This week, I was tasked with finding myself something for the blog. That actually seems worse than just showing up with something new on my desk. It's almost like having to pick your method of execution. I knew I couldn't get away with picking something that looked delicious, so I wandered the "Ethnic" aisle at my local Publix scanning the shelves for something strange. I stopped at the British section and spotted a can of Spotted Dick pudding. I thought for a minute about how many STD jokes I could fit into one post and picked it up to place into my cart. Just before I let it drop from my hand, I noticed it had raisins in it and immediately put it back on the shelf. There's something about raisins in pre-packaged pudding that puts me off. Probably a fear that one of the "raisins" ends up being something left behind from a rather large rodent scurrying across the pudding factory floor. When I placed the Spotted Dick back on the shelf, I noticed a can of Heinz Treacle Sponge Pudding right next to it for $4.99. I grabbed it and headed to the checkout before I could talk myself out of the purchase.
When I get home, I decide to go ahead and get it out of the way before
dinner. Sponge pudding doesn't sound good enough to save for dessert,
but it doesn't sound awful enough to ruin my appetite either. I study
the can a bit further before I open it and realize there are microwave
cooking instructions. Suddenly, Treacle Sponge Pudding becomes much
less appealing. I've never had hot pudding in my life, and didn't even
realize that was a unique characteristic until today.
I open the can slowly and notice a very sweet smell wafting out before
the top is completely off. It smells like molasses. Once the top came
off though, the site didn't live up to the smell. A sad orange blob
filled about half the can. It was separating from the sides and
splitting in places. It looked like a leftover chunk of pumpkin pie
from last Thanksgiving. Following the instructions on the can, I ran a
knife around the edges that weren't already pulling away from the can,
turned it upside down onto a microwave safe plate, and prayed it would
taste like it smelled, not like it looked.
A slightly brighter shade of orange gel rests on top of the mutilated
pumpkin pie monstrosity as I slide it into the microwave. One minute
and thirty seconds later, my kitchen smells like a hot sponge cake and
I eagerly grab the plate out of the microwave. During the cooking
process, the sponge pudding contracted and the orange gel melted,
making the whole thing look almost edible in a congealed, left over Chinese food kinda way. I drive my fork down the
middle and scoop up a piece to taste.
It's delicious. It tastes like a hot sponge cake with hot syrup poured
over the top. The consistency is a little off putting, lying somewhere
between stuffing and bread pudding, but the taste trumps any strange
feelings my tongue might have. For one of the first times in the
history of writing this blog, I happily take another bite and ponder
scouring the internet for recipes to try out myself. With a little
amaretto flavoring, this could make for one hell of a follow up to
bangers and mash.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.