I, on the other hand, absolutely love Christmas Pudding* but very rarely get to eat it. Basically after stuffing my face with Christmas Breakfast, various Christmas nibbles and finally sitting down to a humungous Christmas Dinner I have very little room left for a portion of Christmas Pudding and there seems very little point cooking the little fellow just for me.
As a result one of the Kitchen cupboards has, for a few years, held a box purporting to contain one of the Finest of Christmas Puddings. 30% had extracted it from it's lair just before the 25th and cast a very doubtful eye over the package. The box very clearly advised that the pudding was best before a date in 2012. Eyebrows were raised when I advised that I was going to eat the damned thing at some point over the holiday.
Well today I opened the box and studied the cooking instructions. There are many accounts of food being fit for consumption long after most would have thrown it away. Recollections of WW1 tins of chocolate and Wedding Cakes where the top tier was preserved for a Christening years later all convinced me that the pud would be fine. After all the damned thing was soaked in Courvoisier, what could possibly go wrong?
I pierced the still sealed cover and nuked the pudding in the microwave in accordance with the still legible instructions on the tatty box … about twenty minutes** later I removed the box from the microwave and unpeeled the cover. It was piping hot and smelt gorgeous. I turned it out on to a plate and cut myself a slice of the steaming pudding. A dollop of cream was added and a first bite was taken ...
… it was beautiful, rich, fruity and slightly boozy from the brandy that had preserved it for at least two years beyond what the manufacturers thought best. The strange thing was that both 30% and TP were brave enough to taste it and both said they really liked it.
---* I did order a portion at The Oak when we dined there on the 23rd but it wasn't right. It tasted very strongly of marzipan and the texture was way too dry. I have a strong suspicion that the cheeky buggers simply heated and served a slice of de-iced Christmas cake and had hoped I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Unfortunately my palette is way more sophisticated than that and I fucking hate marzipan.
** 5 minutes on full power, stand for ten minutes followed by another 5 minutes on defrost setting