Dear God… it worked!

Words just can not describe how ecstatic I am right now. So much time and effort has been put into today, my apartment has been beautifully warm and I haven’t even needed the heat on due to the cooking today. As I have always wanted to try and make a christmas pudding on my own (usually I’m always helping my Dad who is the cook back home for this kind of thing). Now that I am over here, may as well give it a try, no harm right? Well add in a bit of a tough call on this because I comitted to bringing one for Christmas Dinner at my mates place. There was no going back it HAD to happen. If it didn’t, I had no real back up.

So for almost a month now since I made the comittment, the fruit has been soaking in Bacardi Black Label. Now it is far from traditional for this as usually it would be bundy that the fruit would of been soaked in. I have been stressing for weeks now, wanting to make sure that it all worked. As I spent weekend after weekend prepping to make sure I had the right things for the recipes. I had to hunt down a pudding cloth which meant a trip to the local craft store to get some Calico, but over here thats not all that easy now is it, because it isn’t even called calico, its muslin cloth. Then there are some of the spices, the recipe called for Mixed Spice, which of course isn’t here. Apparently it is called “pumpkin pie spice” and it exactly the same! And people say things are not different over here!

So the day approached, planning had to be done as once I started cooking this thing, it was all or nothing. 6 hours it would be on the stove, for at least 6 hours I would not be able to leave the house. So I made sure all my shopping and groceries were done yesterday, all the ingrediants were in the house, I had everything! I woke up this morning hit the gym and then as soon as I was showered and clean, before even having breakfast I got started on the pudding!

From Expat Life

The mix was made. Now time to deal with the cloth. One of the wierdest things and the most crucial. First you have to make sure the cloth is drenched in the boiling water, then you lay it out, cover it in flour and hope & pray it all works. Because if you don’t tie that string tight enough, it is SCREWED. So I did what I could. I tied it as tight as I could, I retied it again just to be sure. Totally worrying over each little bit. The funny thing was when I started putting it into the pot, well that was when I was starting to really worry.

In the bottom of the pot full of boiling water your meant to put a plate so it has something to protect the pudding from the bottom of the saucepan just in case. Also serves a dual purpose as the rattling of the plate keeps you aware that it is boiling. I wasn’t going to use a good plate though, stuff that! So off to the “thrift store” I went. Pretty similar to a Vinnies back home, I picked up a plate yesterday for 55c (incl tax). SCORE! I would have no problem if the thing cracked or was ruined cause seriously who cares about 55c. So into the saucepan it went with loads of water and then in went the pudding for the next 6 hours.

From Expat Life

So now I am stuck here, watching a stove for 6 hours. What to do, what to do! Well I made sure to finally eat (since by now it was almost 930am and no breakfast) but I had also decided to use up some of the leftover fruit. I kept some aside for a backup dessert in case the pudding didn’t work (Ice Cream Christmas Pudding in the middle of winter anyone?) and took the remainder and turned it into Fruit Mince Tarts. They turned out ok, and a spoon full of the mixture I tasted… HOLY CRAP WAS IT STRONG! Half a bottle of rum went into that fruit and it was killer. The tarts could do with a bit of perfecting and I may attempt another batch next weekend.

From Expat Life

But the main thing was I was still stuck around the house, So I gave the apartment its biggest clean, i tidied up everything and put hours of work into cleaning the house (especially after the mess I had created this morning). 6 hours later though the timer finally went off. After having to fill the pot with more water every 20-30 minutes it sure was good to know it was all done! I pulled it out of the pot and let it drain. I even had to call home and get Dad’s advice on what to do if I should pull the cloth off it. He told me I should of done it the minute it came out. WOOPS! So I did it straight away and SUCCESS!!!

From Expat Life

It worked! No water got in, nothing! It didn’t have the skin I like but hopefully some time in the fridge will help that out to set now. I am totally stoked that it turned out. All the stressing, effort and everything was not in vain. Now comes the problem… do I serve it with Brandy Custard or Ice Cream? one little problem.. I don’t have any brandy :/

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