Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Planning Rocks

Yorkshire Pudding. A solid piece of our history.

My Husby is a Planner.
It is a legitimate occupation.
He plans . . . stuff.
He has built his career doing it.
Mostly, he plans things like: Museums. Displays. Art galleries. Special facilities for storing special collections.
It has been a varied and unusual career.
And he is very good at what he does.
Except when he tells his wife that whatever she is doing would work better if she used a different system.
That never turns out well.
Moving on . . .
Several years ago, he was leading a team of designers in Fort McMurray.
They were re-designing the displays at the Oil Sands Interpretive Centre.
A fun and exacting job.
Requiring many months spent in the rapidly expanding oil city of Fort McMurray, Alberta.
At the end of one particularly long day, the team was seated at what had become their favourite restaurant.
Doing what had become their favourite pastime.
One of the team members had order a roast beef supper.
With all of the trimmings.
One ‘trimming’ was a large Yorkshire Pudding.
With gravy.
Now I’ve had Yorkshire pudding.
In all its glory.
I love it.
But this particular pudding had been baked too long.
Or left uncovered.
Or simply neglected.
It was, to use a rather over-worked phrase, ‘Hard as a proverbial rock’.
Its owner poked at it morosely.
“This thing is inedible,” he said, sadly. “It looks like one of the rocks in the display case back at the Centre.”
Husby suddenly looked at him, his face breaking into a broad smile.
All eyes were on him as he explained his idea for yet another display.
Then everyone got up and, pocketing the pudding, headed back to the Centre.
A short time later, they had the cover off the large display of rocks (and other things solid and impenetrable).
They rearranged, creating a perfect little space for this, the newest addition.
One of the designers looked at the other placards in the case, figured out the font used, and quickly typed up an official-looking label.
When they left the building later that night, the display of rocks was richer by one, ‘Jurassic Pudding Stone’.
Nothing more was said.
In due course, they completed their assignment and separated, each going back to their normal lives.
Several weeks later, my Husby received a phone call.
From the director of the newly-refurbished Interpretive Centre.
“Ummm . . . Grant? Did your team touch our rock display case?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Well, there seems to be an addition of which I’ve only very recently become aware.”
“Yes. Something called a Jurassic Pudding Stone. Now I looked through every one of my books and couldn’t find it anywhere. Finally, I removed the cover and examined the ‘stone’.
“Well, it looks to me like a very old, very tired Yorkshire Pudding.”
“Well, that is odd.”
There was silence at the other end. “So you don’t know anything about this?”
“I don’t understand why you are asking me.”
“Well, it seemed . . .  odd. And I thought that you and your team . . .”
“It does sound very interesting and I’d love to see it when I’m up there again.”
Notice the clever prevarication (Ooo. Good word!)?
Back to my story . . .
“Oh. Well, I just thought of you guys and . . . well . . . okay.”
Need something planned?
A building? A display?
A prank?
I know someone you can call.


  1. Harmless pranks like that are so much fun. And they usually get a lot of laffs from a lot of folks...

    1. I love clever, harmless fun! When no one gets hurt. The very best!

  2. Your husbie gives me the wheezies. What a hoot.

  3. Jurassic Pudding Stone!!
    I love it, that's so clever!
    I had Yorkshire pudding once when I was about 12, we had dinner at a friends place and the mum made little tiny puddings, two for each plate. They were heavenly!
    when I grew up, I tried to make them, but mine were always awful and I soon gave up.

  4. I can't make a roast without making Yorkshire pudding or else the family would fire me! Love this story and the vocabulary, Diane. I'll retell it next time I cook a roast. Thanks for linking up with us at No Ordinary Blog Hop. Every blessing, Kelly


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