17 December 2007

all is calm

Due to the raingloriousrain all day long on Saturday, the two social engagements we had planned were cancelled, leaving us with a quiet, unstructured day that was exactly what we all needed. We got so much done.

We missed Stir-up Sunday a few weeks ago, but that’s ok. I’m a traditionalist, but I’m ok with tardiness too. Oh, and this was for the Christmas cake, not the Christmas pudding. Oh well.

mix, Son #1

Everyone took a turn and made a wish.

mixing, Sons #2 and 3

I was alerted recently to the fact that Americans don’t do plum pudding, or Christmas pudding. Which accounts for the fact that whenever I write something about ‘pud’ (pronounced with the same sound as good, rather than food), someone writes in the comments What’s pud? I had no idea that Christmas pudding was not global. How can this be? Christmas dinner isn’t complete without a flaming pud served with brandy butter. (What do you eat for dessert on the big day, then?)

Every year I am determined to make my pudding well ahead of time (as in October) and let it hang and mature, and every year it’s a last minute mid-December effort. Which is fine by me.

Anyway.

The children wrapped some presents, the mister mortared a bit more of the firepit (remember the children’s firepit?. It’s matured too), and we all settled down for an afternoon viewing of Bridge to Terabithia and I sat on the floor and cut out a hundred triangles from the book of upholstery samples I picked up at Reverse Art Truck recently.

christmas cards wip

I knew they’d come in handy somehow. Every year I’m determined to make our own Christmas cards in plenty of time (like in October) and every year I end up buying a couple of packets of readymade cards from the post office. Except for last year when I didn’t get around to sending out cards at all and then was wracked with guilt all year long.

christmas cards

This year I actually made cards! (I’m so proud).* The whole exercise was prompted by the fact that I bought a box of cards and Christmas stamps last month but they’ve disappeared into the black hole that is the pile of paperwork on the kitchen bench and we can’t find them. (Not so proud).

Now I just have to write these and post them.

Ha.


* I can’t remember whose blog it was on which I saw something like this and blatantly ripped it off was so inspired by. If it was you, thank you. You’re brilliant.

** Apologies to those of you who read me via bloglines. You know what I'm talking about.

31 comments:

Miss Eagle said...

What do Americans eat for dessert, then, at Christmas? Apple Pie and Pumpkin Pie? And do the Canadians follow suit? Pop over to my food blog Oz Tucker at http://oztucker.blogspot.com for the best Pud....but I am tardy too and haven't made it this year. We'll see. Haven't made the cake either but was planning to throw together a boiled fruit cake out of sheer laziness. However, this morning have watched Nigella make a boiled (she calls it melted) fruit cake with some interesting extras. Talk about making a virtue.....

Blessings, bless and have a merry one

larissa said...

It sounds like a lovely and productive day!

I love those cards, and I was happy to see you were inspired by someone else you can't remember. Because that will make me feel okay about getting inspired by you, maybe someday making something like this. They are great.

p.s. I hope I didn't offend with my four-letter-word in my recent post. It sounds so much more refined to me, I didn't think of it as ruder. I'm sorry...

Sam said...

My family (american we are) always has an apple and a pumpkin pie, accompanied with coolwhip and some vanilla bean icecream. Doesn't the term "pudding" apply to all desserts across the pond, though? I heard that somewhere.

maymomvt (or Sarah) said...

Great cards! I was wracked with guilt when I didn't send out mine one year....that hasn't stopped me from procrastinating this year. For Christmas Eve I usually make a pear tart, for Christmas day I make a buche de noel, complete with little marzipan forest creatures. It takes a ridiculous amount of time to make and every year I swear I won't make one and then do.

Katy said...

well, in my American family, the big dinner is on Christmas Eve, and for desert it is usually an assortment of cookies, Bakers Square Candy Cane Pie (that link will only work for another couple of weeks, I imagine) and ice cream. Xmas Eve is at my aunt and uncle's house, and he doesn't think that there is any food in the house if there aren't treats (read: sweets and crisps) so there are plenty of choices.

On Christmas Day, we do a brunch thing, and there is usually another cookie tray, but not a specific desert.

And I'm not sure that I understand the appeal of the Aussie/Brit pudding. Its nothing like what Americans call pudding, and having seen them while we were visiting, didn't find them very appealing either in description or appearance. Enlighten us North American heathens?

blackbird said...

I'm so glad to read this - your card is sitting on my bench...still haven't posted it. I bought the stamps though.

Lazy cow said...

Great trees. I saw this last year on a crafty blog, but using paper triangles. Cut them, pasted them, then didn't send them. In fact, I think I STILL have yours!! You'll get it this week, if I can find it.
My family always had a cassata (Italian ice cream/nut/choc dessert). No idea why, we're not Italian. When I got married I LOVED that his (very Aussie) family had the traditional pud with custard, and the threepence pieces hidden in the pudding for good luck. Was a bit shocked that his granny would go around collecting the thruppences to reuse for the following year!
As Christmas is at my place this year, I'm making a berry tart.

Badger said...

Hey, I know what pud is, but only because I watch way too much BBC America (as Joke will tell you).

For dessert after Christmas dinner, we have COOKIES! Lots and lots of cookies. Which you may call biscuits, while wearing jumpers and wrapped up in doonas, or whatever it is you lot do.

shula said...

If Badger keeps this up, we make have to make her an honorary Australian.

I lost my Mum's christmas pudding recipe about 10 years ago. Made the mistake of lending it out.

I have never recovered, and haven't made a pudding since.

Janet said...

we have my nan's sago plum pudding, which my mum always makes because of the undisolved sago incident of 1996. I can't imagine Christmas without pud either. Yumm, yumm.

M said...

I was starting to think no-one else made Christmas pud anymore. It is my FAVOURITE desert of the year, served with lashings of icecream and home-made cornflour/egg custard. I usually pile on the kilos at Christmas eating the stuff. I'm not so much of a brandy butter person but will have it if offered.

Love your cards.

Jodie said...

Great cards ! Our pudding maker has quit this year and having never made one I am looking for something different for this year...

Danielle said...

If I had to guess, you've answered some questions designed by American teenagers. "you mean, like, there are other countries, like, that don't wear sweats?" Some of the questions reminded me of the "purity test" that has been making the rounds of American high schools for decades...
Good answers, though. :-)

fiveandtwo said...

Hmm...if the apricots are ripe, then it's apricot tarte tatin with cream. Sometimes as well as this sort of christmas pudding ice-cream thing, or instead of.
I really like those cards - may have to pirate the idea for next year!

daintee said...

Ohhh your cards are so cute!! And we Canadians eat absolutely whatever for dessert on Christmas, although every family has its own traditions. I've had black forest cake before, along with frozen strawberry pie, and some sort of chocolate and cream log. Pretty much, anything goes, so long as it's a family favorite. But I am definitely intrigued by this "pud" business! It all sounds very Bridget Jonesy or Nigella-y to me over here in Canada!

Paula said...

Well, in this part of Canada the plum pudding is alive and well as is fruit cake and Yule log; I referring to the cake version of a Yule log and not the Yule log that is burnet in the fire although we do love a cosy fire any day of the fall or winter.
We serve our plum pudding warm with a dollop of hard sauce, along with a hot brandy sauce or hot maple sugar sauce. Some people like a bit of vanilla ice cream with their plum pudding although this is not traditional. We also serve an assortment of shortbread cookies, and of course butter tarts.

jessmonster said...

I like a Christmas dessert with chocolate in it, please and thank you, but we don't have any particular traditions. The pud references didn't mystify me thanks to all the British books I've read.

amy said...

One of our big traditions for Christmas has to do with a Christmas breakfast. My mother-in-law has made an delightful cardimon roll for years. We all look forward to it, especially drenched in her homemade raspberry jam.

meggie said...

I dont make a pud- dont like it. I make an ice cream with the usual suspects instead. Seems ok for the hot weather.

Love those cards. Brilliant.

Kieren said...

We've given up on christmas cards. For about 10 years now we send out valentines in February instead. Much more fun, and not stressful.
and here in California, my mom has made flaming christmas pud with hardsauce. sometimes.
sometimes we have a buche de noel.
last year i made lemon mousse with chocolate leaves on top.
my 13yr old son wants to help this year - buy one of those blowtorches and make creme brulee...

Victoria said...

I am amazed about the pudding not being an american thing too. i don't know why I am so amazed because I don't even like it, but it still is a amazing fact. Gosh Bridge to Terabithia was a bit heartbreaking, wasn't it?!

Hyena In Petticoats said...

What the heck is hard sauce?

And Badger? Not only do we eat biscuits, wearing jumpers, wrapped in doonas, we also have a full cooked lunch with hot crazy pudding in the middle of Summer.

And we think Americans are crazy..... sheesh.

We sneak lots of booze into our pudding and then feed it to our teetotalling grandma...... yes we are evil shits, but it's the only way to get through the day without an multiple famiial homicide...

I don't eat the pudding though, I'm not keen on dried fruit..... my sister makes hummingbird cake instead, and I eat about three quarters of that. Then a nap on the couch. followed by the rest of the cake. yum.

xx

Stacey (Sheeps Clothing) said...

Really? They don't eat plum pud? Its just not Christmas without plum pud. It may not be the ideal dessert when its 40 degrees and the flies are threatening to carry it off with them, but it must be done.
I love your mixing bowl. I have a thing for them and am still searching for the perfect (large, solid and attractive) mixing bowls. A set would be nice for Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Plum pudding isn't global cos its tend to be cooked in basins these days.

I often do a chocolate Christmas pud, in individual teacups, as well as the more traditional Victorian vegetable plum pud - which also works really well.

& the cards are great.

ellen said...

My mother made pudding every year. It was made early in the fall, soaked in brandy (I think), wrapped in cheese cloth and hung from the ceiling. On Christmas Eve after our dinner, it would be brought to the table, flaming and served with hard sauce.
This was such a long time ago...before there were seedless raisins, and I remember her seeding hundreds of raisins!
Christmas morning meant kippers! Yum!!

Isabelle said...

Great cards. When I retire, I shall make my own cards. Possibly.

Stephanie Trigg said...

Christmas pudding always. Every year. My partner's aunt brings the brandy butter; my brother-in-law the fresh berries and chocolate dipping sauce for accompaniment. My mother's sister is famous for saute-ing slices of pudding in butter for breakfast on Boxing Day.

willowcaroline said...

Haha... had to laugh about losing the cards, because I spent the afternoon searching for the stamps I knew I bought for mailing my cards... finally found them. But it was tough going for a while.

Your tree cards turned out beautifully!

Elizabeth said...

Christmas pud at this house, too. In fact, it was my choice for birthday dinner, on the 24th (I had to make it myself, though) We don't go for hard sauce but we all prefer custard AND caramel sauce and the dh likes lemon sauce to go with.
And a birthday candle!
And oh crap, I was going to send you a card....

Annie said...

Love the cards - I always have great intentions too, but can totally relate to the black hole and mess on the kitchen bench.

Melissa said...

Delurking to send you this link from the New York Times that explains why Americans do not eat pudding (Warning: may cause offense to those who like pudding):
A dessert with a past