Of museums, little kids, elderly people and earthquakes!

“Oh my god, look at those furnishings!”

“What will I do looking at them? I’m never going to own them!”

“Look at that painting!”

“Oh lord, that reminds me, I’d asked the painter to come today and forgot all about it! Do you have any clue what it takes to get a painter to come home?” 

The scene is a museum in Copenhagen and the players are a couple – obviously with different ideas of what constitutes “having fun” on a holiday!

The husband, very interested, inspects every item on display with great interest, even taking down notes as he does so! The wife, of a more practical bent of mind, has to figure out how to keep two young boys engaged as they trail disconsolately around the millionth museum with the dad! She also has to take care of two ageing parents with aching feet, rheumatic joints, very frequent vists to the restroom and even more frequent need for fortification with strong coffee as they visit yet another museum! Small children and museums do NOT a good pair make! Ditto with many elderly people with no interest in history…

Something has to give! In this case, it is someone! The littlest one, about six years old, finally plonks himself down on the floor in the middle of the corridor and refuses to budge an inch further! The grandparents look like they would love to do the same thing. The older kid wishes he’d thought of it first! The long-suffering wife prays for an earthquake! The grumbles have turned into a full scale rebellion.

The dad capitulates. Back to the hotel, you’d think? No way! We are made of tough Indian idli and sambar and vattha kozhambu, not to mention bhindi and other “brain foods” and are not going to back down so easily! But we also recognise where we need to make compromises. We are also good bargainers! And so, it comes down to offering a bribe of one new flavour of icecream for every new room in the museum. Methinks the dad got away too easily! I’d have taught the kids to bargain for at least a weekend of ball, swimming, pool or whatever and pizza for every extra exhibit – and been in clover for a whole year! That would have iced the cake very nicely!

Like this fantastic dessert that Patrick, our host in Takoma, Maryland served up for us today. After two days of disappointing fare in NYC (at rip-off tourist-y joints that we rookies could not recognise), we had a really superb vegetarian meal at Mark’s Kitchen in Takoma Park, Maryland where we had a most interesting vegetable rice (flavoured with peanuts). We come back to our b&b where Patrick serves us this scrumptious dessert.


  • Pound cake – several slices – generous ones!
  • Fresh strawberries – 1 cup, sugar – 2 tbsp and 1/4 tsp vanilla essence – whizzed into a knobbly sauce (no cooking!)
  • Fresh cream – whipped
  • Vanilla icecream – however much you want!
  • Chocolate sauce – make it fresh – melt 50 gm of dark chocolate with 3 tbsp of cream over a double boiler, stirring constantly)

To serve

Lay one slice of pound cake on a plate. Put a LARGE dollop of icecream on top like a flying saucer.

Layer with strawberry sauce

Pipe the whipped cream all over – be generous – this dessert is like Patrick – very generous!

More strawberry sauce.

Drizzle chocolate sauce over.

And your family will follow you to as many museums as you like!