It was fun to do, and the steaming process in particular transformed the kitchen into a kind of orange-and-cinnamon flavoured sauna which it was very tempting to just stay in all weekend while the marking lay unattended in the lounge. It was also quite a lot easier than I had expected. There are certainly a lot of ingredients, and it takes a long time to measure them all out, but once they are assembled it is really just a question of mixing them up and waiting patiently while they simmer on the stove. Saint Delia had given me to understand that the mixing process in particular was destined to be terribly arduous, but (unless I have done something wrong) it didn't seem that bad really. Anyway, the final result seems to both look and smell like a Christmas pudding. I just have to hope that it tastes like one too.
Since I live in Yorkshire these days, I feel duty-bound to point out that making your own Christmas pudding in the 21st century is very definitely a leisure activity, rather than an economy option. The ingredients alone cost something in the region of £20 - largely, of course, because I kept having to do things like buy a 200g pot of glacé cherries so that I would have 50g worth of them to put in the pudding. And that's before you allow for the fact that I also had to buy two pudding basins and a pudding steamer in order to cook it all. Still, does buying even Waitrose's finest luxury Christmas pudding have the same romance? Do you get to make a wish while you stir it, or wonder excitedly who will find the sixpences concealed in its murky depths, and whether their teeth with survive the experience? Oh no, I think not.
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