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December 08, 2004


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My heritage is British, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish. Really, some of the best people, most beautiful country, and greatest music. HOWEVER, my people eat some of the ODDEST FOOD! I told my husband (who is of Mexican heritage) that I married him specifically because his people have better food than mine.

Sure, I love a nice plate of bangers and mash once in a while, and would even eat haggis if put in front of me. But I could never cook it myself.

You are a brave, brave woman.

Gladly, I have all faith in your culinary skills...but would you like me to pick up a Tesco's Finest or Luxury Christmas Pudding for you???

I can't get used to these things. My husband likes them occasionally but the only one I've found I can even eat much of is one of the really chocolate-y ones.

My sister's husband's family does the Christmas pudding tradition (they're a Boston family, proud of their British heritage). My kids got to partake our first Christmas here and it was pure delight to watch their faces as the brandy burned and circled around the pudding. It was also pretty funny to watch their expressions when they tasted the pudding with it's brandy cream sauce!!!!!!


Sandy, thanks for the offer but I'm going to see how a homemade version turns out. If it is revolting, at least it will make for a memorable kitchen disaster (my favorite kind). Weren't you going to be having a baby today instead of buying Christmas puddings?? How are you holding up?

I love a falming steamed pudding. I haven't made one in a few years, though. The best suet is from the fat around the kidneys, have the butcher grind is on the hamburger grinding thingy - my mom had the meat grinder attachment for her kitchen-aid (and that has been on my christmas list for 9 years now - the attachment that is) and used it. The suet needs to be very cold before grinding or it melts in the process.
I love hard sauce to go with christmas pudding. I make a lovely one.......
The Joy of Cooking has a number of recipes for steamed puddings, as does the cookbook "Cooking Under Pressure" (the best pressure cooker cookbook I have found). Of course, the Time-Life cookbook "The Cooking of Great Britain" (from the foods of the world series) has not only the recipes but the background and anthropology of the steamed pudding.
My friend Simone (a Dutch midwife) sent me a recipe for a christmas pudding that uses butter instead of suet - it wasn't bad, I must say. Maybe I can dig up the recipe.

whoops, that should have been flaming!

This is way off topic:

If you have Nigella Lawson's _how to be a Domestic Goddess_ then you are privy to her pistachio Macaroon recipe. I, myself not a big cookie baker (my patience is worn after the 3rd batch), have a serious love affair with French Macaroons. My only problem with my attempts so far has been that I cannot seem to get the blanched almonds (or any nut for that matter) ground fine enough. Do you (or she) have any suggestions?

Lauren, three ideas for you. One: buy in. Bob's Red Mill makes almond meal which should work well for macaroons. Two: if you're using a food processor, add some of the sugar from the recipe when you get the almonds medium-fine. I don't know why, but it seems easier to get them all the way to powder with sugar in the mix. Three: try small quantities in the blender.

Let me know how your cookies turn out!

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