Buckets.

Q: Is there any better way to end the day than by sinking your face in a bowl full of pudding?

A: Yes. Sinking your face in a bucket of pudding.

Friday was horrible. The kind of day that hunches your shoulders, brings down the corners of your mouth, and has you stepping out on to busy roads, only half caring if the cars can’t stop. An altercation with work involving contracts and Bank Holidays brought me lower than a limbo on the Underground. All I wanted to do was get into bed, draw the duvet up to my face, and have melted chocolate spooned into my gaping mouth.

Instead I had made plans to see an old school friend – a long-standing arrangement I couldn’t miss – and was forced to put on my sociable face. Despite my urge to retreat from civilisation, we had a good time over dinner, and my spirits began to lift. But not entirely.

And then we came to the Pudding-Hunt. As per our new tradition, we scoured the supermarkets, searching for just the right fix of sugar. We settled on a bucket.

These buckets of pudding are new on the street, and caught my eye a few weeks back. On a normal day, one look at the nutritional information would be enough to send me jogging from the shop (too many red squares to ignore). On Friday, however, I had a death wish. And death-by-bucket sounded like a good way to proceed.

My friend and I scurried home with the goods. She ate from a bowl. I could not be bothered. All I needed was a spoon.

And, oh my: what a bucket it was.

Deep swathes of cream, lemon mousse, niblets of meringue, thick lemon sauce, damp chunks of sponge, and flakes of white chocolate. So melty. So gooey. No need to even chew. It was truly the dessert for me.

I couldn’t have given a monkey’s about the calories. I didn’t care to wipe it from my chin. And when the spoon had done all it could, in went the finger, scooping out the remnants. My friend, thank goodness, has been acquainted with my eating habits for years – the time to be appalled was long gone. Like me, she agreed: all puddings should come in buckets. No namby-pamby slices or packs of one. Just great big hunks of dessert; events in their own right.

As I sucked the last bead of mousse from my finger, an inkling of sadness began to return. My bucket was gone. But I could always get another one…

With that thought, all hope was restored. My mind was well and truly on the mend.

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