Why caramel sauce indeed?! This is a great question, one I have been asked many times and my answer is ‘because it makes people smile’.
However, if you were looking for a bit more, then I could go on. The abridged version of how that first eureka moment came about is on the back of each of our sauce packets, as space didn’t permit the feature length to be shared, but a Blog is an entirely different beast, so allow me to further detail here…cue the harps and mists of time..
I used to be a dab hand at entertaining, in the early noughties when everyone was a young professional and all friends were both hosts and hosted.
Everything was perfectly planned, and all elements were present and correct –
Jamie Oliver book (the original one) – check
The perfect play list based around actual cds – check
Table, beautifully set with a plethora of un-necessary cutlery and glasses – check
Drinks – check
Starter – check
Main course – check
Dessert – check
Cheese and port – check
It is at this point I ask you to note that this was all B.C. Before Children.
Fast forward then to six/seven years ago. Friends were over for Sunday lunch. It had been delicious roasted affair and I had considered every detail, though to note as this was some time A.C. After Children, so some of the nice-to-haves from the checklist had slipped. In fact, I think the only constants were possibly main course and drinks.
Plates emptied and relieved at having managed to serve up a meal that had gone down well I sat back and relaxed, as the table emptied of children and conversation resumed in earnest.
It was then that a child (one of mine), that must have returned undetected, chimed up ‘Mummy, what’s for pudding?’.
Cue small sigh.
Who had even given that a thought??
The unbelievable timing of children to point out or do things that you would rather they didn’t is a thing to be marvelled at. That said, I always find whatever it is, to be either hilarious or useful, but only after much (much) time has passed. At the time it is usually inconvenient or truly mortifying. Like the time my daughter reached out her tiny hand, in actual slow motion, and placed it firmly on the beige linen-clad expansive bottom of the mature lady in front of us in the tearoom queue at Glamis Castle, and left it there, very still, for what seemed like the longest time ever. The lady seemed to take it all in her stride as despite my immediate and profuse apologies never turned around and did remain a little bit frozen.
There was no pudding planned. Of course, there wasn’t.
Pudding becomes relegated to a ‘nice to have’ A.C. However, for children pudding is the only reason for consuming the main meal.
Had the question been asked quietly of me, say in the kitchen one-on-one, I could have furnished all children with a custard cream or similar and moved them along. Asked at a particularly carrying volume in front of all attending adults meant effort had to be made. So naturally I thanked the child for reminding me, not all through my teeth, and retreated to the kitchen where I proceeded to calmly rake through the potential.
It quickly became apparent that ice cream was the core ingredient (in the spirit of thoroughness and because it works particularly well with all of our sauces, I have to detail here that it was Mackie’s Traditional, aka the blue one). In order to make the ice cream look more planned, purposeful and intended I decided that some sauce was required.
A delicious sauce was made, dessert was served and devoured. And the rest, as they say, is history.
In terms of making people smile, I can’t really imagine too many other businesses that are up there with a caramel sauce business. Except maybe a unicorn farm or glitter factory…