I suspect that there is actually a law somewhere that defines Christmas dinner without pudding as a cruel and unusual punishment – but here in Oz it often represents a bit of a challenge when dinner time not unusually clocks in at north of 35°C. Over the years, we’ve done them all from ice cream and berry pudding when the hot weather was too much for small boys, through to hot plum pudding and hot custard to spit in the eye of the weather – actually not a hardship when that plum pudding came from my (slightly) elder sister Roslyn, to whom I bow as the queen of plum puddings!
For the gathering of the clan of my family in Canberra this year, the day looks likely to be milder than usual – around 25°C – so I am doing up a sticky date pudding in industrial quantity with buckets of ice cream on the side. Trailing it is wake are the Christmas cake, fruit mince pies, traditional shortbread, dark chocolate fudge, rosewater and white chocolate bark, chocolate dipped grapes, and such like that have been appearing out of the kitchen here at regular intervals in the last day or so. Roslyn’s daughter Lillian has made a mountain of cheese twists to keep body and soul together before dinner, our brother Tim (host for this extravaganza) and his son Anthony, plus our brother Ken (visiting from London) are doing all the roasts even as we speak, Roslyn and her husband Stephen have the con on all sorts of vegetable dishes.
This one closes out the Adevent-ure 2017 so after a wrestle with the wrapping paper and sticky tape shortly, the only thing left will be to say – Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
PS I can now report the pudding was a pearler and the feast was splendid indeed, with enough leftovers to feed an army so we reconvened at Roslyn & Stephen’s house on Boxing Day for a very pleasant evening.
PPS This works pretty well with gluten free flour – although the texture is slightly different, the flavour is all there.