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CHRISTMAS COMFORT AND JOY

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Michele Chandler’s Plum Pudding–Fit for a King I remember childhood Christmases in New England. Snowflakes in my face and angels in the snow. The forever waiting for all good things like Santa’s presents and the huge turkey dinner with family and friends. I waited patiently- well not so patiently, really, for dessert. I knew what it would be and it only came once a year. It was Christmas pudding with the brandy flames dancing around the platter. The flames warmed the spicy cake with the sweet, rich fruit wrapped inside. I used to let the soft parts melt and the chewy parts linger. That way I could make each mouthful last that much longer. Now my long ago experiences live again. My friend, Michele Chandler, has created a plum pudding fit for a king. In fact her creation is called the King George pudding, celebrating the comfort and joy of this tradition which began as Christmas dessert in the court of this English monarch in the 1700’s. Ms. Chandler’s plum pudding is one pound of pure heaven containing many dried and candied fruits including figs, raisins, mangoes cherries and apricots. Fully one quarter of the dessert is fruit, making it much softer and moister than its cousin, the fruit cake. The rituals which surround plum pudding add to the anticipation. Traditionally, plum pudding is prepared months before the Holidays. Brandy or other liquor is poured over the dessert to steep and blend the flavours. Then it is gently steamed before serving to enhance its aromatic charm. The flambe presentation adds to the drama. The warm pudding is served with hard sauce, a flavoured, fluffy butter-sugar topping which gently melts over the tender pudding. Fit for a king, indeed! The King George plum pudding has been a long time in the making. Ms. Chandler, who has a history in hospitality and food service, took years to perfect her creation. Starting with her British tradition, she prepared plum pudding as a favourite activity for family and friends. She has grown her talents into a successful company, The Art of Pudding. Michele has been unrelenting in her search for the best ingredients, recipe and preparation. The result is a unique dessert which...

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Figgy pudding samples benefit Skaneateles food pantry, share tradition at Dickens Christmas

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SKANEATELES | When visitors to the 22nd annual Dickens Christmas stop at the Mid-Lakes Navigation storefront to taste some figgy pudding, they won’t be putting food just in their mouths. Through a partnership with the Skaneateles Ecumenical Food Pantry, The Art of Pudding — the Canadian company that offers samples and sells containers of its King George figgy pudding — donates the proceeds from every sample to the food pantry. Suggesting a contribution of 25 cents per sample, Michele Chandler, the company’s owner, said she sent a check for $375 to the food pantry in 2013 — the first year the puddings appeared at Dickens — and last year cut a check to the food pantry $750. This year, Chandler wants to give $1,000 to the food pantry and hopes the community joins her in taking part in a British holiday tradition and in supporting a community organization. “It’s been a really wonderful triple win to partner with the food pantry,” she said. “In one year, we doubled the proceeds to the food pantry.” The pudding samples are available at Mid-Lakes from noon to 4 p.m. every day of the festival except Christmas Eve, Chandler said. In fact, food pantry volunteers will help staff the sample table at Mid-Lakes the weekend of Saturday, Dec. 5 and Sunday, Dec. 6. The partnership between the pudding maker and the food pantry began, Chandler said, because “the festival grew so much” that Chandler and her assistants could not keep up with the demand of offering free samples and knew they would have to charge people to take the figgy morsels. So, rather than pocketing the money, they decided to turn it into a charitable venture so that people are not just coming into Mid-Lakes for a free dessert and are helping out a worthy cause in the process. “It always warms their hearts that this goes back to something wonderful,” Chandler said of the people who come in for samples. “There’s incredible need in central New York that is hidden at the most important time of the year.” She noted a quarter for a sample can sometimes turn into a $20 bill from a generous taster, and she credited Mid-Lakes staff for...

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STYLE ADVISOR – “BREAKING THE MOULD”

STYLE ADVISOR – “BREAKING THE MOULD”

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A traditional pudding needn’t be such a heavy punctuation point on a rich holiday feast. As Karen Pinchin writes, the way to lighten up the seasonal treat is with lots of fresh fruit and a drizzle – not a dollop – of flavourful sauce Four luscious puddings that will turn your holiday menu upside down KAREN PINCHIN Special to The Globe and Mail Published Friday, Nov. 14 2014, 12:00 AM EST Last updated Thursday, Nov. 13 2014, 12:50 PM EST Dense and decadent, redolent of booze-soaked dried fruit and fragrant citrus peel, the Christmas pudding is arguably the ultimate holiday dessert. In Britain and much of the Commonwealth, where festive puddings shaped in copper forms and stoneware mixing bowls have been a holiday staple for centuries, the dish was traditionally prepared months in advance and allowed to mellow as ingredients intermingled, preserved by large amounts of brandy, sugar and beef fat. Some families took turns mixing the batter and making a wish, after which a silver coin or trinket would be added, with the finder winning luck for the year. (In The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot found a silver bachelor’s button, which guaranteed the unmarried detective another year of unsurprising singledom.) But unlike brick-like fruitcake, which is generally more batter than fruit, the best pudding sports a ratio of equal parts fruit and nuts to batter and a moist, nuanced crumb. Its texture is aided by a process of steaming and an aging period of hours to months. “You’d never serve a pudding fresh from the oven,” says Michelle Chandler, a former business consultant who started producing and selling her own puddings under the brand name The Art of Pudding last year. For decades, she has served one – doused with brandy and set alight tableside in a dim room, its blue flame licking the edge of the plate – as the pièce de résistance of every Christmas feast. “It’s such a comfort food,” she says. “It’s warm, has good mouth feel and [boasts] such depth of flavour. I was trying to capture the dark, luscious puddings I remember eating as a child. I couldn’t give a hoot about the rest of Christmas dinner....

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The King George Christmas Pudding by The Art of Pudding: What I Say About Food

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by CookingWithKimberly Web chef, Kimberly Turner, from http://CookingWithKimberly.com shares with you what she has to Say About…The King George Christmas Pudding by The Art of Pudding available at Harvest Barn Country Markets! * Review: http://CookingWithKimberly.com/web-chef-review-the-king-george-christmas-pudding-by-the-art-of-pudding Be a Champion in Your Kitchen & Eat Deliciously! * Like on Facebook: http://facebook.com/CookingWithKimberly * Subscribe on ifood TV: http://iFood.tv/CookingWithKimberly * Follow @CookingWithKimE on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CookingWithKimE Credits: The Art of Pudding: http://TheArtOfPudding.com Harvest Barn Country Markets: http://HarvestBarn.ca Mom: http://IngridTurnerToday.com Styling: http://KapowMag.com/fashion Video Production by Kapow Mag Media: http://KapowMag.com/media Music: “Acid Jazz” & “Modern Jazz Samba” by Kevin MacLeod – http://Incompetech.com Sounds: Mike Koenig @ http://SoundBible.com Kimberly’s Fitness: Register for Fitness Classes @ http://BAMNiagara.ca – “Don’t Hate, Get in SHAPE!” Cooking With Kimberly is Made in Niagara! Are you? List your Biz: http://MadeInNiagara.info/list-your-biz! Need Kitchen Gear? Shop @...

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The King George’s ingredient list:

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Sultanas, Brown Sugar, Egg, Apples, Palm & Modified Palm Shortening, Wheat Flour, Currants, Raisins, Dried Figs, Orange Juice Concentrate, Breadcrumbs, Candied Citrus Peel, Dried Apricots, Ginger, Glace Cherries, Brandy, Dried Mango, Dried Pear, Dried citrus peel, Cane Syrup, Baking Powder, Salt, Spices Contains eggs and wheat. Made in a factory where dairy, sesame seeds, nuts and eggs may be...

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