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Totally Tropical Christmas Pudding

TOTALLY TROPICAL CHRISTMAS PUDDING

It has become a family tradition that I make the Christmas Pudding each year. It is always slightly different depending on what I have in the kitchen and this Totally Tropical Christmas Pudding came about because I had some Malibu languishing in the back of a cupboard. I decided to go for a tropical theme with mango, papaya and coconut rather than the more traditional fruits. (The one rule I have is that there has to be no orange in it, due to the dietary needs of a family member).

The result was a tropical Christmas feast, with a much lighter flavour and texture than a traditional Christmas pudding. It is pretty easy to make, the only downside is the long steaming time.

You will see from the pictures that I have gone for a more traditional pudding in a muslin cloth; this was not due to Dickensian nostalgia but rather because I had left my pudding bowls and my parents house last year. Oh well, better lucky than good…

So, stick on some Christmas music, pour some mulled wine and lets get baking…

 

Christmas Pudding in Muslin Bag

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Spiced Apple Chutney

I had to wait several weeks after making this Spiced Apple Chutney before I was able to taste it, but it was worth the wait.

I decided to make this Spiced Apple Chutney after collecting a big bag of apple windfalls from a recent storm. What better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon?

It is really simple to make chutney but it does take a bit of time and preparation and, just to warn you, your kitchen will smell of vinegar for days afterwards (I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the smell of cooking vinegar, it grabs you by the back of throat but is quite invigorating at the same time)

That said, it is well worth the time and effort to make your own chutney as it will be much nicer than store-bought variations. Jars of homemade chutney also make good gifts if well presented. Try this chutney with a big hunk of cheddar cheese and crusty bread, or with a ploughman’s lunch.

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Sourdough Bread

‏Warning: Making Sourdough Bread is a labour of love, but like anything we do for love it is always worthwhile.

‏This loaf took about 4 days from start to finish. It was my first attempt and I was pleased with the result.

‏I admit that I cheated a little and bought at sourdough starter from ‘Baz and Ed’s Street Food’ at a food fair in Enniskillen. However, if you are very dedicated you can make your own starter…. I have dug out a recipe from the Doyenne of Irish cooking: Darina Allen; I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure it’s the business.

‏Once you have the starter there isn’t a whole lot of work, but there is a whole lot of waiting. However, the starter can be reused over and over again so once you’ve started on your journey of sourdough bread making you may be in for the long haul.

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