitchen. Add approximately three soupspoons of water. Roundly curse person who stocked kitchen. Sprinkle random spices over fruit. We recommend cinnamon and nutmeg, about half a teaspoon of each. Discover job is complicated by the size of the spice jars, which are too small to get a teaspoon into. Mutter nasty things about spice manufacturers and approximate measures. Stir again.

Sprinkle crumble over fruit. Shake bowl until level. Remember you forgot to preheat the oven. Realise recipe book predates the invention of the centigrade scale. Discuss merits of programming temperature converter on laptop. Take a guess at 180oC and turn on oven. Insert dish into oven. Have a brief panic that it’s not going to fit. Find that it will. Stop panicking.

Occupy yourself, and possibly someone else, for about 40 minutes.

Remove dish from oven, with aid of oven gloves. Put on hob to cool. Decide to make custard while it’s cooling.

Rock Custard.

Get out custard powder and milk. Pour small amount of milk into measuring jug. Attempt to add a tablespoon of custard powder. Once again curse the person who stocked this kitchen. Add a severely heaped dessert spoon of powder, and attack until non-lumpy. Recall that powder contains cornflour, something that when mixed with water forms a substance that is liquid when left alone, but solid when put under pressure. Realise that this is why it’s so hard to stir. Add milk up to half pint mark.

Discover that custard can be microwaved. Make ‘Yay’ type noises. Walk up to microwave. Attempt to guess age and generation of microwave, and thus possibly the amount of time to put the custard in microwave. Decide low power, and therefore 7 minutes. Note you have to stir it at half time, and place jug in microwave.

Press ‘high’ temperature setting. Type into keypad, ‘330’ for three and a half minutes. Press start. Witness nothing happening. Keep pressing start button. Continue witnessing lack of things happening. Press cancel. Note that microwave clock appears to read 3:30am.

Swear.

Repeat previous actions. Note clock now reads 3:31am. Repeat actions, using real time instead of 3:30. Note clock now reads, ‘ERROR’.

Swear more.

Remember that this isn’t your microwave.

Realise you’ve run out of swear words.

Type in ‘330’ and press start. Make ‘yay’ type noises, as a small jug of yellow liquid rotates on a turntable.

Occupy yourself, and optionally someone else, for three minutes.

(A note here, we are ommiting for the sake of time a whole series of pressing buttons on the microwave to attempt to get the clock back to normal, and even possibly start the bloody thing working. It should be mentioned that at no point in the orginal sequence did we press the button clearly labled “Clock”, but at various times over the next ten minutes set the microwave to automatically start at 3:30am tomorrow, Automatically heat potatoes, set the clock time to 03:30 again, and make continuous beeping noises. I refuse to be beaten by any piece of technology smaller than me. The clock read “03:40” when we got the stuff heated. Note ends.)

Return to microwave. Observe that custard is attempting to leave the jug. No longer trusting the buttons on this thing, press the button that opens the door. Rescue boiling yellow liquid from a fate worse than death. Receive no medals for this. Attempt to stir custard, as suggested on packet. Realise that, against all probability, the cornflour appears to have multiplied. Stir vigorously. Add more milk. Repeat previous instruction. Give up on custard. Decide to eat it as it is. Discuss the possibility that, in 2000 years, archaeologists will discover remains, nod sagely, and call it ‘The Custard Age’.

Return to ‘crumble’. Take spoon, and push onto crust. Note lack of typo in previous sentence. Retrieve hammer and chisel from place of resting, and apply them to the crust. Make a note to send broken hammer and chisel to the nearest repair shop. Retrieve blowtorch…

Once crust is breached, spoon portions into bowl. Observe that crumble is not exactly crumbling. Note that it smells very nice and christmassy. Decide to rename this, ‘Christmas Fracture’. Poor over very thick custard. Eat, while discussing the possibilities of putting this recipe on a website. Realise you have a huge amount left over. Decide to have it for breakfast tomorrow.

Wash up the custard jug.

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