Diving into a Sussex Pond – a drunken tale in two parts

16 Sep

Let’s get this out of the way straight away, I was drunk when I made this. DRUNK!

Not ‘tipsy drunk’, and not ‘let me tell you a story drunk’ but properly ‘reel around the fountain before getting down onto the train tracks drunk’.
And like most who get that drunk I became invincible, capable of ANYTHING.
Most normal, invincible drunks turn into superheroes and get on the roof of the nearest tall building to see if they can fly – I too try something I am unable to do in regular life: cook something extraordinarily difficult…

I had been focussing on the notoriously complicated and completely out of my league Sussex Pond Pudding for a while. I considered that because I lived in Sussex (and born in the county) I should at least try it once. I also love lemon puddings and suet puddings and the Sussex Pond is a combination of both so… win, win.

Staggering around my kitchen looking for something to do (when I obviously should have been sprawled face down on my bed with a wet towel and a bucket) I loudly exclaimed with the confidence of only the very drunk ‘I should make that Sussex Pond Pudding now’.
There was no one to hear me or stop me as everyone else had sensibly gone to sleep.

Setting the iPad up in the kitchen, I found the recipe on my favourite naughty pudding site: Great British Puddings. (I have it bookmarked, I certainly wouldn’t have been able to type that into the search engine)

The Sussex Pond Pudding is a large suet pudding that encases a whole lemon swimming in an unctuous, sugary liquid (like a pond?) I had never tried one myself but had seen it in a local miscellany book and became a bit obsessed by it.

I don’t remember a huge amount about the actual making of it, but this is what I THINK happened…

  • I made up the suet pastry and sugar mixture (well I assume I did as no one else was around)
  • I discovered I don’t own a pudding basin so proceeded with two smaller bowls using half a lemon in each
  • I realised that the thing took three hours to steam so sensibly left it and went to bed instead

The next morning, I had completely forgotten about what had happened as I was dealing with a very large and well deserved hangover.
I came downstairs to make some tea and found these on the side:
Two little, raw Sussex Pond Puddings!
Everything came flooding back… my superhero attempt to make the traditional, local dish. Maybe I was still drunk, I don’t know, but I put them on to steam (just a few hours late) and went back to bed. Maybe they would do the job of a bacon sandwich?

Much later I came down to these:
It kind of worked. Or did it?
I mean they obviously tasted hideous, lumpen and dry and stale and tart and too sweet, but that might be just the way a Sussex Pond tastes right? I don’t know, or it might have been the inch thick fur on my tongue ruining the experience. Maybe I just wasn’t in the best frame of mind to enjoy my drunken exploits.

Things I have learnt:

  • Sometimes a cavalier attitude to cooking can work, but…
  • Dishes best left to the professionals are still best left alone (drunk or sober)
  • I need a pudding basin



2 Responses to “Diving into a Sussex Pond – a drunken tale in two parts”

  1. Emma 16/09/2012 at 5:26 pm #

    I’m impressed at how far you did get! When I’m “socially excited” all I want to do is laugh & drink more 🙂

    • Alice Can't Cook 25/09/2012 at 9:03 am #

      I’m with you Emma and was probably laughing and drinking the whole time I was making it…
      I wish I could remember!
      Thanks so much for reading xxx

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