Back to our irregularly scheduled programming...
I am very happy to report that Mummy screwed up all of her patience and actually waited for Christmas to have the pudding. No, her fuzzyheadedness did not file the secret-to-me location of the puddings in that murky thing of hers called "short term memory," allowing her to forget where she stashed the puds...
Not that she didn't use every trick in the book to get early access...
"Oh look it's snowing out, let's steam the pudding..."
"Oh look we don't have any sweets for supper, let's steam the pudding..."
"Oh look at how cute the cat is, let's steam the pudding..."
"Oh look, the snow melted away, let's steam the pudding..."
"Oh look Coronation Street is on, let's steam the pudding..."
"Oh look it's Saturday and Coronation Street isn't on, let's steam the pudding..."
and of course the old
"Are you sure it's good, how will you know if we don't try it before Christmas? You don't want to be the one who ruined Christmas because the pudding was rot, do you?
Yes...she tried her level best...but my stubbornness is equal to (or greater than) her eagerness to have pudding. Each time my answer was "No"--except for the last one where my answer was "the puddings are fine and they'll be better if you let them alone." Each time the reply was "You are so mean to me, I'm glad you aren't my mother."
Given all the food for Christmas, we actually steamed the pudding on Sunday, with plans to do a light resteaming-warming for Christmas. She was so excited.
"You need to make a hard sauce for it, " she announced.
"Really? You don't want brandy butter instead?"
"No. Lots of sauce."
Never having made a hard sauce before, I searched my shelves for a recipe--Delia, as ever, had the answer.
"Okay, I have a recipe. It serves four to six."
"Double it? There are only four of us for lunch (Mummy, Daddy, the exbf and me) and four again for supper (Mummy, Daddy, and the two boys from Toronto)--and daddy won't have any."
"Double it. I want lots of sauce for my pudding."*
Making the sauce didn't take long and we wound up with a vat of it...enough for at least 20 (imo), but just enough in hers.
"You want more brandy?'
"Yes, I like brandy. It will be nicer with the pudding--just a spoon more."
I think I used something like a total of 100ml of brandy (the one with the shadow of Napoleon on it, in case anyone is interested) for an 850ml vat of sauce. There's a reason it's called a hard sauce
We unmolded it and turned it onto a plate--she insisted that we flame it.
I don't think I've mentioned this before, but my mum has this uncanny ability to set off fire and smoke detectors by just walking near them. She can open the fridge and the detector goes off. She thinks about preheating the oven and the detector goes off. You don't want to know what happens when she actually does start cooking. It's not as if she actually burns things or sets the gas to 800C or anything. It's her weird human trick.
So, knowing that she wanted to flame the pudding--something we've never done--I was rather nervous. With full knowledge of the locations of all three fire extinguishers were in the kitchen, we soused the somewhat boozy, a tad sticky, almost ebony pudding with (you guessed it) brandy.
Daddy lit it. It burned a very pretty blue. It burned for a while before going out, but even with all that time, I was too slow with the camera, so we had to re-souse and re-light. if you look really carefully around the edges of the pudding you'll see it's swathed in blue. That's the colour of a flame fed by alcohol.
We dished the pudding and poured on the sauce. It was lovely and moist. And umm...boozy.
The pudding's all gone now...but the sauce isn't. I'm not sure what I'll do with it...Mummy has an idea.
"We should make another pudding..."
* Please note the possessive used: "my."
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