Christmas Pudding

Christmas pudding - a bite

This month we read one of the books I selected. It was my turn to nominate four books for voting and I was hoping we would pick and read ‘Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini as I love the book for its graphic representation of Kabul and the way the author has delved into the psyche of each character in the novel – brilliant!  I also liked the ray of hope the author ends the story with. However we ended up reading Agatha Christie’s “The Adventures of the Christmas Pudding” – a short collection of detective stories with Hercule Poirot – the egg headed (rightly so, as he is just too full of himself!) Belgian detective of immaculate manners, and elegant French expressions, and one last story with Jane Marple.
Agatha Christie’s novels takes one back to the so called practical Englishman’s world – I am not sure whether there is any amount of truth in that assumption as I have neither known a Brit! Fact remains that the curious and typical portrayal of the characters does get the reader more involved in the books probably, because the detection is not confined to clinical standards, and is more human and emotional in its approach. For me it is very important that books and writings whether fiction or non-fiction should have a personal touch. It should give me something to connect myself with – at least that is what attracts me even today to revisit the Grand Old Dame’s novels (I have read all her books)!Food wise this time it was tie till the last moment – I wanted to make a pear tart as I already baked a pudding this month, but since the tasty pears disappeared down our tummies that morning I had to settle for another pudding – a vegan Christmas pudding inspired from none other than Chef Ananda Solomon’s (Of Taj President) Grandmother’s recipe!

During my return from Bangalore I found a magazine – Savvy’s Cookbook at the airport. I picked it up and slept on it during the trip but when I later read it, I found that the magazine was really good. The magazine is well edited, covers food of all kinds and is very slick in appearance. I have the December issue which contains Christmas delicacies shared by famed Indian Chefs. Chef Ananada Solomon shared an ‘eggy’ steamed Christmas pudding his grandmother made, and I knew it would be tasty as the recipe itself gave an idea of how it was going to be. I veganized it by replacing the eggs with strawberry sauce, and also replaced the brandy with red wine. The result was a very tasty pudding but the colour isn’t what it should be, probably because I used organic jaggery in place of molasses. I have also reduced the amount of fruits and nuts to half and still the pudding seemed very rich to me! I am not putting down the recipe as I would like to make it once more to be sure of the quantities of ingredients used, and also try till I get that lovely dark plum colour.

P and I loved it with the cinnamon sauce (A spice that really stirs me up!). My children found it too heavy for their liking – both have them probably agree on only one thing! They hate dry fruits and nuts in cakes. A smattering of pine nuts or almonds is fine but not raisins, dates or the like.

I cut out a wedge for the picture and had to really hurry as Jr.H had already licked up some of the sauce that dripped on the side of the pudding! They took it to school for short break – my son seems to get a kick out of eating homemade delicacies in front of his class mates. If I ask him whether I should pack two pieces he says – “No, no! Just one huge piece.” Guess why? Nobody will pick up a half eaten piece but if there are two someone might take away the second piece while he is having the first! Earlier I tried changing his behaviour but now I feel that this is just a growing up phase and anyway my conscience would kill me – I don’t remember being miss goody two shoes any day! I am sure he will soon grow out of it because he is otherwise generous and shares when one of his friends forgets lunch. My daughter took two as she likes to share her things and tell me the reactions. This time most of her friends agreed that there were too many fruits in it. That is a cue for me when I make it again!

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  1. I borrowed CD book of this novel from the library, it was wonderful and also a bit sad about the condition there. I haven’t read his second book yet.

    Pudding looks yum. In UK, they make a cake like this for X Mas even darker fruit cake. I love Cinnamon too, specially Cinnabon kind.Slurp! 😀

    I have emailed a few bloggers about their comment section, and one doesn’t have a comment section at all and there is no email either to tell her!! GREAT!!More happy days for me! Hahaha!

  2. I’ve read one or two of Agatha Christie’s novels,and I’m quite a fan of hers(Unfortunately,enormous volumes of Engg. textbooks prevent me from enjoying my
    ‘best-frnds’,U’re mighty lucky,I should say!)

    Anyways,I completely agree wid you,I too like my books to have that personal touch,something that makes me feel I belong to that world.
    The pudding looks sooooo professional,you’re sure a ‘Jack(no, Jane)of all trades.

    P.S.: This post has made me a bigger fan of yours!!!

  3. I came to know of the condition in Kabul from that book Harini .. and then read A Thousand Splendid Suns .. awesome! And yes, I hate raisins in my cake too. 🙂
    Waiting for the recipe for that yummy looking pudding. 🙂

  4. That pudding looks good.. do post the recipe soon. My kids hate dry fruits in the cake.. I love it. they love plain vanilla.

    Like sharmila.. I recently read the Thousand Splendid Suns & also The Kiterunner… I get so disturbed that I lose my sleep.

  5. The pudding makes me hungry..I think you cant go for a better click than the first one..Lovely

  6. Wow, tht pudding looks delicious, never tried a cinnamon sauce like this. I too like books which have a personal touch to them, else can’t relate and give up instantly.

  7. When I was teen my fav author was Agatha Christie. I am the kind of mystery, suspense, who keep me engaged…
    Actually I love nuts and fruits in my cake but not my son. May be dry fruits and nuts are for grown up! Love the sauce all over….

  8. Kite runner is an amazing book! I’m absolutely in love with Khaled Husseini! The christmas pudding looks delicious 🙂

  9. Pudding looks very yummy Harini

  10. I am a great fan of Agatha Christie too..love her language..:)
    Great cake.I loved that pic with sauce dripping out..yum..:)

  11. Pudding looks soooo delicious, love ur vegan version, one more treasure:)

  12. Pudding looks yum Harini.I love the cinnamon flavor.Also,try watching the Kite runner movie,its very good.I think one shud first read Kite Runner and then A thousand splendid suns!

  13. Pavithra Kodical

    Looks divine..Would love to dig into that 🙂

    I usually get Agatha Christie’s DVD from library.

  14. Beautiful pics, H!

    And about the Kiterunner, I was depressed for a week after I read it 🙁 Have you read his other books? They are equally good!

  15. I loved the cake.. I like anything with nuts and raisins 😀 The pictures are too tempting 😀

  16. Asha, I tried reading books on comp. but doesn't work out for me. Do read the second one and get ready to get mesmerised!! Regarding slightly depressing or rather very depressing portions – yes! there is a lot of it so be prepared:). So funny about that blogger! No comments and no email – maybe it is deliberate.

    Jayu, in that case I am sure you will enjoy reading Feynman's books. Do try "Surely, your're joking Mr.Feynman!". It is a semi-autobiography style book and the chapters are all independent so you don't need to worry about finishing the book, and Feynman is DELIGHTFULLYN WITTY!! Thanks for your wonderful compliments – gives me something(inspiration) to live up to:)

    Sharmila, so we do have some grown ups too who don't like fruits in their cakes:). I read A thousand shining suns immediately after this book overnight and baked a time taking bread to keep me company!!

    Soma, I had the same feelings!!

    Cham, I am still crazy about suspense and thrillers:) During my teens I loved Chase and my fav. was Alistair McLean. I love his racy fast pace even now!

    Thank you, Ann, Maya, Veggiebelly, Trupti, Varsha, Priya and Pavithra.

    Nithya, I haven't seen the movie. It never released here!! Will try and get hold of the DVD.

    A & N, yes! I have read thousand shining suns. Are there other books too? I agree with your sentiments but then the ray of hope at the end sets it right!

  17. Cinammon Sauce! That’s an amazing idea. And the pudding looks great – I love anything with raisins and nuts 🙂

  18. The christmas pudding looks very nice. Great texture. My hubby read the kite runner some days back and was all praise for the book.

  19. I recently read Kite Runner. Being a very emotional person,in some parts, I was so touched that it was difficult to hold back my tears. Have to read thousand splendid suns soon.

    Pudding and the sauce looks delicious.

  20. Pudding looks too gud,sounds great:)

  21. yummy pudding… and I totally agree about cinnamon… having cinnamon flavored coffee makes me day 🙂

  22. even i am big fam of agatha christie..but now don get time to read books,..:-( pudding looks delicious,..

  23. Hi Harini

    I have seenthe kiterunner movie & it is a very nice movie……..will wait for u to put down the recipe so that even i can give a try.

  24. Inviting christmas pudding Harini. want to have some right now.

  25. Kitchen Flavours

    Pudding sounds yum and that sauce looks drool worthy.

  26. Poirot is my fav character and interestingly i am reading Poirot’s early cases. But suprisingly i like the TV series than the book itself. it may be due to the portrayal of Poirot by David Suchet who will make u fall in love with this guy and i am rather fond of this egg headed Belgian detective. Never thought him to be self-centred one as A.Christie tried to portray him in her later books of Poirot. Interestingly she started hating Poirot and Miss Marple was her fav (as Jane Marple’s character resembled her own grandmother).

    and do I need to say anything about ur Christmas pudding? just wondering if u have hid any precious stone in it? may be i will know it only if u give me big slice of it 😉

  27. Hey Harini,

    Loved your write up…A bit of this and a bit of that and a lot of that!!! Loved your vegan cake. But I am not that in to cinnamon…Wndering if I shd replace it with nutmeg???

    Shoba

  28. During my collage days I used to read a lot of Agatha Cristie..Now not that much, but read other books with some touch to it..
    Christmas Pudding looks so yumm..Love the cinnamon flavor..

  29. wow pudding looks so amazing

  30. Hi there,

    Love the Christmas pudding, even though the season is long gone :_)

  31. I love cinnamon sauce and chocolate puddings,but I do have a slight aversion to dry fruits in puddings and cakes as I feel they are dense/heavy or I do not know.so I avoid them as much as possible.The pics are soooooooooo beautiful.The pudding is soooo professional.I like kite runner over Agatha Christie,which I avoid.I cannot stand the egg headed.I even hated it when they made a series,ugh.That made me hate AG all the more.But KH is preferred,I believe we can relate to such novels,may be thats what I feel.

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