Proof is in the pudding for Spotted Dick and other oddly named English desserts

info@islandpacket.comMarch 7, 2013 


    1 pound medium shrimp, cooked, shelled

    1 stick sweet butter

    3 large shallots, chopped

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    1/2 cup dry vermouth

    1 can artichoke hearts, drained, chopped

    3 lemons, zest from one and juice of all

    3 cups whipping cream

    4 tablespoons capers

    Saute shallots and garlic in butter until soft. Add vermouth and reduce to half. Add juice from lemons stir. Slowly whisk in cream and stir well, until thickened. Stir in artichokes, cooked shrimp, lemon zest, capers and stir until heated through. Serve over thin spaghetti. Sprinkle chopped parsley over it. Makes: 4-6

The wonderful television series "Downton Abbey" has brought about a slew of funny-sounding English foods and sayings. We will await the next installment of the fourth season with baited breath.

"Spotted Dick Pudding" is one such funny item served in many homes and eateries in England. The pudding is a steamed concoction that has been lovingly prepared in English kitchens since 1849. "Dick" is the English synonym for dough, and currants or raisins are the spots. The beloved spongy pudding is sold around the world courtesy of the giant food company Heinz.

The pudding's name was changed in 2001 to "Spotted Richard" pudding. It seems that a group of politically correct citizens found it to be a wiser choice of words. Several ladies' groups had felt suddenly embarrassed to order it in stores or restaurants.

That whole idea outraged the venerable Pudding Club, a group of English folk who try to keep traditions alive and well. The president of the club denounced the whole affair. He declared that Spotted Dick pudding was one of the backbones of English food, a classic.

The pudding is also known as "Spotted Dog" to some.

The Times Newspaper of London wrote a wonderful story about the whole episode that is very funny. In 2009 the name of the pudding was restored to the original moniker. Pudding purists in England are very happy.

Now on to "bangers and mash." Somehow I can't imagine the lords and ladies of the upstairs "Abbey" eating either.

  • Hairdressers and manicurists have their hands full these days -- literally. Trish, Heather and Cindy at The Village Spa are confronted everyday with amazing requests.

    Fingernail polish comes in many colors, and so many creative things are done with it. Hairdos have no limits either. One can have extensions of all hues woven into them. There are beads, feathers -- almost nothing is overlooked -- to add to your locks. I just want to go to my appointment and be out the door quickly. I am always fascinated and love to watch the transformation of everyone.

  • The daffodil fields are open on Pinckney Colony Road. That means Spring is almost here. For 15 cents a stem you can pick the flowers to your heart's content. The daffodil field is a lovely sight, so take your children and, by all means, your camera. Hurry, though, because these beauties don't last long. Pinckney Colony Road is off U.S. 278 between Rose Hill and Eagle's Pointe, and the field is about a mile or so down the road on the right.

  • Speaking of daffodils, I walk by the Fripp-Lowden House almost daily. Lori Brown and her family used to live there. Lori lovingly tended the yard and planted many lovely things.

    Lori planted hundreds of daffodils along the fence. This year only one plant sported a bloom. I miss seeing them. I must admit I have snitched a few also. I hope this is just an off-year for them.

    Also I am wondering how to get my lemon tree blossoms to "set." Each year I have at least 30 blossoms and all looks well, but then most of them fall off of the tree. I only harvested -- good word, haha -- five lemons last year. My tree is a Meyer lemon, and the fruit is delicious. I would like to make some limoncello with my crop, so I need lots of them.

    Can anyone give me a tip because my tree is budding now?

    Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.

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