Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gift-Giving Idea—Plum Pudding

I’ve mentioned before that I love reading the Saturday religion section in my hometown newspaper. It tells which congregation is holding a bazaar or pancake supper, who will be singing at the different Sunday services, which preachers are delivering the sermons and where, what the various women’s clubs have planned and other community miscellany. Every year about this time this add appears:

Ascension Episcopal Church is taking orders now for its annual sale of Christmas Plum or Carrot puddings for the holidays. The sale continues a tradition started in 1994 as a church fundraiser.

Each pudding serves six to eight people; cost per pudding is $7.50. The puddings are decorated and wrapped for giving as gifts or reheating for holiday dinners. Recipes for sauces to accompany the puddings are included. The puddings can be frozen.

Although called "pudding," the texture and appearance of the plum pudding is more like a dense cake. The fruit and breadcrumb mixture is steamed in a fluted mold for three hours, then turned out on a table to cool. The recipe was given to Ascension by the women's group at St. David's Episcopal Church, which has been making the puddings since 1951. It is a closely guarded recipe and was only given to Ascension Episcopal after much consideration and assurance that it would be kept secret.

The carrot pudding recipe was a family recipe from an Ascension parishioner. Carrot puddings are softer and are cooked and reheated in tin cans. The original recipe called for "nut cans," but because nuts so rarely come in cans anymore, the church has used one-pound coffee cans.

The number of carrot puddings which can be made and sold is dependent on the number of cans collected for the activity.

To order a pudding, call _ _ _ _ _ _ _ between 9:30 a.m. and noon weekdays before Nov. 10. Puddings will be available Nov. 17 and 18 and can be picked up at the church between 9:30 a.m. and noon.

This add makes me smile just thinking of a select group of women holding a secret recipe and collecting coffee cans since nuts don't come in cans anymore. It also reminds me of this picture:

. . . the heart and soul of America; God-fearing people doing their best.

Today's gift idea is if you’re good at something (making plum pudding or carrot pudding for example), then give it! Just because you've given it before doesn't mean it wouldn't be welcomed again. For example, I love to go to events where my friends, Brenda and Nesha, are hosting because there is a good chance they will serve their Legacy Chocolates. One day Brenda and I were co-hosting a party and she said she hesitated to offer chocolates at it because she was afraid people were tired of them. Um. Nope. Not going to happen. Just as I will never tire of a loaf of Betty’s wheat bread, or a bucket of Jerilyn’s raspberries, or Sonja's cards, or a pan of Ludeen’s rolls, or a bag of Killian Korn, or . . . or . . . or . . . If you've got a talent that people enjoy, don't be afraid to use it again and again and again.
What’s a gift that you’ve had success giving again and again?


hennchix said...

ok, you always think of the yummiest treats to mention here. I am convinced you are conspiring against me to ignore yummies!! I am not a good gift giver, what a schlump! Occasionally I come up with a good one, but they are few and far between....Maybe I'll try that pudding!!
PS: my word verif. was spizes-get it?

Julie said...

I always rack my brain to come up with a good gift. I guess a loaf of my bread would be what I give most. I love your thoughtful gifts Jane!

Jill said...

I love that old photo of all the ladies and I love your thoughts on giving what you're good at making.

Anonymous said...

This was so good to read. I often feel like people are sick of this or that thing that I "do", but at the same time look forward to things that they do again and again.

michelle said...

Ditto to Hannah's comment. I love to give gifts, but often doubt myself as soon as the gift is given. And I definitely do think about not giving the same thing repeatedly. Perhaps I shall have to change my ways!

Jill never seems to tire of my cream pies, and people always love getting toffee or caramels or caramel pretzels.

Lucy said...

Those all sound really yummy. I need to find a niche to take the guess work out of gift giving. But, it's got to be something different than most and something easy to boot. Pickles?

Marie said...

repeat gifts were some of my favourites. Every year growing up I could count on a family to give us a popcorn wreath with ju-jube berries. I waited for it every year.

I'm a repeat giver too. We always give out chocolates durning the holidays.