Monday, 11 July 2016

Easiest Ever Steamed Pudding - just the thing for a cold winter's night

I love the occasional steamed pudding in winter, it is real comfort food.   Unfortunately the long cooking time needed for a traditional steamed pudding, like mother used to make, doesn't fit well into the busy, modern world. Luckily I have a recipe for a quick and easy and delicious one. It is brilliant and a long time favourite of my family.  It uses simple ingredients found in every pantry and can even be put on to cook just as you are serving up the main course.



2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons golden syrup 
3/4 (three quarters) of a cup of flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1/2 (half) cup of water

Put about 3 inches or 6cms of water on to boil, in a pot large enough to hold the pudding basin. Place the butter and golden syrup in the pudding basin and place the basin in the pot to melt the syrup. Into a bowl sift the flour and baking powder, then stir in the sugar.  Break the egg into the mixture and stir around a bit then add the cold water and beat to make a smooth batter.  Pour the batter straight into the melted syrup mix.  There is no need to cover the pudding, simply put the lid on the pot and simmer/steam for 20 minutes. The pudding rises and has a folded look while the syrup and butter flavours the whole pudding.  You can serve it with custard or cream but I never bother. Or you can experiment with different syrups. I think it is yummy just as it is.

I made one especially to photograph for this post, now I'm just going to have to eat it.  Oh goody! Nom, nom, nom....... :-)

Monday, 4 July 2016

Happy July 4th, America!

Thirty years ago today I was lucky enough to be in Boston for the 4th of July celebrations. It was a day I will never forget.  Americans sure are proud of their country and know how to celebrate it. Every street was lined with Stars and Stripes bunting, every public building adorned with flags, every person walking around with a great big smile on their face, parades and festivities all day long. I was with my husband, brother, sister-in-law and nephew and we made the most of the day, from following the Independence Day parade to eating gigantic hot dogs in the park. 

Reading of the Declaration of Independence
The Salute to the Dead Ceremony

 It was a privilege to attend the Salute to the Dead Ceremony at the Civil War Cemetery and to hear the Declaration of Independence read from the exact same balcony it was read from 240 years ago. Americans around us had tears in their eyes at the glorious bass rendition of 'America' sung from the same balcony.  Then, formalities over, it was party time as  Bostonians thronged the streets, strolled happily, sang, danced and picnicked in the park while tourists, like us, lapped it all up.

Yep, that's me, Faneuil Market, Boston July 4th 1986

Much to my husband's embarrassment I bought a statue of liberty headband and wore it all day.  Well, you have to get in the spirit of these things, don't you?
I think my husband was surprised when a newspaper photographer asked to take my photo and by the several offers from strangers to buy the headband off me, at vastly inflated prices I might add!  I kept it, money didn't tempt me, and I still have it today as a souvenir of a truly wonderful memorable day spent with family.  Sadly my brother and husband are no longer here but these memories of a great day with them will always remain.