I noticed that nobody was eating.
"We have Christmas pudding if anyone feels like some," I offered innocently.
"Christmas pudding?" said Pete with curiosity.
It had lurked in the dark recesses of my pantry for a number of years. The exact number is rather inconsequential. "Years" is the word to note.
We don't really like Christmas pudding but I feel the need to have one on hand; a token pudding, just in case someone asks, "Is there any?" If they did, it would seem a terrible thing not to have some.
In the early years of our marriage; the early 1970's (which I think of as my "earth woman" phase, and during which I also baked bread) I made our Christmas puddings from an English recipe that involved an annual search for suet. I steamed the puddings in cheesecloth and also hid coins in them, upholding the tradition of Paul's childhood. When we first came to Canada we heard of something called "Carrot Pudding." That just did not sound right to me, and none has ever knowingly passed my lips. I should probably try some though, having dismissed it so quickly 40 years ago.
I caught on after a few years that all this effort was not worth it; for after a hefty turkey dinner, and an obligatory few bites of the brandy laced pudding, which Paul really only enjoyed as a side dish to vast quantities of the accompanying white sauce, I ended up freezing the leftover pudding and later throwing it away.
So we graduated to Crosse and Blackwell canned Christmas puddings, imported from England, which could be popped into the microwave and restored to steaming splendour in minutes. Most of it still did not get eaten, but at least there was no effort to preparing it, and sometimes the can did not even get opened.
One year I couldn't find a Crosse and Blackwell pudding, and since we weren't exactly going to eat it anyway, I grabbed another boxed pudding that looked similar.
It didn't get opened the year I bought it so I put it away in the cupboard, thinking that a canned pudding would keep.
This particular pudding made it's annual appearance for a year or two ; perhaps a few years. No one has shown the slightest interest in eating it. But this year Pete and Sue were interested in studying it, as if it was some sort of scientific specimen.
We opened the box, and to my surprise; I honestly don't remember knowing this; it was not canned, but in stored in a plastic, pudding shaped bowl and sealed with clear plastic over the top.
The pudding was, let me tell you, far from moist in appearance anymore.
Sue studied the *Petrified Christmas Pudding closely; through the plastic film at first, and asked, giggling, "What's that white thing?"
Well, whatever it was it wasn't moving. It was, like the pudding, petrified.
Peter took to studying the box. "Mom," he laughed, "You have to wonder about any product, when the 'May Contain' list, is longer than the list of ingredients."
The pudding went into the organic waste green bin under our sink, although I was not 100% sure that it belonged there.
If there is a moral to this tale, it probably is...
I give up; I don't know what the moral is or I probably wouldn't have had the thing in the first place.