Feeling all “British-y” tonight



Tonight I’ve found myself talking to the cats in an English accent. Sometimes working-class, sometimes tehhh-ribbly POSH. Feeling all Britishy, you see. Been watching the Call the Midwife Holiday Special (Oh, I do love this show!) followed by a repeat of Downton Abbey‘s Christmas Special. The third season begins here in the U.S. on January 6 and is much anticipated by me and fellow Anglophiles.

Before I began my “All Things English” Watch, I had my first serving of a traditional English treat–plum pudding. Of course, those of you who are familiar with it know it’s really more steamed cake than what we in America think of as pudding, which is inexorably tied to pitchman Bill Cosby and Jello brand desserts made from a box.

thCAM0CIHR Comedian Bill Cosby was a long-time pitchman for Jello brand pudding.

My Christmas pudding also came in a box, actually–a box from that marvelous retailer Vermont Country Store, which carries a myriad of treats to eat, wear, apply, play with and further enjoy. It was baked in Jolly Olde Englande and dispatched to the U.S. in time for the holidays. Along with the plum pudding (which contains lots of fruit but not, I believe, any plums) there was Bird’s brandy hard sauce.  This was yet another treat I had never had. I was amused to read the directions for heating on a hob–not an expression much used here–and the microwave, which is the route I went.

I must say the “nuked” pudding was moist and flavorful, tasting not unlike our fruitcake here, and the sauce was a delicious addition. Thinking I may have to whip up that package of gingerbread in the pantry to use some of the remainder . . .

And now, here’s something else British I find to be quite a treat:


6 responses »

  1. Here’s to British treats, long may we enjoy! The recipes for plum pudding vary, but it is a a steamed melange of macerated fruits with either breadcrumbs or flour, honey &/or sugar, spices, and some form of fat to bind, prepared in a “pudding basin”, a stoneware bowl. It’s traditionally served flamed with brandy. In the Scots tradition, we have “black buns”, a form of dark fruitcake that really packs the calories and protects from the cold. All the minerals in the dried fruit help, too.

    What do the cats think of your accent(s)?

    • Yes, I had read up on how they are made. I had always wanted to try it and so when ordering some holiday gifts from VCS I ended up getting a small pudding and the sauce. I almost bought Christmas crackers but I will save that for another year. 😉 I also didn’t set mine on fire, as I feared I’d end up setting myself on fire LOL

      My cats are used to Mom speaking in funny voices and singing snatches of songs to them, so they are rather blasé about the whole thing. 😉

      • Making the puddings at home is work (not to mention the cost), so you usually make a goodly quantity to be distributed to friends and family. You need someone with plenty of upper-body strength to stir the mixture. So, purchasing a small one is an excellent idea.

        To set a pudding alight, you put the pudding on a flameproof metal or ceramic dish. (I like to use a wide shallow soup bowl that fits on a stand). Warn the brandy slightly over a tealight in one of those long-handled vessels like you use to make Turkish coffee or to melt butter for lobster. Use a fireplace or candle style lighter to set it alight as you pour it over the pudding. Et voila, dessert without damage.

        Good kitties. 🙂 They understand the important things.

        • I remember reading about a lady who used to make a Christmas pudding every year as part of her family’s holiday here in the US. And it was, indeed, expensive and time-consuming. Frankly, no one else seemed to appreciate her efforts, so eventually she decided to simply order one from a bakery and save herself the time and hassle (and she actually saved money–I know how pricey just making those fruitcake cookies was).

          Well, the cats and the man have all lived me with long enough to be accustomed to my many little eccentricities. 😉

  2. Yay, Fedoralady, on the British treats. We always celebrate Norwegian Christmas on Christmas Eve and English Christmas with all the traditional foods on Christmas Day which leaves me feeling stuffed for several weeks. The best British treat this year was viewing Thorin on Boxing Day – mmm – mouthwatering indeed!

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