December 25, 2014 – Mom seems to stick around at Christmas…like an old Christmas Pudding….
Mom came to stay with us for Christmas in 2011, and out of her old brown suitcase, which was held together with an old belt so that … in her words…” she wouldn’t arrive to find her underwear strewn around the inside of the luggage compartment of the bus…” she pulled a semi-circular object wrapped in cheesecloth and cling film inside two zip-lok baggies. When we looked at it suspiciously, she announced that it was Christmas pudding!
We both cringed and admitted that we hate the stuff.
She was determined that we would eat it for dessert on Christmas day, and into the fridge it went.
Christmas was a couple of days later and in the chaos of all the cooking, the pudding was forgotten. It was found the next day in the fridge, still cocooned in all its wrap. Mom plunked it into the freezer and said we should just keep it and cook it the following Christmas. She assured us we’d like it!
We didn’t believe her and the thing was forgotten as it slowly migrated to the bottom of the freezer.
Fast forward to winter 2013 when we moved into our new home.
When we were moving the contents of the fridge/freezer, we came across an odd object at the bottom of the freezer and it took us a few moments to realize what it was.
For some reason it came along in the move and didn’t make it into the garbage. But let’s be serious…how could anything that had travelled from Prince George to North Vancouver, and been forgotten in the freezer for two years, be any good. But along it came anyway.
A few days before Christmas I decided we had to cook it and try it.
But I had no idea what to do with it. I turned to Facebook and asked around for advice. I received lots!
So, cooking figured out, I remembered Mom telling me that it needed a sauce, but I had no idea what.
Facebook friends came through again and a woman I know in the UK provided what sounded like something that might sweeten (and booze up) what we were sure was going to be gooey lead and filled with fruit we’d hate.
On Christmas, into the steamer it went for an hour. And darn if it didn’t smell wonderful. Yet still we were skeptical.
Until we doled some out and poured some sauce on.
How did I hate this treasure my entire life!? Kirk and I both loved it!
Later I rooted around through things I’d taken from Mom’s house and found her recipe binder. There I found the recipe for Carrot Pudding, and I plan on making one every year to come!
And now it’s Christmas 2014.
I pulled out the recipe and gathered the ingredients, this time with anticipation. And darned if Mom hasn’t come knocking again.
I have a little composition book that I keep Christmas notes in. Did we travel or stay home? Where did we go? What did I cook for Christmas dinner? Who did I send cards from? Who sent us cards? What did we give to who for gifts, etc… I didn’t use it the last two years, Mom’s death threw some loops into habits, but I pulled it out to backwards-update it and, when I opened it last week, out fluttered a torn sheet of looseleaf paper with Mom’s handwriting on it.
It was the recipe for the lemon sauce we were supposed to have made to go on the pudding back in 2011.
So it’s taken four years, but this Christmas everything will finally come together and I thank Mom for still teaching me lessons two years after she passed away.
She really is unforgettable 😉
Merry Christmas all!
See you in 2015!
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated apple (divided into 2 x ½ cup)
1 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
¾ cup seedless raisins
½ cup currants
1/2 cup butter
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup brandy
Grate carrot and apple. Measure and set aside.
Cream butter. Add sugar and blend well. Add carrot, half of grated apple, and brandy.Mix well. Sprinkle fruits with a few tablespoons of the flour and add to first mixture.
Add remaining flour and spices that have been sifted together.
Dissolve soda in remaining ½ cup grated apple and add it last. Mix lightly together.
Pour into buttered bowls. Tie down and steam for three hours.
Notes from Mom’s recipe: To steam puddings:
In order to produce light, tender puddings, they must be carefully steamed. Butter both the mould and the cover. Fill mould onto to ? full of pudding mixture to allow ample room to rise. Strong wrapping paper is better than waxed paper for tying down puddings. Grease paper well and stretch it over bowl. Tie firmly with string.
If a steamer is not used, rest bowl on an inverted pie plate or rack so that the steam can get all around the pudding. The water int he steamer must be moiling when the pudding is placed in it and it must not be allowed to stop boiling for one moment while it is cooking. If more water must be added, make sure it is boiling.
Remove pudding from mould as soon as it is taken from the steamer. When puddings are to be stored for future use, cool quickly then put them away in a covered container in a cold dry place. To use, return to mould and steam for 1 to 2 hours.
(Or apparently you can freeze them for years)
½ cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp lemon rind
1 T cornstarch
Mix first four ingredients.
1 cup boiling water
5 T lemon juice
Cook until clear.
Remove from heat and add 3 T butter, whisking after each Tablespoon is added.
Can be cooled and rewarmed later or used cool.
Makes 1 cup.