Saturday, December 12, 2009

When The Proof is in the Pudding...

A little while back, I tortured my mother in law by cheekily stating I was tired of 'keeping it simple' for Christmas lunch... and that this year we should go all complex and traditional. You know -- turkey, cranberry sauce -- the works. It was cheeky to start with, but the fact that I am vegetarian and won't even be eating said turkey made it even cheekier. But it quickly came back to bite me, when we divied up the feast (I was vying for an easy salad) and I got delegated the Christmas pud!!

After I got over the shock of actually having to cook something - in the OVEN, no less ... I set to work researching the perfect Xmas pud recipe. After consulting every cookbook and Donna Hay Christmas special I could get my hands on, I was more confused than ever. Did you know there are, like, 25 ingredients in a traditional pud?? And that no two recipes are alike?!

After explaining my predicament to my mate Crawford, he mentioned that his mother is a world-famous pud maker, and, sure enough Barb came to the rescue, posting me a recipe from an old cookbook from the 60's.

Given my cake-making prowess does not extend further than cupcakes, I sent my hubby out to buy a pud bowl, and convinced Crawf to come help me make my Christmas pud!

The recipe was slightly intimidating, with at least 300 ingredients (or thereabouts) and slightly ambiguous instruction. But Crawf is a vet and therefore approached the task with military precision (where as I would have poured everything without measuring in a big bowl and hoped for the best) and between the two of us managed to get something on the boil.

After Crawf left, it dawned on me that this thing was going to have to boil for SIX HOURS. Paranoid I would forget about it, I set little alarms all over the house to remind myself to top up the water every now and again. Four hours later, the pud was taken off the stove and looks like this:

Please please please someone tell me what exactly a Christmas pud is supposed to look like?? Does this one look even vaguely the way it should? And how long does it need to be boiled on Christmas day?

ps. As a postscript, it turns out that the reason the recipe appeared to be missing a few bits was because.... it was. Turns out we were supposed to do the recipe on the page next to the one we chose (the one that looked much easier, with only a few ingredients). Apparently Barb said "oh, you did thaaaaat one? I havn't done that one since the 60's!"

Gulp. Do I buy a shop-bought pud as a back up?

Iron Chef Crawford surrounded by 8 million ingredients and modelling my Mozi apron

If you are wondering why it appears that Crawf is doing all the work, its because basically he was. Someone had to take the photos and make replenishing cups of tea!

Can you spot little Fern 'helping'?

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