It’s January – so here’s an amazing pud made from left-overs!
“Dickensian poverty tends to occur after Christmas in January. For it is then, with pockets empty, diary decimated and larder bare, that the general populace sinks into a collective pauper’s hibernation until Valentine’s Day.”
Ah yes, January is upon us. For those of us in the restaurant trade, December pretty much disappears beneath turkey after turkey, cracker after cracker, from the first festive party in late November to that strange office party, with wilted mistletoe, on the last day of the year.
So January brings welcome relief, time to think and a time to rest and recover, and time to remind your friends and family that you still exist. But I totally understand the sentiments of the quote, though it might as well read larder empty, bare and decimated! It’s a time to pull the horns in, maybe combine saving pennies with a health kick and commit to Veganuary, or search in the back of the cupboard for that tinned York ham, pink salmon and a bottle of sherry from some decades back.
However, despite the dark nights and dismal weather, it’s is not a time to deny yourself indulgence, so, to kick off the New Year, I give you this sensational pudding. Not only is it a showstopper, it’s essentially what’s left from the previous month’s gluttony. Yes, it’s a dish of left-overs.
The shops are often selling off their panettone stock until mid-month and just lace this confection with whatever dried fruit, nuts and alcohol you have left. It’s basically a very posh version of one of my favourite ‘afters’ – the bread and butter pudding
I think left-overs often taste better than the original. Think shepherd’s pie, roast chicken and coleslaw sandwiches, my mum’s bananas and cold custard.
I’ll finish as I started, with one of my favourite quotes from the New York food writer and humourist Calvin Trillin; “The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for 30 years she served the family nothing but left-overs. The original meal has never been found.’’
Happy New Year to you all.
ABOVE: Richard Hughes’ luxury panettone pudding