Friday, 9 October 2009

Christmas has already lost its charm(s)

My mother comes round, with the particular air of purpose that a lifetime of experience has taught me to fear, and announces she is going to make the Christmas Pudding this Sunday. For a moment I am so diverted by wistful thoughts of growing up into the kind of person who a) makes a Christmas pudding and b) does so in October that I fail to anticipate what is coming next. She asks me if I know where the Christmas Pudding Charms are as they’re not in the special Christmas Pudding Charms Place in her house.

I instantly have a feeling that I do know. It is not a good feeling.

Attempt to sound simultaneously vague yet reassuring and wait until she has departed before scrabbling amongst the debris of hardened paintbrushes, cat worming tablets and unidentifiable models made from clay and egg boxes on the kitchen windowsill. Heart sinks as I discover an eggcup containing a thick brownish gloop. Further investigation reveals this to consist of a rich mixture of Christmas Pudding dissolved in ancient washing up water, in which the silver Christmas Pudding Charms have been marinading since last Boxing Day.

Horror. Christmas Pudding Charms, once excavated, no longer remotely silver-looking. More a sort of blackened pewter. Help! Can I clean them? How?? Will putting them in some kind of silver-cleaning solution poison us all??? Or should I just keep it simple, leave the country and convert to Bhuddism?


Michelle Styles said...

Yes you can clean them. Or otherwise you would never be able to clean silverware. And you do not want to know how blackened I have had my silverware at times.

Just wash well afterwards.

But am seriously impressed with your mother.

Kaz19 said...

The one's we had did go a strange greeny pewter colour, after the first time we used them. Clean them in a little toothpaste, they'll soom spruce up. We only used them once (I can't even think where they are now). Everybody in our house thought it a bit risky putting them in, so mum stopped doing it.
October to make your puddings? Umm, I'm sure you wait until 'Stir Up Sunday', which is the Sunday before the 1st Sunday in Advent. As per Saint 'Delia'. And in our house, we follow Delia's full programme of Christmas cooking, down to the minute detail.

Kaz19 said...

Sorry, me again, I didn't put my name at the bottom, (I hate my blogger name),
xx Karen

Kate Hewitt said...

India, I I know just what you mean about those wistful thoughts. I have them whenever I see my mother making her own piecrust, or jam, or knitting a sweater, or cleaning behind the stove, or... we've definitely polished some heavily tarnished/blackened silver. In fact we have a silver bowl which is the 'official' baptismal font at our church, and when there was a stretch without baptisms it went a rather funny color. I tried the toothpaste but we ended up buying a special polish from the store, and it looks just like new.

India said...

Thanks for the advice everyone. In the end I did opt for silver polish, but I needed the kind that's like a paste and it got a bit clogged up in all the itsy-bitsy details in the tiny nativity scene (sorry baby Jesus) so I scrubbed it away again with toothpaste. The end result was pretty good and I think I got away with it-- I just hope the pudding doesn't have a tell-tale tang of Colgate...

Fiona Harper said...

I thought your story about the pudding charms was so funny that I read it out to the girls at work!

India said...

Fiona-- I'm so flattered! That's almost like attaining Watercooler status. (OK, so it's for my staggering domestic crapness, but who cares?) You've made my day.

(Now had you better do some actual work? I know I should...)

Donna Alward said...

I read it to my husband! And also Kate's response!

Donna, who was smugly wrapping Christmas prezzies tonight.

(What? I have curious kittens. They were delivered today and wrapped tonight. No way are the girls going to find them!)