Monday, December 12, 2016

A 19th Century Christmas Pudding in 2014

My wife (whose blog can be seen HERE) and I are avid living historians. What that means is we dress up in old timey clothes, go various places, and recreate historical events or situations with great emphasis on historical accuracy in every detail.

As you will see when you visit my wife's blog the focus of her (and by extension my own) research is food. She is a bit of a celebrity in LH and Reenacting circles for her historical cooking. Occasionally she gets invited to sites and museums to cook this or that in a historical context or setting. Even more occasionally I get to tag along. In December of 2014 she was invited to cook at the 1897 Poe House in Fayetteville, NC for their Christmas program. The original plan was for me to drop her off and go on my merry way but that didn't happen. I stayed and helped her in the kitchen. As we cooked we both realized that we had forgotten some of the ingredients for our Christmas pudding and home was over an hour away. Needless to say running home was out of the question so... In true 19th century fashion we improvised!

Using our combined working knowledge of historical cookery we began mixing. Butter, sugar, flour, eggs, this, that, a pinch of something else. Now there is always that one person who lives by a recipe but neither the wife or I are that person. We know our ratios, we know what tastes right with what, and we know what doesn't. So using that basic culinary know-how we made a batter that "looked right" and tasted nice. Into the baking tin, and into the oven it went. As it baked we worked ourselves up a bit. The waiting is ALWAYS the most stressful part of cooking with us so to pass the time I made a sauce for the pudding. After all, no pudding is really complete without a sticky, sweet, delicious sauce!

The time had come... The pudding was ready so out of the oven and onto the plate. We tapped the tin a few times and PLOP! There stood the most beautiful 19th century creation of culinary joy that we had ever created, and we knew from the moment we saw it that it would never be replicated. I covered it with that sticky saucepan of golden syrupy goodness and it was ready to eat. Everyone who tasted it approved. All that was left at the end of the day was a sticky plate with a small puddle of sauce in the middle.

It was a Christmas Miracle!

If you would like to see the original post on the wife's page you can HERE!

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