If We Were Having Coffee : Guest Post– August 23/201

What Do You Do with Custard and Cucumbers?

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul; I’ll be your barista today. I’m happy to see you have come for a cuppa and a chat. Please come into the garden and make yourself comfortable. Willow fluffed the cushions on the chairs and set the tables in the garden so we can have a cuppa and chat as we soak up the sun and enjoy the beautiful plants. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. Also available is a large selection of spirits for addition to your cuppa or in its place. We can relax amongst the flowers while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

First of all let me offer my deepest condolences to the friends and families of those killed or injured on the A-27 at West Sussex Saturday when a Fighter jet participating in the Shoreham Air Show crashed into the road way. This has just occurred as I write this Saturday afternoon so there is little news of the fate of the pilot or how the accident happened. I am sure the authorities will be diligent in their investigation.

So, speaking of airplanes, I was asked an interesting question today – one I thought I might share with you folks. One of my fellow tenants – Frank (name changed) – does some consulting work for a local airline. He seems rather well connected and is actually moving to Arizona in 2016, which is why he is staying in an apartment here in the student housing area of town – temporary accommodations. He and I have struck up a friendship and chat regularly. He has brought me a number of additions for my place, including a slow cooker and a shelving unit. He also helped me move and I gave him a silver flask set in return – not that he asked for anything. So Frank drops by this afternoon on his way to work at the airport and he has a question for me. He says that a major Canadian airline is moving its eastern operations to Ottawa and is looking for someone to write and edit a weekly company newsletter. It is a paid position and he wants to know if I am interested – as I have indicated to him that I would like to write for a living (I have the facial hair down pat now all I need is the job – Ha!). I indicated that I would be delighted to do so.

What do you think readers? I’ll keep you updated on how it goes – I have no clue if he has the connections to make it work but we shall see. Having never edited before, I may ask any of you out there who have edited to give me some tips on how it is done.

Would you like another cuppa? Perhaps a sweet? All our sweets are of the electronic variety and hence are calorie free – so fill up here.

Well, I dropped by the food bank this week – I would likely have been OK until my cheque but my neighbor was going and he asked me to come along, so I went. They were very nice and very generous and I got some very odd things. They rely on donations so they and I are very thankful for whatever is donated. I just have to figure out what to do with some of this stuff. Now, up front, I got some neat food that I would never buy – like bagged green salad (I would make my own but seldom do, so it is welcomed) that is very tasty and some bagels with jalapeño peppers baked in – quite hot but also tasty. There were also some staples, like hot dogs and crackers – all welcome.

And then there were the odd products. For instance I now have a 400 gram can of Devon custard which, it says on the can, is direct from Devon England. Could any of you kind readers explain to me what one does with this? I’ve never seen it before. I also have a can of pure pumpkin (nothing BUT pumpkin – guaranteed – it says so on the can). What do I do with that? I was thinking pumpkin pie – with the custard on top – but I don’t have an oven – just a hot plate and a slow cooker. Suggestions? Also forthcoming were three huge cucumbers, each as long and thick as my forearm. With them were three yellow squash that were about the same length but fatter around. Now I would like to hear suggestions on how to use them for future reference but this time I traded them to a fellow resident who is a wonderful retired professional cook. He makes soups and stews to die for, so I traded him the cukes and squash for some soup and stew.

I also got some single serving containers of Macaroni and Cheese. Now I have a problem with single serving portions. As I age, I eat less and so will buy single servings when the cost is affordable. But also as I age my eyesight deteriorates – even though I get it checked regularly, my ability to read smaller print is getting worse each year. Now the single serving containers are quite small and have a lot of info on them – ingredients, nutritional info (required here in Canada), cooking instructions, manufacturer info, product description and size, etc. To squeeze all this info on a package small enough to fit in the palm of my hand, they use a very fine print. I discovered today, when I went to eat the Macaroni that I can no longer read any of this printing. By holding the package under the light I was able to make out enough to figure out how to cook it (microwave without the metal lid but with the plastic ventilated lid provided). Are any of you readers in the same boat, and if so what do you use to fix this problem? Are there magnifying glasses for us folks? And if so, which are the best?



On that note, that’s about all we have room for this week, so it’s time to settle in with another cuppa and enjoy the garden. Sweets anyone? Please join me in thanking Willow for her invitation to tea. We are all honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Willow is over there serving her guests and chatting it up. Let’s go see how she is today. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you back here for sweets and beverages of your choice again next week.

 And of course  the


over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s



33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. willowdot21
    Aug 23, 2015 @ 11:02:42

    Great post Paul, the air crash at Shoreham yesterday was horrendous and it looks like the death toll may rise. As you say we send our prayers out for those injured and the relatives of those who died.
    Now I think you will do a grand job editing the weekly Newsletter, now I have no experience with editing but I am sure many out there in wordpress land will be able to help!
    As for the pumpkin puree you could of put it into the slow cooker the quashes and made a wonderful soup, the cucumbers, well you could of kept half of one for your salad, then given the other two and a half away! The custard needs to come out of the can be put into a jug r dish then Microwaved for 2mins or so depending on your microwave . You could have custard with pie, crumble, or bananas.
    I also have problems with reading tiny packaging print, we bought a strong magnifying glass. You can buy magnifying spectacles from supermarket over here and they are cheap.
    Again thank you for another great post!


  2. Victo Dolore
    Aug 23, 2015 @ 11:29:54

    Cucumbers, I love to peel and slice and then toss with a bit of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, served chilled. Great in the summer! Also, it is delish grated into yogurt and seasoned with some salt and ground black pepper. Good luck on the job!!!!


  3. Paul
    Aug 23, 2015 @ 11:38:28

    That is wonderful advice Willow – thank you very much. And thank you for the opportunity to guest post. It is a pleasure to post here. I hope all is well with you and yours.


  4. Thumbup
    Aug 23, 2015 @ 14:38:34

    Thank you for the pleasurable time provided by you. Plane crash? Did not know about this. Going to ask google. How awful. Have a good day.


  5. Diana
    Aug 23, 2015 @ 14:59:08

    Not much help with the food, I’m afraid—my husband is the cook in the house—but glad to hear that you got some good stuff this week. 🙂

    Hope you’ll consider taking a job doing their newsletter; sounds like it could be right up your alley and really help you out, too!


    • willowdot21
      Aug 23, 2015 @ 17:32:35

      🙂 Paul is on his way


    • Paul
      Aug 23, 2015 @ 18:00:24

      Thanks Diana! I really appreciate your read and good wishes. If the opportunity for the newsletter comes through, I’ll surely give it a good try. I’ve done a lot of business writing in the past- reports, perspectives, forward looking documents, analyses, etc – but I have limited writing experience with the public consumption in mind. I’ll keep you updated on how it develops. Thanks for dropping by for a visit. I am honored.


  6. 1jaded1
    Aug 23, 2015 @ 16:41:53

    Hi. I love this post. I’m saddened by what happened at the airshow. There was another accident today, and a parachutist was killed in Chicago last weekend. What is up with all of that? Are the stunts getting more dangerous? I don’t know.

    Good luck on the food. I’m in my mid 40s with cataracts over my pupils. I just squint for now. A couple of minutes in the microwave does it. With a hot plate, i think I’d put it in a safe bowl and cook til hot.

    Cukes are awesome in yogurt or yummy just by themselves. They along with zuccini are great additions to veggie soup. Yay for your neighbor’s swap.

    I eat pumpkin strait up or add a bit of cinnamon. You can also use it as a moisturizer. Your skin will thank you.

    As for the job, go for it! You have the talent.


    • willowdot21
      Aug 23, 2015 @ 17:34:16

      Here here to all the above …Paul is on his way!! 🙂


    • Paul
      Aug 23, 2015 @ 18:10:01

      Bwahahaha! Pumpkin as a moisturizer – Ha! – that is too much fun 1J1. Thanks so much for the good wishes on the job front. I’ll see how it develops – not getting my hopes up too high just yet. The tips on eating the pumpkin and the cukes is greatly appreciated – I wasn’t aware that pumpkin could be eaten from the can when heated. Thanks for dropping by for a chat and advice,. Please come again,


  7. somemaid
    Aug 23, 2015 @ 17:08:03

    If you can get hold of some apples I’d make stewed apples and custard. (little bit of water and sugar in a pan with the cut up fruit.) Beautiful. (although any type of fruit that can be stewed will work, pears, plums, blackberries.)
    Good luck with the potential job.


    • willowdot21
      Aug 23, 2015 @ 17:30:51

      Paul will be along anytime now , I agree with the advice you have given him for the custard, have a seat and cuppa while you wait!! 🙂


    • Paul
      Aug 23, 2015 @ 18:17:49

      Hi somemaid! Thanks so much for dropping by for a read and comment. That is such a neat idea – stewing the fruit. I’ll have to check youtube for what fruit can be stewed and how. I get my disability cheque this week so I will have fresh fruit and veggies this week. I’ll check which fruit stews best and make sure I keep an eye out for it when shopping. Thanks so much for the visit. I am honored. Please drop by again.


  8. Paul
    Aug 23, 2015 @ 19:47:00

    I’m a city boy somemaid so my blackberries grow in transparent clamshells on the grocers shelf. 😀 There is a great deal of local fruit (I’m in Ontario and there is much fruit grown here- everything except citrus) right now on the grocers shelves and it is reasonably priced because of the supply. I’ll take a look next week when I shop. Thanks so much for the feedback. 😀


  9. MamaMickTerry
    Aug 23, 2015 @ 21:12:04

    Hi Paul!
    SO much to talk about while having a cuppa today!
    First of all – congrats on the possible writing gig. Sounds absolutely perfect for you. Keep us posted, okay?
    I can’t help with custard, but I do love pumpkin and cucumbers. In fact, my garden went crazy this year and we have been eating cucumbers every day since mid June. I simply slice, add onions, chill and eat. I put them on sandwiches and in tacos, too. As for pumpkin – I’m addicted! My favorite is mixing it with cream cheese and powdered sugar and using graham crackers for dipping. I have an entire section on my Pinterest page dedicated to pumpkin. Full of vitamin A, too!
    Glad to have found you over here today, Paul.
    Have a great week!


    • willowdot21
      Aug 24, 2015 @ 05:39:37



    • Paul
      Aug 24, 2015 @ 06:27:55

      Mama! So great to see you here! Thanks a heap for dropping by – have a cuppa while we chat.. Thanks so much for the tips on how to eat the food. I’d never heard of that before – using the pumpkin with creme cheese and powdered sugar as a dip. I wonder if I mix the pumpkin and the custard? Hmmm. Thanks for the visit Mama – I hope all is well with you and yours. I’ll keep you posted on the editing job. Thanks for the good wishes.


  10. dobetteralways
    Aug 24, 2015 @ 02:45:55

    I hope you do get to write and edit a newsletter, they aren’t that hard as long as you have layout programs or maybe they just need you to write copy which would be the easiest part. For editing that just make sure you read it several times and make sure there are no spelling or grammar issues and each article is structured correctly for what type of content it is. As for the food I’m not sure what you’d do with the veggies without being able to saute them, or otherwise cook them in some way. Could you add something to the custard to give it a more interesting texture, like crumble cookies in there as a dessert or ask the cook down the hall if he wants to make eclairs and you’ll bring the filling.


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