February 12, 2012

National Plum Pudding Day

“....the art of cooking as practiced by Englishmen does not extend much beyond roast beef and plum pudding.” - Pehr Kalm

It's National Plum Pudding Day!

What contains no plums and is actually called “Christmas Pudding”?

If your guess was plum pudding... you’re right!

This particular dessert was created in the 17th century when raisins and other dried fruits were referred to as “plums.” It was tradition in England to bake small silver charms into the boiled or steamed pudding. If you received the wishbone, it meant you’d have good luck; a thimble meant thriftiness; an anchor meant safe harbor; and a coin – the only remaining charm today - meant wealth in the coming year. When I lived in England, I actually got to partake in this tradition. I, however, did not receive the silver coin in my portion of plum pudding (then again, I had no idea that I was supposed to be even look for one until one of my mate’s girlfriends started squealing in delight when she found it. A few days later my dumbfounded face would return when we were given crackers – wrapped, decorated cardboard tubes that contain a “cracker” [something that makes a loud popping sound], a joke, and a paper crown – and I had no idea what to do with it).

In my head Christmas Pudding and Christmas Crackers go hand-in-hand, so today I celebrated with home-made paper crowns and a store-made plum pudding absolutely soaked in whiskey. Let's put it this way: I'm really glad I chose to make the crowns before I ate the pudding, because I'm not entirely sure I would have been able to properly use scissors after eating the whiskey plum pudding!

Happy National Plum Pudding Day!