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More pudding plans: not only do I plan to make some mini semolina and custard pudding to take in my bento, I would also love to try some minty jell-o!

Menthe á l’eau is probably my all-time favourite summer drink so I bought 3 (!) cans of sirop de menthe in France during our holiday. And I have some agar agar past expiring date, so… it seems like a fun adventure :) Especially because I’ve challenged myself to use 2 products out of my pantry each month — and I mean stuff that seems to have gotten stuck in there! LOL

Agar agar is a gelatinous substance that can be used by vegetarians because it’s derived from seaweed, not animals (like gelatin). But you have to learn how to use it because it’s got a higher acidity level that prevents you from just substituting plain gelatin — what most recipes dictate — by agar. My first attempt to make port wine jelly (on blue stilton toast) failed, and then the agar sort of got ‘lost’ in my cupboard ;)

Stay posted to see how my mint jelly turns out. But don’t keep quiet if you’ve got any tips!

I just heard that my favourite author David Mitchell is writing the libretto for a memorial opera to be premiered in Enschede on May 13th 2010.

On that day it will be 10 years ago (already!) that a fireworks storage facility exploded in the middle of a residential area. The disaster has (of course) been burnt into our collective memory, known as the vuurwerkramp. You can ask anybody where (s)he was when it happened and they’ll tell you. The JFKennedy effect.

The opera, called Wake, is composed by Klaas de Vries and will be performed by — this is getting even better! — the Nationale Reisopera, led by conductor Reinbert de Leeuw! I’ve been to two fabulous performances of this company: The Turn of the Screw (a story by Henry James) and The Mikado (by Gilbert & Sullivan).

It’s terrible to feel so positively thrilled about something that’s supposed to remember a tragic event. But I can’t help myself! If there’s only one thing I can get or even do next year — THIS IS IT.

Maybe it’s a small consolation that something as special and exciting like this is being done in memory of what happened. Although I should add that the story line is quite universal: the lives of 18 ordinary people in an apartment building (in an unidentified city), change dramatically after a disastrous event.

Sounds like a David Mitchell book alright ;) Especially when you know it will be presented in a mix of opera, mystery play, moving images and literary fiction. Yay! Can I go now, please? A year is a long time to wait, even if it’s for something this good. Did you know that Mitchell’s new novel is said to be published by Random House in spring 2010 as well?? Erm, I guess I should correct my earlier assertion that I have only wish for one thing next year… :\ Anyway, I’ll just have to be very patient for now :(

Oh wait, did anyone ask where I was at the moment of the explosion..? Visiting relatives in Toronto, Canada. And it was my brother-in-law who told me (in the kitchen area). There you have it: a past, present and future post in one ;)

I guess all bento-ers have future plans for foodies to put in their bento. I know I do ;) As a reminder to myself — but also to inspire other people — I’ll be posting them as Bento musings: what to pack ’n stash.

I do try to be original: recipes by others will be linked. And of course suggestions are always welcome! :)

pudding supplies

So here’s my first ‘note to self’: next time I am going to cook semolina pudding, I plan to make a few small ones in my mini muffin mould. Seems like a great thing to put in my bento! Especially when I add a container of raspberry sauce… *drewl* :P

Or maybe I’ll be making custard pudding first, you never know ;)

Is there anybody clever out there who can tell me if these desserts can be freezed??? :-o

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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