Friday, December 17, 2010

Poetical Christmas Recipes, Part 2.

Another short and sweet – and musical – post today for you, folks. I hope your holiday season plans are going very smoothly, and your holiday catering even more smoothly. If you have not yet made your Christmas pudding, and you fancy one with a historical spin, you could refer to the Vintage Christmas Recipes archive. Alternatively, you could sing along with the following recipe from The Poetical Cookery Book, from the inimitable nineteenth century Punch (1852) magazine .

The Christmas Pudding.
Air: Jeannette and Jeannot.

If you wish to make a pudding in which every one delights
Of a dozen new-laid eggs you must take the yolks and whites;
Beat them well up in a basin till they thoroughly combine,
And shred and chop some suet particularly fine;

Take a pound of well-stoned raisins, and a pound of currants dried;
A pound of pounded sugar, and a pound of peel beside;
Stir them all well up together with a pound of wheaten flour,
And let them stand and settle for a quarter of an hour;

Then tie the pudding in a cloth, and put it in the pot,-
Some people like the water cold, and some prefer it hot;
But though I don’t know which of these two methods I should praise,
I know it ought to boil an hour for every pound it weighs.

Oh! If I were Queen of France, or better still, Pope of Rome,
I’d have a Christmas pudding every night I dined at home;
And as for other puddings, whatever they might be,
Why those who like the nasty things should eat them all for me.

Quotation for the Day

"Oh! All that steam! The pudding had just been taken out of the cauldron. Oh! That smell! The same as the one which prevailed on washing day! It is that of the cloth which wraps the pudding. Now, one would imagine oneself in a restaurant and in a confectioner's at the same time, with a laundry nest door. Thirty seconds later, Mrs. Cratchit entered, her face crimson, but smiling proudly, with the pudding resembling a cannon ball, all speckled, very firm, sprinkled with brandy in flames, and decorated with a sprig of holly stuck in the centre. Oh! The marvelous pudding!"
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

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