Terse Verse and Teatime Treats

A Unique Combination Literary Competition and Cookbook!


Parfait the Prose

Prose consists of common or garden variety words, hopefully arranged in an entertaining manner, thusly...


A Small Thing

My mother was petrified of spiders, particularly the large, hairy-legged, brown spiders they call 'huntsmen', and which we children in our ignorance used to call 'tarantulas'.

Unfortunately for her, when I was a child we lived in a pre-WWII worker's cottage and spiders visited regularly; some picnicked from the huge tree which enveloped the garden at the back of the house, and some came on holidays from the park on the opposite side of the road.

My parents belonged to a fundamentalist Christian sect which held the Sabbath to be on a Saturday, but every Sunday a line of worshippers snaked its way along the path in front of our house for services at the Congregational church next door. My father took it upon himself to tell them the error of their ways on a regular basis.

One Sunday evening, my brother and I were watching the passers-by from my bedroom window, my mother was putting on her nightdress in my parents' room, and my father was taking off his clothes in order to take a bath.

We heard a blood curdling scream from their bedroom, and rushed in to find my mother in a 'statue rampant' position, my father in nothing but his long shirt-tails, and an extremely large huntsman crawling across the curtains in front of the roll-up blind, which had been drawn for the night.

My father bolted off in search of the straw broom he used to send spiders to their doom and, when he returned, he swatted the spider but the curtains cushioned the blow and the huntsman scurried to the top of the blind.

Dad raised his arms above his head (which lifted the shirt) and brought the broom down forcibly on top of the blind. The blind flew up, the spider escaped through the open window, and my father was left standing there, his arms still raised, his shirt hitched up to his waist with not a stitch on underneath, in full view of the passing congregation. He gave up lecturing them on the error of their ways after that.

(Now it's your turn...)


The Priest's Parfaits

Chocolate Parfait

1 tin evaporated milk, 1tablespoon of gelatine, ¼ cup hot water, 2 tablespoons of cocoa mixed with 1 tablespoon of hot water, 3 tablespoons of castor sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence


Chill evaporated milk overnight. Dissolve the gelatine in hot water. Beat evaporated milk, gradually adding dissolved gelatine and castor sugar. Beat again until thick. Fold in cocoa and vanilla essence. Pour into parfait glasses.  Chill. Decorate with whipped cream and grated chocolate.


Chiffon Parfait

1 teaspoon of gelatine, ¼ cup hot water, 1/3 cup lemon juice, approx. ½ cup sugar, 2 eggs separated, ½ teaspoon finely grated orange rind, ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon rind, 1 cup tinned fruit salad, cream, stiffly beaten, chopped nuts, or sprigs of mint


Dissolve the gelatine in hot water. Mix the lemon juice with a ¼ cup of the sugar and add to the beaten egg yolks in a bowl over boiling water. Cook, stirring, until the custard just coats the back of the spoon. Stir in the dissolved gelatine and the orange and lemon rind. Beat the egg-whites stiffly, gradually adding the remaining sugar, and fold into the custard. Add the fruit salad and spoon into parfait glasses. Serve garnished with cream and chopped nuts, or sprigs of mint. 


Heavenly! Fattening? Oh no, I shouldn't think so. Look at me…do you mind!

© L.J. May