changeling: (Default)
I've got to stop clicking on Warren Ellis's "Conan! What is best in life?" posts. Seriously. It's been years. I should know better by now.

...

Homemade ice cream is still one of the best things ever. Nom.

...

It's been so nice dogsitting the last week and a half. It's like a trial run of having my own dog. The Dog is very sweet and looked after me on Monday when I had a bit of a round of depression and wandered around the house crying at not very much at all. Since then she's tended to follow me around more than I noticed her doing before. I've moved one of her beds into my room until The Family gets back because it seemed nicer than having her curl up on the floor by my desk.

She's been seriously a bit crazy the last couple of days, though. Very hyper. And every time I pick up my keys she goes nuts, then runs to the front door and goes nuts some more. Apparently the only time I pick up my keys is when I'm going to take her for a walk. (Not sure this is true!)

She pulled like crazy for the first half of her walk today, which was very naughty and made my shoulders ache. I looked forward to letting her off the leash, and then the walk home, by which time she's sufficiently tired that she walks at a sensible pace.

We went to the further-away park today, where there are usually other dogs to play with. She was Queen of the Park today, with her retinue of two. They were completely fixated on her, and she'd play for them for awhile, then come over to me for some pettings, then run off for some more playing.

I'm sure I'll miss her undivided attention once The Family get back and I drop down in the pack hierarchy four places. :) I'll also be sad when I move out and I have to leave her behind. I've loved all the dogs I've lived with, and I still have fond thoughts of my ex's family's dogs. Miss them both, especially the lurcher.

...

Chris has very kindly given me another Steam game. Unfortunately for me, my laptop's with Raven as it and my mobile had a serious disagreement ending in some sort of hard drive problem in my shiny laptop.

On the plus side, this means that I have a bit more time in the evenings since I'm not immediately eaten up by the computer. Weeell, I do when I don't get home at 7.30 and spend 45 minutes walking the dog before even starting dinner.
changeling: (Default)
Argh, I so have to upload more icons to my dW account. Not that I have many to play with.

***

Went to Daylesford today, to the yearly lavender festival my morris side dances out at. We worked out today that next year will be our tenth year of dancing there.

It was hot. It's always hot at this gig, but it hasn't been quite this hot for about five years (the last time was the year before my first time). Today it reached at least 39°C (102°F) where we were dancing. Later, when driving to the pub, Julie's car claimed it was 41°C outside (106°F). It was just stupidly hot. We danced very abbreviated sets, only two or three dances at a time, and made sure that there was always people not dancing. I was there mostly as a muso; normally I'd be trying to get some more dances in but today that suited me fine. As it was I got very nauseous with the heat towards the end of the day and felt like I was going to throw up.

***

Delicious food things (mostly from the market at the festival):
  • The provodore was there again this year. So for lunch I had trendy-cafe quality garlicky hummus, tomato and native oregano dip (also chickpea based, actually) and lightly fried bread with rocket (arugula) tossed with a little oil and salt piled on top. It was amazingly delicious and the salt was just what I needed.
  • Henry of Harcourt, they of the award-winning perry, were there again this year, and this year they brought apple juice. Since I'm not a big hard cider fan, this made me very happy. And it was amazingly good apple juice. Not quite as good as Kalangadoo (that apple juice tasted like caramel, I'm not kidding), but fantastic nonetheless. Also it was very cold, and you could have it over ice if you wanted.
  • The berry place was back again this year! Last year they'd just given a few berry boxes to friends who were going to be at the market. This year they had a full presence. No marionberries, alas (I discovered marionberries two years ago at the same festival. They are my favourite), but I bought a box of silvanberries, a box of boysenberries, and a box of blueberries. They'll probably go into my green smoothies that I have thankfully started having for breakfast again, now that I own a blender. Unless I turn the silvanberries into icecream, which is something I'm still tossing up about. After all, I've never had silvanberry icecream. OMG YUM.
  • I bought a loaf of sourdough olive bread from Himalayas bakery in Daylesford. So that's what I had for dinner: toasted sourdough olive bread with leftover dips from lunch. It was exactly what I needed on such a hot day; not too fussy. Thank goodness for Julie's esky...
  • I made friends with the sourdough bakers at the festival. We discussed bread and I admitted that I killed my last sourdough starter. I told the bloke, who was the baker, about my favourite and only bread book, and the delicious crumpets I made from it. He didn't have a recipe for good crumpets, so was interested. I discovered that they also run sourdough workshops, which you get to take home the starter you make. They're one-day workshops, run on a Sunday, so I'll probably go up the Saturday night (or day) and make a bit of an event of it. I'm hoping to go with Sean, because I know he'll get as much of a kick out of it as I will. So we'll see what we can organise.
***

It was lovely to have such a warm reception from The Dog when I got home tonight. I felt terribly sorry for her, being locked home by herself today. Worse because she was stuck outside (though The BOM says it didn't get much hotter than 30 in Melbourne, at least), but I didn't want to lock her inside for 12+ hours either.

She highly approves of the couple of crusts of my sourdough bread that she got tonight (no dips for her, though. Far too much garlic for dogkind, I think). She's wandered off to sleep on one of The Family's beds now, but for most of the first hour that I was home she was following me around a bit, to make sure I didn't sneak off again on a silly morris trip.

She was quite difficult to get outside this morning. She recognises morris kit all too well and knows exactly what it means.

***

Went to the supermarket on my way home tonight to get some icecream ingredients (soy milk being chief among them). I managed to get the candy canes I wanted, which is good. $3 for 100 small canes. I was nervous they'd have cleared out their stock already from Christmas. I hadn't had any this past year. This was doubly good since apparently no Melbourne supermarket stocks peppermint essence anymore. Why not?? Other essences are around, but I want PEPPERMINT. I am a peppermint fiend, dammit. Also peppermint essence is good to add to water to make up a little spray bottle for ant dissuasion in the kitchen. It's multipurpose! Can anyone else find any? I've been looking for a few years now, without success. (Maybe I only look when it's out of stock...?)

So, anyway, I will have chocolate icecream with chocolate chips and smashed candy cane, which will be nice (though not quite as nice as peppermint icecream with peppermint chips and chocolate chips). I also have biscuits for cookies and cream icecream, and enough milk for a third round of icecream, maybe my silvanberry. Of course, if I had remembered to put the silly icecream machine in the freezer, I could be making icecream right now, dammit. Oh well. It will be very nice to make it tomorrow morning, when Australia plans to move a foot and a half away from the surface of the sun and it will be FORTY-ONE DEGREES. Man was not meant for such temperatures.

Meanwhile, apparently the US (according to Neil Gaiman) and the UK (according to a uni friend, via Facebook) are reaching temperatures of about –25°C, which just boggles my mind. Surely you'd just snap freeze to the spot when it's that cold?

Sing it with me: CLIIIIMATE CHAAAAANGE.
changeling: (Default)
So, between getting costochondritis last year and going from 6-7 hours of exercise (mostly yoga, but also morris) per week to getting literally none, and the fact that Steph and I really really like our food and were treating ourselves a bit too much, I've put on about 10 kg in the last year and a half. I've actually moved into the "obese" range by about 2–3 kilos – just enough that I feel it, but it's a small enough amount that most people think that I'm being neurotic.

Steph and I are thus trying to eat better, and more Fuhrman-friendly. The main aim is to get the most bang for your buck (nutrition per calorie) possible. Part of that is cutting out refined grains & flour, and minimising unrefined grains and flour to only one serve per day.

One of the recipes I'm making for dinner this week is cabbage nori rolls (surprise, babe! It's not actually sushi). And since I apparently ordered half a red cabbage instead of 500g of red capsicum (rassa frassa stupid cookies resetting), which Steph won't eat, I decided to give them a trial run for today's lunch.

OMG so good. I love cabbage, especially red cabbage, and this is just so nomable. And quick and easy to make. Especially since I left out the baked tofu (too much bother for lunch when I'm this hungry). I didn't use the sweet corn either, but did put in some pickled roast red capsicum, which works well since lots of sushi has a pickle of some sort in it (I like the bright yellow one). I also didn't steam the carrot, since I like crunch and it's more Fuhrman-friendly that way. I also added some alfalfa sprouts for added virtue, and because we had them in the fridge. Those sprouts go off quickly. You can technically eat them with soy sauce and everything. I didn't because it was delicious as was, and also because I had two-thirds of my daily recommended intake of salt at breakfast with my miso soup. If you're interested (and likely to make it yourself), I found that 1/4 of a medium-sized cabbage made about three nori rolls. I sort of chopped the cabbage into strips, but I think it would be better if it was more shredded.

Joys of red cabbage: it leaks purple. Things that are now purple include: my fingers (though some of that may be from the 5 cherries I had for "breakfast"), the knife, the chopping board, bits of our sushi mat. I also discovered that red cabbage steaming water does NOT turn purple. It turns bright blue, like "am I pregnant" or "not menstrual blood on this pad at all, but see how absorbant it is" blue.

Yum. Totally having for lunch tomorrow.

(Copied almost verbatim to Reynard's Feast, because I need to get that beast moving again.)
changeling: (Default)
I have had a rather wonderful day so far. I got myself in gear early – even though I was up late with class last night – and managed to pray in front of my shrine, which is something I haven't done properly in weeks. I also turned the affirmation I was given in Kinesiology class last night into a prayer, and I'll be using that for the next nine days.

I picked up Making a Literary Life, by Carolyn See, which my dad gave me a few years ago, and read it on the tram. I haven't read it all the way through before, and it tied in well with the later theme of the day. I also got to see my girl, as I was bringing in documents from home she forgot. She is feeling flat today, and I made her smile several times on the walk to her work, which was even better. Then, as there's a Westpac right near her work, I deposited my paycheque. *virtuous*

And I decided that I was sick of being upset about missing Anelisseia, especially since it involves Thoth, one of my favourite gods, and Hermes, who has been quietly moving himself to the forefront of my attention recently. So, refusing to wallow in misery any longer, I used my Reader's Feast voucher to buy a book on beginner's book of heiroglyphs published by the British Museum that I've been eyeing off (it's designed for kids and looks like a lot of fun), which is, unintentionally and unconsciously, for Thoth. RF didn't have any books on Greece that I wanted (they had Kerenyi's book on Dionysus, which I'm interested in, but felt a bit funny buying for Anelisseia), so I checked out their YA section and picked up a new-ish Diana Wynne Jones called The Pinhoe Egg, which I suppose is appropriately Hermean since it's about magic. I tend to associate Thoth with non-fiction and editing, and Hermes with the writing of fiction, so it worked out very well.

I went into Haigh's on Swanston St for some cheer-up chocs for Steph, and some ritual chocolates (a couple of dark-chocolate violet creams for Dj, a dark chocolate, bronze-foiled heart for Herm), and made a nuisance of myself asking which of the filled chocolates were dairy-free. There was one that seemed to be a new one, and the woman behind the counter couldn't find it in her book, and ended up ringing the Block Arcade shop to find out. While she was on the phone, the other girl behind the counter struck up a conversation with me. She was a little heavy and about my age. She said that the manager of the store's husband or partner (I forget) was vegan, so she knew all about which ones were safe, but she was on hols. I said I was vegan, and the girl was really interested, and wanted to know what I ate "as a replacement", and where I liked to eat out. She said she used to be vegetarian in her teens, but her parents told her it was too expensive (what bollocks) and put the kibosh on it. She had been vegetarian for animal-rights reasons, and asked why I went vegan. I said that Steph had eczema set off by dairy, and that the research we did caused us to believe that eating animal products isn't very good for people. I mentioned The China Study, and offered to write it down. (I wrote down Eat to Live, too, partly because she was rather heavy and I thought she might be interested, and partly because it's more layperson-friendly than The China Study. Steph refers to it as the "how-to guide" of The China Study.) She said that her brother and sister had really bad eczema, so I wrote down Eczema-Free for Life, which Steph found essential in finally coming to an understanding about what having eczema means.

Anyway, the other woman came back from her phone conversation, and I placed my order (as well as a couple of peppermint centres for me), and she was very stoic with the shopgirl chatting with me. Finally, as I was about to leave, the shopgirl said I had "lovely skin", which made me smile all the way back to work.

I set up an altar on my desk, where the books in their navy Reader's Feast voucher form an altar cloth, and the chocolates sat upon a CD-spindle pedestal. I've got a few important things done at work, which is nice, and as no-one is in the office at the moment, I performed a ritual in my lunchbreak. I read a hymn to Hermes, and a prayer to Thoth, skimmed through the heiroglyph book, read the first few pages of The Pinhoe Egg, and performed bibliomancy in same:

"I only came to find my cat, really," Marianne said.


... which is pretty revealing to me, for a YA fantasy novel.

So I've had a lovely Anelisseia, even ten days late.
changeling: (Default)
So, Steph and I are going to a ball tonight, which is a story that I don't have all the words for right now, because I'm tired and with low blood sugar because there was NO MILK when I got up this morning, so I had no muesli ...

... anyway. It's organised by her work, and its a (HORRORS) buffet, which means heaps more options for "normals", but anyone with different dietary requirements (coeliacs, vegans etc) is completely buggered. There's no "special plate for table 5" with a buffet.

Here's the menu (Typos are theirs, not Steph's, who emailed it to me):
Tasmanian Oyster Tower - mounted on creushed ice, lemon wedges, five dressings
Platters of 'Nori' Hand Rolls - tuna, crispy chicken, pickled vegetable
Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast - curried water chestnut salad, cranberry jelly
'Sumac' spiced Calamari Salad - on smokey babaganosh, baby cress
Baby Gem & Tandoori Chicken Caesar Salad - coddled egges, shaved reggiano
Roasted Plum Tomatoes - marinated in aged balsamic dressing, buffalo mozzarella, vigin olive oil & basil
Soba Noodle Salad - Milawa three seed mustard mayo, spring onions, grilled pancetta
Wild Rocket - jinki blue cheese, toasted walnuts, pached 'nashi' pear salad
Mixed Salad Leaves - wild cresses, champagne vingerette
Blackened beef & Singapore Noodle Box - cripsy shallots & coriander
Smoked paprika scented salmon - dried tomato & olive crushed southern
gold's char-grilled spring onions lemon & basil dressing

Traditional self-saucing chocolate pudding - whipped navilla bean cream
cold set raspberry cheesecake - raspberry salas, Persian fairy floss
'Sharp' possets lemon & lime
Strawberries rubbed with toasted coconut, Yarra Valley clotted cream


For those of you paying attention, Steph and I can eat ... the mixed salad leaves. And probably pickled vegetable hand rolls. That's it. We'll probably be able to eat the roasted plum tomatoes, providing the mozzarella hasn't been melted over them. For dessert ... well, if the Persian fairy floss is a separate dish, and not part of the cheesecake (hard to tell – is it bad formatting, or culinary design?), we can have that.

I suppose those of you who aren't vegan would be saying triumphantly here, "I bet you just wish you'd eat like a NORMAL person, instead of expecting people to make a fuss over you!" and I'd say, "Not really," although I might add in my head that it might be nice if a few more people ate like us.

Steph and I try to be accommodating. If we're going over to someone's place for dinner, we'll usually offer to bring a salad or something, partly to help out, and partly because it's nice to know that you'll be able to eat more than white bread, tomato sauce and lettuce for lunch*. This doesn't really fly with balls, especially since we've paid $55 each for the privilege of watching the fish in a wall tank.

Plus I'm tired and cranky, and just in the mood for a big bitch, but there isn't another food-freak in the office at the moment. Well, there isn't anyone in the office at the moment, but that's just points on a technicality. I shaved my legs for this, dammit. They feel weird in my trousers.


* True story.
changeling: (Default)
Steph made the best lunch last night: leek and bacon quiche. I haven't had good quiche for quite some time before I went vegan, as Dad (IIRC) doesn't like them. This ... was fabulous.

It was based on a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, in our River Cottage Year cookbook. It includes one kilo of leeks* – at least in theory. Steph bulked it with onion. There were about eight leeks in there, though. The bacony flavour came from smoked tofu (all the flavour I love, without the actual meat ... for anyone who's been vegan for a while, meat does start to make you feel sick). The creaminess was mozzarella Cheezly, the only vegan "cheese" I know of that melts. It surprised me, but it actually didn't taste very cheesy at all in context.

Tasted. So. Good. Creamy smoky-leek thing. Mmmm. I love leeks so very, very much, and it's a rare dish that allows them centrestage.


* A bit more than two pounds.
changeling: (Default)
Today was hot, yet I wanted to have stuffed (roast) capsicums. Using the oven on Hot Days is verboten in this house (understandable, I know). So, what to do?

What I did was bake them. I created no extra heat, and used no extra electricity or gas.

Want to know how? )
changeling: (Default)
The "I'm a Mac" ads have jumped the Atlantic. Check out the UK versions. The first two are the best, in my opinion. (P.S. I've seen the Mac stark bollocking naked. Strange, but true.)

The sister-in-law's home today, too. Luckily for me, I have the cheap foam earplugs that S & I got at the Somebody Gypsies Counterfeit Gypsies' gig, and a pair of cheap computer stereo headphones to put over the top to complete blocking out her music with mine. It is an unfortunate fact that both S and her sister like playing a few select songs on repeat, while I cannot stand hearing songs too frequently or for too long a duration. Combine with that (what I consider to be) her abysmal taste in music, and you have lots and lots of unfun coming my way. And, dammit, today I want to use the computer, which means somehow putting up with her music. I choose blocked ear passages.

I tell you what, though. Between the kinesiologist telling me I need to let my creativity out, and Jess giving us each a booklet of writing prompts, and my old friend Issy calling out of the blue and inviting me to a writing group she's running (working through Julia wossnameCameron's The Artist's Way), it certainly feels like Someone (or several Someones) conspiring to Tell Me Something.

Oh, and S & I have taken to a new "vegan" food - nutritional yeast. We started with powdery stuff (the organic shop's assistant hadn't heard of nutritional yeast, which rather made me question how long she'd been working in such a shop), then the parents-in-law found the flakes the next weekend. My current favourite breakfast thing is toast with American mustard and yeast flakes on top. The flakes might look – and smell – a bit like fishfood, but I think it's tasty.

Chalk that up as one more odd food I'd never have tried without this wacky veganism thing.
changeling: (Default)
Argh. I'm stinky, but it's not yet safe to shower, because I didn't get up at 6 (I got up at 7, I'm not that much of a lazybones), so there won't be any hot water until about midday. I'm not sure I can stand it much longer. I may have to risk the sudden Ice Age 1 1/2 minutes in.

Ah, I love The Age. It has good articles in it (even when they're nicked from The Guardian). Mostly, though, I love the weekend magazines and the "A2" (or whatever they call it these days) supplement during the week. You know, the arty sort of stuff. OK, I do end up reading a selection of articles on the website, especially now Steph emails them to me (admittedly I'd frequently read them all when I was working at the nursing home). It's everything I might read a women's mag for, without, you know, the stupid. Now the Age website has blogs on it. It's great. Steph sent me a link to this post in "Chew on This", one of their resident bloggers. It's about the relative cost of veges. Kind of interesting, but blatantly obvious if you happened to think about it. I suppose part of the aim is to get people to think about it. Some interesting comments, though. Steph's commented, as has [livejournal.com profile] daharja (see "Leanne" towards the bottom). And check out Moron Gordon. You still need full-fat meat and dairy my arse. That's not what the research I've done has suggested. It's not even what his comment suggests! Just tacked on at the end, apropos of nothing. Even I commented this morning (as a response to Gordon), but The Age reviews comments before posting, so I don't know when/if it's going to be up (it was very civilised. I may post it here if it doesn't get approved). Gordon really got my back up, though. Fine, be a meat eater. Just don't claim that being vegan is somehow a lesser dietary choice. Pretty much the only thing we're deficient in is B12, and that's due to the crappy quality of our soils – it's a microbial by-product, hence why meat and dairy still contain it. It's from the animals' guts. Even human gut passengers make some B12, just don't rely on it as your sole source.

I'm a bit worried about next week. We were away last weekend on a morris dancing trip (check out Steph's journal, [livejournal.com profile] earlymorningair for photos), and before that we were out every night, right back to Sunday, except for Thursday, on which night we packed. Next week we have morris dancing on Monday, potentially dinner with my family Tuesday, Steph and I are hoping for a date Wednesday, Thursday we're having our Friday night swim, because Friday we have Nat's birthday (at Veggie Bar. YAAAAAAY!). Then Saturday day we have the Britannia Morris Men's ale (yearly footup ... no, wait. That doesn't translate into non-morris speak either. Yearly party) and Saturday night my best friend Jess's birthday. At least on Sunday we just have a Litha practice with Hedda and Liam. Then on that Monday, we'll have morris dancing again. Argh! At least we'll be home again on the 21st. I may have to put a note in our Google calendars. It will read: "VERBOTEN. No leaving the house." Busy, busy, busy!

I've just started my first piece of embroidery since year seven or eight, when we were supposed to do a sort of sampler, and I think I just mastered chain stitch. Just like any Google-enabled crafter, the first thing I did was search for and print out instructions and photos of stitches. Last night I did a lovely curly thing in outline stitch, which is like stem stitch but the other way around. Apparently, according to my stitch site, outline stitch was widely used in the Bayeux tapestry. This makes me happy.

Yesterday was a day of good food. For lunch, I made myself a wrap. I was craving the fake-chicken schnitzels Steph's sister eats, so I dry-fried one and had half in a wholemeal wrap with avocado, chickpea pate and sundried tomato tapenade spread on it, and fresh tomato, cos and purple lettuce and roasted pepper inside. Bloody fantastic. I had the other half of the schnitzel in another because it tasted so damn good. And if I hadn't been so lazy, I bet you could chuck some eggplant in instead of the schnitzel and it would taste even better.

Then, for dinner, I made a varient of Pim's "Rena's Aubergine in Tomato Sauce". I used one whole large eggplant, and fried it in water and some mushroom ketchup. Then used the half red onion in the fridge, and then I was lazy and used two tins of tomato instead of fresh (I was running a bit behind time). I was planning on making this a pasta casserole, but the only short pasta in the house was the stuff Mum-in-Not-Law bought with "Added Omega-3!" which means, yep, you guessed it, that it has fish oil in it. Still, I chucked it in a small casserole dish, and put the ground-up pine nuts and some wheat bran/husk stuff on top (what's it called? I've blanked), which is my default substitute for breadcrumbs. Absolutely delicious. Steph's only complaint was it wasn't sufficiently filling (we ate about two serves each), but that would have been solved by the pasta, or, failing that, some good ole bulky quinoa.

Then, as I was cooking that, I managed to get a apple crumble (I've been craving crumbles since Sean/Jenni served it to us at Y—— the Monday after our Penola morris trip) prepared and in the oven so it was ready after dinner. I subbed out some of the flour and put in some oats, because I wanted that texture, dammit. Then I took out some of the butter/nuttlex, since that was there to make the flour "crumby". And I used wholemeal flour, because white flour is for pussies. I also upped the apple content. It was very nice, especially when served with vegan custard. I used brown sugar instead of white, so it actually looked more like a caramel sauce. I also halved the amount of not-milk used. Overall, very, very decadent. There's even enough left over for another tonight, even after I halved the recipe! Yummyyummyyummy. It's only a modified recipe, not a brand-new one, but I might put it up on Reynard's Feast just so I can make it again. And next time, I may even increase the oats further ... I'll have to decide after I have it again tonight. Yum, dessert!

Oh, and yesterday I steamed the two smaller Christmas puddings I made Tuesday. They're my own recipe – I used the two vegan recipes I found and combined them a bit. I wanted to make sure that Steph and I have vegan treats to eat on Christmas day, and puddings are traditionally made far ahead of time. We'll probably get down to vegan rum balls and things closer to the time. I'll probably write up the pudding recipe in Reynard's Feast if they work. I have another pudding to steam today. I made double quantities of the recipe, and this will be the "full-sized" pudding for the morris Christmas. The other two are half-sized, for Steph and me as we'll probably be spending Christmas lunch apart. :(

Still, it's exciting! I bought the calico yesterday, and boiled it as instructed. The water turned this weird brown colour, which was off-putting. Still, calico-y water is good enough to flush loos with, so I tipped it into the bucket in the bathroom. The small puddings were boiled for four hours, and they went very soft! The calico was oily to touch, which I didn't expect, never having made puddings before. Still, it's just copha, so is probably very good for my hands. I'm glad I spoke to Steph's grandmother on Cup Day. She let me know about grating the copha (lard substitute) and getting the cloth wet beforehand (then I Googled and found out about boiling the fabric - makes sense, makes it sterile). The little puddings have been hanging up from the indoor clothes line all night. I just got them down. The fabric's stiff from having been essentially waxed, and the cloth around the puddings is stained dark, as it should be. They smell fantastic. After I'd bought all the ingredients (which set me back about $60–70 or so, $30 of which was the brandy), I found out that Steph's parents were planning on buying us a vegan pudding (they'd already bought a normal one)! Oh, well. It was partly the tradition (every family member stirs the pudding and makes a wish for the coming year) that attracted me, anyway. I was a little sad that Liam and Hedda ended up not being very interested, as they don't like pudding. Still, maybe they'd like MY puddings! ;)

Steph looked askance at her parents' pudding after she saw mine. "You can tell it hasn't been cooked in the fabric," she said. I'd noticed the same thing. That pudding's calico was pristine. A little poking showed plastic underneath. Hardly environmentally friendly, and NOT the way Steph's Nan used to make!

I should probably put the big pudding on soon. I have to boil its calico first. I want to get it on early, though. It'll be bigger and will require longer cooking. If only the various recipes I read could agree on a cooking time! Or at least on a cooking time per weight.

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