Spice and ice
At this time of year, a steaming hot suet pudding rich with raisins and spices and brandy might seem appealing but, when December comes around, a deliciously cool ice cream pudding rich with raisins and spices and brandy may be what you long for… and it’s a good bridge between British tradition and antipodean practicalities.
Here’s the easy version but note that, as well as the ingredients, you need a pudding-shaped bowl that won’t mind spending a few days in the freezer.
Easy Plum Pudding Ice Cream
|START||:||1 day before|
|PREPARATION TIME||:||10 + 2 + 10 minutes|
1/3 cup (50g) flaked almonds ½ cup (50g) currants 1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup (100g) glace cherries 1/3 cup (80ml) brandy ½ tsp nutmeg
¼ cup (45g) mixed peel 1l chocolate ice cream
½ cup raisins 1 tsp mixed spice
Toast the almonds. Quarter the cherries. Mix nuts, peel and fruit with rum and soak overnight.
Soften the ice cream. Stir the spices into the rum mixture and then stir the rum mixture into the ice cream.
Rinse the bowl out with water, fill with ice cream, cover and freeze.
My niece Emma is happy again because Mia is now 100% fine, and that’s the other thing about colic: it just goes away by itself by the time the baby is about eight weeks old. (Babies are weird. I love them, but they’re weird.)
 When my friend Carol developed a hot, red, itchy allergic rash, she said she wouldn’t mind spending a few days in the freezer herself (but she made do with wet cloths and anti-histamines and she hasn’t eaten lobster since).
 And they’re all getting enough sleep (which is the difference between bliss and misery when you have a baby in the house (and most of the rest of the time too)).