A couple of weeks ago while I was strolling around a market in a lovely little town in Gran Canaria I came across several stalls selling linens. More specifically they were selling Christmas themed linens; tablecloths, tea towels and aprons, all decorated with Santas, pointsettias, angels, etc... It reminded me of when I was a child when the Sears Christmas Catalogue would arrive and I would spend ages looking through the pages of Christmassy homewares. I could not understand why my mom did not have reindeer patterned plates, it seemed like an important element missing from our lives. I decided that when I grew up I would have my very own set of Christmas themed table settings. Looking at them now I could only laugh as they seemed especially absurd given the 28 °C temperature and blazing sunshine. It reminded me that before i left for my relaxing holiday in the sun I had mixed my Christmas puddings and would need to steam them upon my return.
I love making Christmas puddings, it is such a long process involving several steps but I love each one. I love shopping for the ingredients and liberally pouring in the brandy. I love the stirring up and calling E. into the kitchen to have a few stirs, I love tying up the puddings and I love the six hours of steaming each pudding (or slightly less as I made some smaller puds this year). I love giving home-made pudding to people as gifts as they are always so excited. I love saturating it with warmed brandy and then setting it alight.
The wonderful thing about Christmas puddings is that you can change the ingredients to suit your own tastes. Don't like almonds, that's okay use pecans or hazelnuts. Not a fan of brandy, use rum. Big nutmeg fan, add more!