You have two choices for your holiday puddings: store bought or homemade. The recipes are simple enough for even a non-cook like me to manage not to screw up too badly. One thing that helps insure success, though, is a proper bowl. And yes there is such a thing as a pudding bowl.
Actually, it’s called a pudding basin. Go figure.
Think of the pudding basin more of as a pudding mold. Seriously. You mix up the ingredients in a mixing bowl and then pour the mixture into the pudding basin. This gets covered with muslin, greaseproof paper, or cling wrap. Then you put it in a steamer. The basin design helps keep the covering in place and assures a perfect pudding. A classic design made of earthenware and in traditional white, this bowl/basin/mold can also be used as a mixing bowl. Wow! Talk about multi-tasking. And the ones from Mason Cash come in four sizes:
- Papa Bear size — Actually, this is the family size (size 18), making a pudding that serves 4 to 6 people. It measures 8 3/4″ x 4 3/4″ and holds about 12 cups (3 quarts).
- Mama Bear size — For the hearty but not overindulgent appetite, or to serve 2 to 4 people. This (size 24) basin measures 7 3/4″ x 4 1/4″ and holds about 8 cups (2 quarts).
- Teenage Bear size — For the slightly lighter appetite or about 1 to 2 people. This (size 30) basin measures 6-3/4″ x 4″ and holds about 5 cups (1.25 quarts).
- Baby Bear size — Also known as the single-serving size (size 42) and measuring 5½” x 3″, it holds about 2½ cups.
They also make mixing bowls. The bowls are so pretty, in the same pattern, ergonomic shape, and “white and cane” colors as they have been for the last 100 years, that they can sit out on the kitchen counter, adding grace and charm. Like the pudding basins, these mixing bowls are made of earthenware and are dishwasher safe. They have been made by a company in Derbyshire, UK, since around 1800, renamed as Mason Cash and Co. in 1901.
Now all you need are some pudding recipes. You’re in luck. There’s a web site dedicated to British puddings!
Oh, and if you ever need a taste tester, let me know. I’ll be right over!
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