Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mrs. Cratchet's Greatest Success

The Christmas Pudding, cannon ball shaped and served with flaming brandy and a sprig of holly.

It was ball shaped because it was cooked not in a baking dish but in a tied up piece of cloth like a sack and was boiled in water, not steamed or baked. In reading several Dicken's books you learn that cooking facilities of the common people was the fireplace. This hearth may have had small surface of iron like a small griddle but that is the extent of the kitchen. The Cratchet's dinner included potatoes cooked in a pan on this hearth and applesauce. Yes, the goose was baked, but the only available ovens were the town bakeries, hence the passage in 'A Christmas Carol' describing people carrying home their dinners through the streets. As I said the pudding was boiled, but the only pot large enough was the "copper", being the laundry tub in the backyard.

Christmas Pudding History and Recipes

3 comments:

Barb & Ron said...

Spoke with Katie this evening on her return from spending the holidays in England. She said "Yes, we had this pudding thing that they lit on fire." Also reminded me of a story she had at Thanksgiving where she forgot that you have to thaw the turkey for a day or two before cooking. So she wrapped the turkey in several layers of plastic and placed it in the hot tub for a "quick thaw". She says it was one of the best turkeys she ever had - "real moist and all." Gastronomic adventures.

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