Category Archives: Celebrations

…Oh, Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding…

~The Story Behind My Figgy Pudding Recipe~

My Christmas Figgy Pudding Adventure
It all started one evening, as I was watching a Christmas movie on TV. A couple of characters encountered a group of carolers singing, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” As the carolers finished, one of the characters proudly proclaimed to the other, “Did you know figgy pudding does not contain figs nor is it pudding. It’s more like cake.”

As an American, I didn’t know much about some of the gloriously English traditions like figgy pudding. I wondered if this information was true, or not.

Search for the Real Story
Since I’m curious by nature, I started investigating. It turns out the movie character was only partially right. Figgy pudding is frequently known as Christmas pudding, especially when it doesn’t contain figs. But it does have plenty of dried fruit in it—and can have (and frequently does have) figs in it. But it is more like a cake, than a pudding. The descriptions I read reminded me a little of bread pudding.

Wikipedia (which cites several sources, including the Oxford dictionary) has this to say about figgy pudding.

Figgy pudding is a type of Christmas pudding which was originally made with figs.[1] It may be baked, steamed in the oven, boiled or fried.[2]

Figgy pudding dates back to 16th century England.[1] Its possible ancestors include savory puddings, such as crustades, fygeye or figge (a potage of mashed figs thickened with bread), creme boiled (a kind of stirred custard), and sippets (croutons).[3] In any case, its methods and ingredients appear in diverse older recipes, for instance in Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management.[1]

Today, the term figgy pudding is popularised mainly by the Christmas carol “We Wish You A Merry Christmas,” which includes the line, “Now bring us some figgy pudding”.[4] A variety of nineteenth-century sources state, in the West Country of England (from which the carol comes), “figgy pudding” referred to a raisin or plum pudding, not necessarily one containing figs.[5][6][7]

How interesting? Since it can be steamed, an idea came to me. I wonder if I could make figgy pudding in my new Instant Pot?
I LOVE my new Instant Pot!

Finding the Right Recipe with the Right Method
More research ensued. I found several recipes—specifically (more…)

I Bring You Some Figgy Pudding…

Instant Pot Figgy Pudding Recipe

What follows, is my adaptation (for high-altitude of about 5,300’ where notated) and other adjustments I found necessary after my trial run with Jo’s wonderful Christmas Pudding recipe at EveryNookAndCranny. You might find you need to make further adjustments. Just Have Fun!

~Something to consider ahead of time—You’ll need some sort of “oven-proof” bowl (or “pudding basin” as the British call it) that fits into your Instant Pot—for cooking the pudding in (see step 5). I used a simple, stainless steel mixing-bowl that measured just under 7 inches across. I tested ahead of time, to make sure it fits into my Instant Pot and on to the trivet. It’s a 1½ quart bowl—perfect for this.
You will also need parchment paper and aluminum foil, and some string or a large rubber band.

If you use a ceramic bowl, you’ll probably need to add another 5-10 minutes to your cooking time. Jo says it’s hard to “overcook” a Christmas pudding—so good to know!

Ingredients:

~First step:
AHEAD OF TIME–Decide which dried fruits you’d like to include. Measure them out dry.

1 1/3 cups dried fruit* Combine a few like figs, cranberries, raisins, pineapple, blueberries…
1/3 cup dried dates (about 1.8 ounces)
3-4 Tbsp. candied ginger

And soak them… (in liqueur or strong tea—at least overnight, but a week or two would be great.)

~Next step:
1/3 cup softened butter (I messed-up & I used a bit more, one stick. But it was great!) (more…)

Office Reclamation Progress… Show-n-Tell

How Goes the Ol’ Office Progress?
I thought you might be curious about my office reclamation process. As it turns out, I had started this post about my progress with my office. But as things sometimes happen, the post fell through the cracks and got stuck on the back burner. It’s been a “draft” for ages! I think I was probably waiting to upload photos and got distracted.

I believe the last photos I showed you were of the extreme, overwhelming disarray–stacks of… stuff from my April 2016 post, you can see to the right (->).
Uggh! Talk about stressing me out!?

So here (to the left) is May 12, 2016, when I decided to move things around, create space and add some color–to make this reclamation process more fun. I really needed to get moving on it. The longer I waited, the more stressed I became. I figured adding the color might inspire me. Please enjoy my story in photos (22 of them), as I walk you through the process.
(more…)