I've been drying/candying fruit all summer and fall in preparation for the yearly puddings. This is the first year where nearly all the fruit is home dried/candied. I also have some homemade apple brandy for the spirits, and my own bread for the crumbs. I feel like it is 1840-well, except for the electric dehydrator. Dudes, you should get one of those machines, they work a treat.
Today, we did all the chopping, grating, etc. and tomorrow I'll do the initial 6 hour steaming leaving the last 2 for Christmas Eve. I'm doing small ones this year (8 of them) because I like the idea of individual servings-and I don't like to share. There's something special in having your own pudding to set alight, isn't there?
Here's what's going in for fruit:
Concord grape raisins
Black grape raisins
Dried Italian plums
Candied ginger root
Candied orange peel
Candied lemon peel
Candied grapefruit peel
For the bread crumbs I have a buttermilk fennel bread, and the remains of a pumpkin challah.
I told Danny he has to help me stir so he can make a wish. Personally, I think that was a way to get the kids to help stir the heavy ingredients (it gets to be a chore for a large batch) but he fell for it. I have a gigantic bowl reserved for just this task.
Next up-the Christmas cake. I'm letting Danny select which recipe we use this year, though I will limit it to ones I'm familiar with, or come from trusted sources. Fruit and booze are too expensive to be tossing out on some recipe that wasn't tested.
Anyone else getting an early start on the holidays?