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On the Trail of a Recipe

One of the Christmas events at work this year is a “United Nations” party, which will celebrate the rich diversity of the staff and students of the department. The challenge is to bring some food that represents your home country and to make it in a form suitable for a party buffet.

I’ve decided to cook up a version of spotted dick, a classic British pudding. I have eaten it a few times but have never cooked it or even anything like it but I enjoy a challenge. To add a twist, I have also hit on the plan of providing the fruit in the form of tea-soaked raisins (since a good cup of tea is also quintessentially British).

Tonight, I am having a first stab at this attempted “molecular gastronomy”. Having researched the recipe, I have come up with a simple set of ingredients: 100g self raising flour, 50g shredded suet, 50g tea-soaked raisins, 30g caster sugar, a pinch of salt and up to 50g milk (most recipes also mention lemon zest but I discovered we are out of lemons at the moment). That made a fairly wet dough, even holding back some of the milk. I shaped it into a long roll and positioned it on some greased baking parchment (no idea if that will work but is the best I had) and it is now having a 45 minute sauna (most recipes give a longer time but for larger quantities).

At worst, I will have something that can be chopped up and fed to the birds to sustain them in this cold weather but I am hopeful that I will find myself somewhere close to a usable recipe. There should be about five more minutes of steaming to go, so I had better go and check!

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