First off, a big hello and welcome to anyone who’s popping by via the lovely Helen’s blog! I can tell you that a) Helen is just as wonderful in real life as she seems on her blog, b) I hope you enjoy poking around this teeny-tiny little blog-corner of mine, and c) you’ve arrived just in time to benefit from some hard-won advice…
Over recent years, I’ve learnt that there are certain unspoken rules that should be followed when you are the house-guest of friends, family, or family friends. These rules are particularly important if you want to be asked back, and generally involve such behaviours as not leaving your toiletries spread across the bathroom sink, complimenting your hosts’ cooking, and not hiding under the bed for half an hour because you were 98% sure you heard a gunshot outside your guest-bedroom window in Nashville*.
There is, however, one more Golden Rule of House-Guest Propriety that not everyone is privy to, but ought to be. That’s where I come in: Miss [Wayfaring Chocolate] Manners, here to help you avoid ruining your hosts’ night, which should in turn ensure you don’t end up with a “present” from the hosts’ pet dog on your bedroom carpet in the morning**.
The Golden Rule of House-Guest Propriety That Not Everyone is Privy To, But Ought To Be
Are you ready? Here it is:
Do not unambiguously, absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt and with a hefty dose of teasing and crowing, utterly trounce your hosts at Boggle.
No, seriously. You should probably let your hosts win. If that’s truly anathema to your sense of self, at least let them think they have a chance at winning. Don’t come up with three times as many words as your increasingly-less-friendly friends each round, and if they scoff at a word you’ve come up with? Don’t immediately define the word for them by using even more obscure words. Pretend you’re unsure too, and then act pleasantly surprised when they look the word up in a dictionary and ascertain that it does, in fact, exist.
Follow this simple rule and, I promise you, you’ll not only receive a return invitation to your hosts’ abode, but they’ll probably tell their friends that you’re their favouriterest*** person in the world.
And you might even get some ice-cream as a nightcap.
Maggie Beer Burnt Fig, Honeycomb, and Caramel Ice Cream
Full disclaimer: I’m not an authority on ice cream. (After all, this blog is hardly called Wayfaring Frozen Delights, is it?) I’m even less an authority on quality ice cream, because quality ice cream is almost always beyond the budgetary boundaries of my piddly little PhD student income. That said, I can unequivocally state that Maggie Beer’s ice cream kicks the likes of Bulla and Peters out of the water.
Maggie Beer’s Burnt Fig, Honeycomb, and Caramel Ice Cream is magnificent. I initially feared that, because of the honeycomb and caramel components, it might be too sweet for my tastes. Thankfully, the Burnt Fig jam swirled through the rich, unctuous, cream-laden base saved this treat from being too cloying. Moreover, the fig jam’s deep, almost-smoky, rich dark fruitiness threaded through with teasing hints of lemon constantly offset the lighter trickles of golden caramel, which in themselves carried notes of muscovado sugar.
In the photo below, underneath the spoon, you can see a pocket of caramel starting to flow out. Lookee!
Every spoonful of this ice cream was subtly different****, poking at me with a different element of Creamy Sweet! Burnt Figgy Figgy! Honeycomb That Tastes Like Childhood! ‘Twas fun.
In fact, this was probably one of the nicest ice creams I’ve had since first trying Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream in America (yes, I just compared a small-scale artisan company like Maggie Beer’s with an American corporation. Don’t worry, I’m rolling my eyes at me too). Actually, you know what? I think I like Maggie Beer’s ice cream better.
* Hypothetically speaking. Ahem.
** Hypothetically speaking. I wish.
*** Don’t use this word in Boggle. It’s not real.
**** Like how every airplane is “subtly different”, which means that you ought to pay attention to the safety instructions. ‘Cause real life ain’t Lost, people!