Northern Mummy

General thoughts and wittering about all sorts of things

Steam

on November 20, 2011

Today was P-Day: the pudding was duly packed into its basin and steamed for eight hours!  I couldn’t believe anything would take that long but that’s what the recipe said, so that’s what I did.  It was a bit manic in our kitchen this lunch time as we had 5 guests (+ a baby) in addition to the 4 of us, and I was doing a Sunday lunch with Yorkshire pudding, 4 veg and a choice of desserts.  I must state here for the record, Sunday lunch does not usually involve 4 veg for me but last night I discovered that the joint of beef I had would serve 4 adults and we were 6 adults and 3 children, so I panicked and prepared every vegetable we had in the house (bar a squash because I wasn’t sure where we would cook it).  This meant that by 1.30 pm we were using both ovens, all 4 hobs and the microwave and there were still pots and pans queuing for hob-space!  But I needed to get the pudding on before lunch, otherwise we’d have been up all night waiting for it to finish.

I was disappointed by the steaming process: I had expected the house to be permeated by a beautiful aroma similar to that of a baking Christmas cake, but by mid-afternoon all we could smell – and see, and taste, not to mention feel if we went in the kitchen – was steam (I have steamed things before but never for as long as this).  It was a fairly misty November day today, but the inside of our house was even worse.  The afternoon with our friends was punctuated by dashes to the kitchen to check and top up the water, whilst my choir practice this evening was somewhat fraught with concern over the pudding’s well-being – would my husband remember to check on it, especially as he has a friend over for prayer and Bible study on a Sunday evening?  When I returned home the kitchen floor was awash with condensation and all the tea-towels were soggy, but it was finally time to switch off the heat and retrieve my pudding basin (I have a nifty little macramé basket-type thing, bought from Lakeland years ago – you slip a wooden spoon through the handles and lift it out of the pan that way).  And all the steam hassle will be 100% worth it on Christmas Day, I can tell, because I sneaked a little peek (even though you’re supposed to leave the steaming papers on till it’s cold) and was greeted by the smell I’d longed for all afternoon!

A sneak peek!

I’m so thrilled, mainly because it looks and smells like a Christmas pudding – when you make something for the first time you never know how it will turn out!  And I’m also flabbergasted at the thought that it still need two more hours of steaming on Christmas Day – what on earth does it do in all that time?  Once again I’m going to be pushed for kitchen space as it takes up residence on the back of the hob while I bustle around preparing Christmas lunch – although just for the 4 of us I think this year – and we’ll be enveloped in clouds of steam.  But the thought of a home-made pudding makes it worthwhile.

And think what good all that steam must be doing for our skin.

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