I recently mentioned a box of goodies I received as a Christmas present, and said I would report on the contents when I’d tasted them.
I’m pleased to say that I’ve now tasted 4 of the 5 items in the box, as follows.
The Plum Pudding:
I like a nice fruity plum, or Christmas, pudding, and this one was particularly well endowed with fruit. In fact, the first thing on the list of ingredients was mixed dried vine fruits, at a lovely big 33%.
I haven’t got the packaging any more so I can’t check, but I do remember that brown sugar came quite low down on the list of ingredients. The pud was stuffed with sultanas, raisins, apricots, cherries, nuts and brandy, all of which were present in larger quantities than the sugar.
The pudding was duly heated up and dished out, steaming, into plates for me and my two most delightful assistants.
All sorts of things can accompany plum pudding, such as brandy sauce or ice cream, but I think the pick of all accompaniments is single pouring cream:
Unfortunately, technology doesn’t yet allow pictures on the screen to be tasted, but I can assure you that this plum pudding was a first class specimen. Fruity, nutty, boozy and extremely rich and delicious.
You might think that after such a pudding one ought to have had one’s cravings for sweet rich foods satisfied.
What, though, if you had a packet of shortbread biscuits and a box of jelly babies that had been neighbours to the pudding in the Christmas box looking as if they, too, yearned to be tasted?
A pot of Afternoon Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea (that also came in the Christmas box) was made, and the biscuits and babies laid out for contemplation.
Being a bit of a stickler for my preferred biscuit texture, I’m sometimes a little nervous when it comes to shortbread.
When I took these shortbread biscuits out of the pack they stuck together a bit, which caused anxious furrows to appear on my brow.
However, I needn’t have feared, for the dampness did not in any way impair the flavour or, indeed, texture of the bite. I wonder now if in fact the dampness was there simply as a reminder to me that dunking was called for.
To my mind, a biscuit successfully dunked (i.e. almost saturated with liquid and withdrawn just in time to avoid slippage into the bottom of the cup), is a biscuit that has attained the highest possible achievement in the biscuit world.
The biscuit packaging stated that the contents were duty bound to be dunked. I’m delighted to report that they performed with aplomb.
Feeling I was on an unbeatable winning streak, I didn’t stop at biscuits.
The babies, unlike the biscuits, didn’t mop up liquid, but they did melt very slightly and glistened with tea when brought out of the cup.
On the whole, I take my jelly babies dry, but on this occasion the tea-coated baby was a very pleasant departure from the norm.
The only thing remaining for me to try from my Christmas box is the Christmas cake, and I’m saving it for its own little post.