Today I didn't expect to do anything special; my plan was to - finally - get the laundry done (only two days late). I did do that, but we decided to make our dinner a bit more special than left overs so out to the grocery store we went. Here's the menu we came up with:
- wild salmon with mustard, lemon, and tarragon sauce
- wild and other rices
- roasted Brussels sprouts and cauliflower with pine nuts and sister-in-law's special salt with Meyer lemon rind
- fresh cherry tomatoes
But that's not all. Do you remember the Christmas Carol "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", or more specifically do you remember the second verse, "Now bring us some figgy pudding . . ."? Have you like us ever wondered about that pudding? I mean, really. Figs? I made that dessert this afternoon, and still wondered about the figs - especially since my recipe called for more dates than figs. Were there more dates than figs available? So I did a little research.
In 16th century England, puddings could be and were made from anything lying around, and I guess figs were pretty rare so therefore a good thing to toss into the Christmas pudding. But pudding? Then again, one has to remember that we're talking about England where the word "pudding" doesn't have the same meaning it does for us. You're thinking chocolate, rice, or tapioca when you think pudding. But what about bread pudding? Very different consistency, right? And plum pudding? Very cake-like. And that's what figgy pudding is - very like a dense, moist cake. And good? You can't begin to imagine. I also found out that recipes for figgy pudding vary a lot, but oh my, the one I made was terrific.
From now on, figgy pudding will have a prominent place on our holiday menus.