DECEMBER 07, 1961 (Georgetown) – TO the true Guianese, Christmas is never complete unless the fare includes:
Here’s a recipe for this distinctive dish prepared by the Carnegie School of Home Economics. The recipe is for a large amount- ten pounds of pork- but those using a smaller quantity can just divide the amount for the other ingredients.
For 10lbs of pork (lean with just a little fat), you need one and a half pounds garlic; two bunches thyme; two bottles vinegar, or half bottle vinegar mixed with water to taste; six to eight wiri-wiri peppers, half-pound salt.
Wash the pork in a solution of vinegar and water, squeezing out all of the blood. Dry well. Cut up in suitably-sized pieces.
Pound garlic, peppers, thyme. Add salt and vinegar. Pour over pork, making quite sure that it is well covered. Leave to soak for about 3 to 4 days. Fry in deep fat.
The basis of pepperpot may be fresh pork, cow heel, stewing beef, or pig’s head and trotters.
Cut up three or four pounds meat and boil it with a slice of uncooked salt beef. When halfway done, add three or four tablespoons of casareep; three teaspoons of brown sugar; a few peppers; and salt to taste. Add a stick of cinnamon, if desired; a few cloves, if desired. Boil until the meat is quite tender.
Pepperpot may be kept over a period of time, but it must be boiled every day to prevent sourness. Always use a clean spoon to dip with.
When adding fresh meat to Pepperpot, either cook it till tender separately or remove the already cooked meat until the fresh meat is well done. Put back the removed meat and boil again. Cold meat may be added before boiling.
Always a happy ending to the Christmas dinner, certainly. Or to the late supper when everyone gathers in the kitchen, hungry again. Why not serve pudding then? Let them watch you loosen the firm shape from the mould, let them sniff the fragrant steam that follows it. Imagine the subtle blend of fruit, spice, molasses, and sugar that only steaming can create.
You need 12 ounces of self-rising flour; one teaspoonful salt; one pound breadcrumbs; one pound shortening or butter; one pound sultanas; one pound currants; two pounds raisins stoned; three-quarter pound sugar (brown preferable); four ounces almonds, blanched and chopped; six eggs; grated rind and juice of two lemons; half nutmeg grated; half-pint milk; a wine-glass of rum, brandy, or sherry may be added with milk.
Clean the fruit, chop the candied peel. Sift the self-rising flour, salt, and spices together. Blanch and chop the almonds. Put all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, and stir them well together.
Add the lemon rind and juice. Beat the eggs and add the margarine or butter and stir into the dry ingredients. Then add the eggs and milk and stir very thoroughly. Brush out four pudding basins with melted shortening and prepare four coverings of double greaseproof paper, also brushed with shortening.
Fill the basins with the pudding mixture, leaving a space for the puddings to rise. Cover with prepared paper and steam for 4-6 hours before serving. Makes four medium-sized puddings, each serving 6-8 people.
OR you can serve pudding with foamy eggnog sauce. You need one egg, half cup of sugar, half heavy cream, and one teaspoon vanilla flavouring. Beat egg white until frothy. Then gradually add quarter cup of sugar and beat until the mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks. Whip cream, adding the remaining ¼quarter cup sugar.
When quite thick, gradually add the slightly beaten egg yolk, and flavouring, then fold in the egg-white mixture. This makes about one and a half cups sauce.
You need eight small sponge cakes, or slices of plain cakes; jam; two to three glasses of sherry or fruit juice; three-quarter pint of good custard; half-pint cream, sugar and flavouring; two ounces crystallised fruit or sliced citron-peel; and six ounces nuts.
Split the sponge cakes and spread them with jam. Arrange them in a glass dish, pour the sherry or fruit-juice over, and soak for a half hour. Sprinkle the crushed nuts over these, and pour on the custard. Whip the cream, sweeten and flavor it, and spread or pipe it over the custard. Decorate with crystallised fruit. If citron peel is used, wash it first and slice thinly, as desired
(Researched by Cassandra Khan/Guyana Chronicle)