Tag Archives: history

Eastbourne pudding, anyone?


Reading about the current search for the definite recipe for Dundee Cake, so that it can get a ‘protected name status’ from the EU, reminds me of a puzzle I think I’ll never solve. Does anyone still make something that my grandmother called ‘Eastbourne Pudding’, and where does the recipe come from? Does it have another name?

Eastbourne Pudding involved slicing a few large bananas (not too ripe) in half or thirds (depending on size)  then lengthways down the middle. You spread the halves of banana with raspberry jam and put them in a serving bowl. On top, you pour about a pint of white custard (i.e. sweetened milk, thickened with cornflour). When that’s cooled, you pour over half a pint of single cream on the top, and just let the cream find its way wherever it wants to go, but make sure you get plenty when you serve the pudding.

It’s so simple, yet I remember it being gorgeous – no-one should be allowed to eat single cream like this, but here you had licence. My grandmother (who was a domestic science teacher, and taught me most of what I know about cooking) said they called it Eastbourne Pudding only because they had it at a guesthouse in Eastbourne when they went their on holiday as children, so it’s not the Eastbourne Pudding in this old book.

So does anyone else have memories of this pudding in their family, in Eastbourne, or anywhere else? Is it just a name for something else that has a proper name? I have a feeling I will never know.

Ain’t misbehavin’ and other songs



Here’s a nice site: extraordinarily detailed and well-presented details about jazz standards such as Ain’t misbehavin’. There’s a list of the 1,000 most recorded jazz standards, and very detailed records for the top 300.   For each of these, you find details of the writers, the history of the song, biographies, sound clips, musical analysis,  context, quotes, links to more detail and albums & downloads, further reading.

The not so swinging 60s


Gypsy Creams (via Metafilter) is a collection of scanned articles and adverts from women’s magazines of the 1960s with commentary by Tanya Jones. I can’t wait for her to post more, as I’ve now read every single entry in the site. It’s strangely addictive looking at fragments from a past that is so remote and ludicrous at times that you’d think someone made it up, except of course, it’s actually my past. There are so many gems it’s hard to choose a favourite, but Drink!Amplex ‘internal deodorant’ pills, and Skinny are just a few of mine. Also worth reading the article on Tonic Wines from the Pharmaceutical Journal that a reader left a link to under the ‘Drink’ entry. Meat and Bovril wine anyone?

Taruskin on ballet music


Taruskin, Volume 4

One of the excitements of this year is being able to afford a volume of The Oxford History of Western Music. I snapped it up in Blackwells the other day, when I noticed that there was an entire chapter devoted to ballet music. I always glance through the index of music history books to see whether ballet gets a mention at all, or whether, as usually happens, it gets either erased altogether, or is treated like not much more than a bit of sellotape annoyingly stuck to the great big walking boot of serious music.

Knowing that Taruskin is one of the few people in the serious music world to admit that ballet happened at all in Western culture, and that he’s written at length about Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky’s ballet music, I was hopeful.

And indeed, there it is in chapter three, under a heading ‘A MISSING GENRE’,

“It is time to confess to a scandalous omission. An entire genre, with a history extending back as far as the sixteenth century, has been virtually missing from this account of Western art music, and it is high time to redress the neglect.” (Richard Taruskin, The Oxford History of Western Music, p. 131)

There are still big gaps, and a tendency to discuss the big names more than the people who kept the whole enterprise running (imagine a history of 20th century music that mentioned  Andrew Lloyd Webber only in passing, before moving on to a meaty interpretation of West Side Story), but it’s a darned good start.