Hello, and thanks for stopping by to wave me off! This is the last you’ll hear from me for a few weeks – tomorrow I’m off to China for a month. The next update, which I hope will be full of Chinese delicacies, will be on the 8th of September. I’m kinda nervous for tomorrow – I speak about two words of Mandarin and I don’t even think I pronounce those two correctly, which essentially means I speak zero Mandarin. Plus, the country’s so massive that the distances I’ll need to travel in the month ahead to get from one city to the next, equal those I travel in Europe only about twice a year for foreign visits, crossing one or two countries on the way. It’s a fun and exciting project, but also a slightly daunting one.
The last time I went on a journey of this scale was almost 7 years ago. I went to India that time. I was a lot more nervous for that one (it was my first solo trip and I was the worst noob anyone there had ever seen), but in the end I had a blast, as expected. I was there for about three months, so occasionally I had little guilty pleasures in western-styled reastaurants that catered to foreign visitors. Not that I didn’t like Indian food (in fact, it was among the best food I’ve eaten in my entire life, no lie!) but nothing cures homesickness like a massive bowl of sugary goodness. Or at least, that’s how I felt back in the days – right now I’d probably just hit the bottle.
One of the desserts they served us backpackers in the more touristy places in India was something called Hello to the Queen. I’ve never been able to figure out its odd name, but never mind that – all you really need to know about it is that it’s the most calorific, sickeningly sweet and obnoxiously indulgent pile of food you’ll ever lay eyes on. I ate a lot more sweet stuff then than I do now, so I’ll probably cure any traveller’s sadness with spring rolls or spicy soup this time (or, as I implied above, with an inordinate amount of Tsingtao), but here’s for old times’ sake. Goodbye for now, and Hello to the Queen!
I only tried Hello to the Queen a couple of times in fairly similar versions, but I believe most places that served it had their own variation, so you can have all the artistic liberty you want. The base is ice cream with banana and crumbled biscuits topped with a sauce, after that everything is optional – add as much or as little as you’re comfortable with. Whipped cream is optional but recommended. It’s not in the picture because we didn’t have any and I’m too stressed out packing my bag and looking for my passport to bother going out to get it.
For two homesick or otherwise distressed individuals, use:
- four scoops of icecream, any flavour you want but I just use vanilla
- biscuits of your choice – I like the oatmeal ones but someone complained that they’re for people on a diet, so this time I went for chocolate chip with hazelnuts
- 50 gr of dark chocolate
- half a cup of milk
- one banana
- some cashew, hazel and/or pecan nuts
- some whipped cream
First of all, put your milk and chocolate in a bowl and heat them au bain marie. Stir so that you get a nice and smooth, liquid mixture.
In the meantime, crumble your biscuits and cut your banana into slices. Now put your ice cream in a bowl. Top with the fruit and biscuits. Top with the nuts, if you’re using them. Top with the chocolate sauce. Now top with whipped cream. Eat immediately.