I had a most enjoyable Christmas. I started the day joining a group of friends for an outdoor breakfast of crepes and fresh fruit (it being summer here) and yoghurt. I took along these strawberry santas as my contribution, and they were the perfect appetizer while the crepes were being cooked. They're just strawberries and whipped cream stiffened with a little icing sugar (powdered sugar in the US). They should have tiny chocolate eyes, but I had no suitable choc bits and I was in a hurry as the breakfast started at 8.30am.
Later I had a delicious roast dinner of lamb and baked vegetables, which we finished with fresh cherries and coffee and a sweet treat some call Christmas Crack — salt crackers, toffee, chocolate and nuts. The recipe is here (made with Matzoh crackers but I used saladas or saltines. I also top it with flaked, toasted almonds.) I often used to make it for my dad when he was alive, because he had a real sweet tooth and loved it. I still make it most Christmases, also Easter and whenever I want to make a sweet treat gift for someone. It's delicious and very more-ish.
It was only the next day I realized that for the first time in years, I hadn't had any Christmas pudding (aka plum pudding.) It's not something most Americans have at Christmas, I think, but it's still very popular here (and in the UK of course) and the Christmas Pud was a big part of my childhood. (if you want to read more about Christmas pudding here's a post I wrote on it some years ago.) I've always loved the taste, but even some of my cousins, who didn't, still ate it greedily, because Christmas pudding always contained money — silver money, and when money stopped being silver, we saved the old money and the lucky recipients "sold" it for current money. Some families use silver charms in the same way.
This year one of my friends gave me this — a Victorian-era style "pudding doll" which is a tiny ceramic doll that goes into a pudding as a lucky charm for whoever finds it in their serving. This particular one is "Frozen Charlotte" after a US story and song about a girl who underdressed for a sleigh-ride, wanting to show off her pretty dress. Readers, she froze to death on the ride. Sounds like a cautionary tale to me, rather than actual history — and I'm not sure why she should be lucky. Anyway, this cute little dolly is going into my pudding next year. Hope nobody breaks a tooth on her.
So what about you? Did you celebrate the holidays? What did you eat, and what kind of dessert did you have?