Top: Plum Pudding with hard sauce; photo by Gary Lerner | London Lennie’s. Bottom: Plum pudding with toffee sauce at MackenzieLtd.com.
“Who on earth would strive to create a National Plum Pudding Day in America, especially on February 12th,” we wondered. This is the boiled pudding dessert made of dried fruit that is traditionally served in the U.K. on Christmas Day (it’s also known as Christmas pudding and figgy pudding).
You can’t even get an American to eat a piece of fruit cake, let alone a dark, dried fruit and suet concoction, mixed with flour and spices (and related to mince pie, another dish not-so-beloved by Americans).
It’s largely that plum pudding is not sweet enough for the American palate, and we aren’t accustomed to desserts made with suet (beef or mutton fat).
And why would National Plum Pudding day be in the middle of February, rather than around the holidays?
In the U.K. it’s available year-round.
We really enjoy a good plum pudding (as well as a good fruitcake and a good mince pie).
Plum pudding can be eaten with hard sauce, custard sauce, crème anglaise, lemon cream, etc.
With a side of rum raisin ice cream, custard sauce and enough flaming brandy poured upon it, more Americans might warm up to it.
Here’s a recipe to make your own plum pudding.
Here’s more about plum pudding sauces and history.
BUT WHAT ABOUT ABRAHAM LINCOLN?
The bigger issue, vis-à-vis the scramble to name every day of the year a food holiday, would seem that we’ve forgotten that February 12th is the birthday of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.
President Lincoln was born in 1809 in a one-room log cabin on his parents’ farm in Hardin County (now part of LaRue County), Kentucky. Might not a more appropriate holiday for February 12th be Bûche de Noel Day, honoring Honest Abe with that charming buttercream cake decorated to look like a log? Just a thought.
Those of you from Kentucky or Illinois, where the family relocated and Abe began his political career, might think of petitioning to get something more Lincoln-appropriate in the February 12th food holiday slot. Find out how all of these holidays (known as “special observance days”) are enacted…and perhaps you’ll be inspired to petition for your own.
National Foie Gras With Château d’Yquem Day, anyone?