25 Jul

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned the curse of Sinclair Bad Luck before.  It’s nothing terrible, but it certainly dictates that anything that can go wrong definitely will, and that there is no point entering any competition, as winning is not something Sinclairs are prone to do.  Bearing this in mind, can we all just bask in the glory of what I received through the post on Saturday morning:

Yeah, that’s right! My very own Newcastle University Alumni Association navy blue polo shirt! And all for filling in a little postcard with my name and address at my graduation ceremony, ironically, so I could have an Alumni tote bag, thus negating the need to buy any expensive merchandise.  I was alerted to this wonderful victory by an email entitled ‘Congratulations! You have won an Alumni Association polo shirt!’, which I thought could have been worded slightly more cryptically to create a bit of suspense.  Naturally, I opened this email positively hooting with delight, to reveal a cheery message from my new best friend Charlotte, who informed me that I had been picked out in a daily prize draw, and that if I sent her my address, my new polo shirt would be with me by the weekend.  I made sure to repress the knowledge that if I hadn’t been picked out during the preliminary polo shirt rounds, I may now be the proud owner of an iPod Touch, and replied with the utmost gratitude.  In your face, Sinclair Bad Luck, next step: The Lottery.

You can't wear an iPod Touch

It is a shame my new-found life success (ha…) could not have translated into baking success earlier today.  My friend Richard came round to undertake a little task we had been planning for a while; namely, making school-dinner-style Chocolate Concrete.  We had previously believed that this delicious pudding was a nationwide favourite, but, upon conversations with our university friends from both the North and the South, had been met with responses such as this:

Me: Ooohh, I could really eat a piece of chocolate concrete right now.

Ignorant friend: WHAT?

Me: You know, chocolate concrete and custard! Sometimes pink custard! Or cold from the tuck shop at break… (cue wistful expression)



In an attempt to prove how nice the somewhat unappetisingly named dish actually is, I used my connections, through my previously mentioned job as a dinner lady, and acquired the sacred recipe.  Richard and I then set about learning how to make the perfect batch so as to wow all of our unenlightened friends with the chocolate shortbread/cake/biscuit hybrid dessert.  All went smoothly until it came to taking it out of the oven.  On the list of haphazardly scrawled instructions was the word ‘bang’, which seemed very mysterious, until we saw our creation rising like some sort of SPONGE out of its inch deep baking tray.  A quick bash on the kitchen doorstep after the prescribed 20 minute cooking time knocked it back into its intended flat form, and the situation seemed to be under control.  That is, until we realised the whole thing was basically raw.  In a desperate bid to avoid salmonella, we took to kamikaze cookery, and threw it back into the oven, vowing to just leave it there until it resembled its namesake.

Here are the results.  Please note the fact that we had to eat a cooked bit from the edge, then slice it down the middle and create two, smaller slabs, so cooking may have some hope of happening.

Not as disgusting as it looks.

Luckily, after much panic and guesswork, it actually turned out very well, and with a little tweaking, will definitely be up to school dinner standards.  As Richard moves to London this week, he has been sent on his way with a carefully copied recipe, and a vow to single-handedly educate the South.  I am looking forward to making Mike a batch as part of my ongoing quest to do nice things for him so he continues to ignore the fact that I have never emptied the kitchen bin, and do not intend to start.

2 Responses to “Luck”

  1. Natalie 31/07/2010 at 10:33 am #

    What do I have to do to get my hands on this recipe?!

  2. Dan 10/08/2010 at 1:36 pm #

    Ooh, haute gastronomie of the highest calibre. Do feel free to drop into the Newcastle Uni alumni office sometime to indulge us…

    Glad to see the polo shirt found you well. Your blog post is the toast of the office :>)

    We do a fortnightly caption contest on our Facebook page. Someone with your wit and drollery could easily walk away with an alumni keyring and mystery prize…:

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