December 7th, 2005

by himself

What's the rush?

So Cuthbert comes and wakes me up at 8:00 a.m. this morning, with some sort of urgency. I get up, go downstairs, check his food bowl. All is as it should be.

I sit down at the computer with my coffee and start the day. And within minutes, here he comes.

What he wanted was a lap to sleep on in front of a warm monitor.
welsh dragon

O, bring us a figgy pudding . . .


Mix 1 cup each:
Whole wheat flour;
chopped almonds;
chopped apples;
chopped dried figs;
chopped dried prunes*;
chopped dates;
wheat germ;

2 eggs;
2/3 cup milk;
3 cups butter.

And 1 teaspoon each:
grated orange or lemon peel.

Pack loosley into wide-mouth jars within 1 inch of top. Screw tops on tight. Boil jars for 3 hours.

When you remove jars from canner or pot, the liquid in the jars will continue to boil for a while. Let them rest a bit until liquid is mostly re-absorbed into pudding. Then empty loose pudding into mold and press together. Cool. Pudding will set hard like fruit cake.

If you want flaming plum pudding, pour a little kirschwasser on the top just before serving; ignite. Insert sprig of holly leaves.

Warning: a little plum pudding goes a long way. Very rich. I usually make a double batch of plum pudding to make it worth the hassle, but this produces an enormous amount. I used six ball jars in a canner to cook a double recipe, then filled a tea ring plus three foil loaf pans. That's a lotta puddin'!

*Which is as close to actual plums as "plum" pudding gets.

Look, up in the sky!

The last two nights, I've notice a HUGE yellow/red glob high in the evening sky. It's so big, I thought it was a conjunction of Mars with another planet (also yellow/red). Looking it up, though, it appears to simply be Mars, distorted slightly by the atmosphere. Apparently Mars is very close to earth right now.

Anyway, if you look up in Aries, there he is -- big, bold, beautiful. If you don't know where Aries is, look South and find Orion -- he's unmistakable. To the right of Orion is a big red star: Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus the Bull. Go about the same distance and direction from Aldebaran to Aries as from Orion to Aldebaran: and there's Mars. You can't miss it!