Christmas Pudding

Christmas pudding - a bite

This month we read one of the books I selected. It was my turn to nominate four books for voting and I was hoping we would pick and read 'Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini as I love the book for its graphic representation of Kabul and the way the author has delved into the psyche of each character in the novel - brilliant!! I also liked the ray of hope the author ends the story with. However we ended up reading Agatha Christie's "The Adventures of the Christmas Pudding" - a short collection of detective stories with Hercule Poirot - the egg headed (rightly so, as he is just too full of himself!) Belgian detective of immaculate manners, and elegant French expressions, and one last story with Jane Marple.

Agatha Christie's novels takes one back to the so called practical Englishman's world, and the more whimsical French - I am not sure whether there is any amount of truth in that assumption as I have neither known a Brit nor a French! Fact remains that the curious and typical portrayal of the charaters does get the reader more involved in the books probably, because the detection is not cold or practical but more human and emotional in its approach. For me it is very important that books and writings whether fiction or non-fiction should have a personal touch. It should give me something to connect myself with - at least that is what attracts me even today to revisit the Grand Old Dame's novels(I have read all her books)!

Food wise this time it was tie till the last moment - I wanted to make a pear tart as I already baked a pudding this month, but since the tasty pears disappeared down our tummies that morning I had to settle for another pudding - a vegan Christmas pudding inspired from none other than Chef Ananda Solomon's (Of Taj President) Grandmother's recipe!


During my return from Bangalore I found a magazine - Savvy's Cookbook at the airport. I picked it up and slept on it during the trip but when I later read it, I found that the magazine was really good. I haven't found copies in Thane newsstands yet, but do pick up a copy if you can. The mag is well edited, covers food of all kinds and is very slick in appearance. I have the December issue which contains Christmas delicacies shared by famed Indian Chefs. Chef Ananada Solomon shared an 'eggy' steamed Christmas pudding his grandmother made, and I knew it would be tasty as the recipe itself gave an idea of how it was going to be. I veganized it by replacing the eggs with strawberry sauce, and also replaced the brandy with red wine. The result was a very tasty pudding but the color isn't what it should be, probably because I used organic jaggery in place of molasses. I have also reduced the amount of fruits and nuts to half and still the pudding seemed very rich to me! I am not putting down the recipe as I would like to make it once more to be sure of the quantities of ingredients used, and also try till I get that lovely dark plum colour.

Christmas pudding - whole

P and I loved it with the cinnamon sauce (A spice that really stirs me up!). My children found it too heavy for their liking - both have them probably agree on only one thing! They hate dry fruits and nuts in cakes. A smattering of pine nuts or almonds is fine but not raisins, dates or the like:).

Cinnamon sauce

I cut out a wedge for the picture and had to really hurry as Jr.H had already licked up some of the sauce that dripped on the side of the pudding!! They took it to school for short break - my son seems to get a kick out of eating homemade delicacies in front of his class mates. If I ask him whether I should pack two pieces he says - "No, no! Just one huge piece." Guess why? Nobody will pick up a half eaten piece but if there are two someone might take away the second piece while he is having the first!! Earlier I tried changing his behaviour but now I feel that this is just a growing up phase and anyway my conscience would kill me - I don't remember being miss goody two shoes any day!! I am sure he will soon grow out of it because he is otherwise generous and shares when one of his friends forgets lunch:). My daughter took two as she likes to share her things and tell me the reactions. This time most of her friends agreed that there were too many fruits in it. That is a cue for me when I make it again!

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