I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Three-day event

Chez nous, making Christmas puddings is a three-day event.

Day One: buy brandy and fruit. Sultanas, currants, raisins, apricots, figs, ginger, peel, cherries, dates, and a handful of the prunes soaked in port I keep in the pantry. Chop and soak.

Day Two: assemble other ingredients: butter (I can't abide suet; and there are vegetarians in each family, anyway), sugar, flour, spices, eggs (free-range, collected by hand from under the chickens who laid them in the nests at the Ceres co-op), carrot, breadcrumbs, orange rind, lemon rind, almonds, beer and more brandy. Mix with fruit, and get assembled members of the family to stir and make a wish.

Day Three: pack into bowls,

Wrap with layers of foil and tie with string; then juggle various saucepans until you come across this extremely satisfactory arrangement for the two big ones.

There's a third smaller one in a saucepan bubbling away on the stove now.

Every year I make three: a big one each for Paul's family on Christmas Eve (his parents, aunt and uncle, brother and sister and their partners and children), and one for mine on Christmas Day (my parents and sister).

I have blogged about making the puddings earlier, under much more difficult circumstances. Very good, this time, to feel healthy and strong and able to stir with ease. I'll try and remember to take a photo at Christmas and update: this recipe makes a very rich and dark pudding, which we flame with hot brandy, then serve with lashings of brandy butter and fresh berries and cream. The little one we are supposed to eat mid-year, in mid-winter, but last year's is still lurking in the fridge. I checked it yesterday and it looks fine. Must find an occasion to eat Christmas pudding soon...

1 comment:

Pavlov's Cat said...

My total pre-Christmas achievement to date:

1) Reach agreement with family re venue

2) De-confuse father about the arrangements for the carton of Whiskas and box of mince pies to the Animal Welfare League (My mate D: Surely mince pies are bad for kitties? Me: For the staff, you dope) which he wanted to do as a Christmas thing.

3) Purchase Oxfam gift cards: an indigenous granny group funding for the lawyer, a school set of stationery for the student, a set of kitchen equipment for the waiter and a vegie garden for the weekend vegie gardener.

I'd bake, I would, but nobody in my family likes dried fruit in anything. It'll have to be shortbread stars and cats, closer to the time.