Back home we set to pounding cloves and cardamom for the pudding, surely one of the most physically satisfying and sensuously fulfilling of jobs. Even my boy remarked on the scent of oranges and spices filling the house. Unfortunately he was unable to throw any light on the whereabouts of the brandy we bought for steeping the fruit.
25 November 2009
Tempting though it is to keep the remnants of last year's spices, if you want your cakes and puddings to excel, you have to sacrifice parsimony and refresh the spice box. So I checked the necessary ingredients, made my list, and visited a cash and carry under the railway arches to stock up. These modern fluorescent emporia are stacked high with variously sized packs and sacks of rice, pulses, nuts and spices, . You have to weave your way through aisles of unfamiliar labels (I should have been asking for jaipal instead of nutmeg) and be very disciplined not to leave with giant packs of exotic ingredients.