Buckley’s has got to be one of the prettiest spots on the island. Why, do you ask? Because it sits on a ridge, overlooking the valley in all its splendour, where every spectrum of green you can imagine is represented in that view and the sunset over the hills at the end of the evening finishes off the week on a good note.
This is a place to forget and to enjoy the start to a good weekend. This is especially so if you are lounging, lime-ing and having a little something after work at Dan’s Bar.
Dan’s nephew now runs the bar and does a fine job. It is, as I mentioned before, a grand spot unparalleled by many other more famous bars, rum shops, snackettes and dinettes on this island.
Now is the time to take a breather and relax. Christmas is coming, the party season is starting, not much money to go around and stress is in plenty supply. What better way to relax and forget the “rat race” than a first rate rum shop that serves the best conchs water and flavourful barbecued chicken to round it all off. Dan’s the man in my opinion.
Meanwhile, I have decided to do the impossible and try my hand at a Christmas pudding. My mother says she is doing a Christmas cake, but I want to follow the steps my grandmother left behind and try the steamed pudding!
My first stop, according to the recipe, is Quinn Farara on Long Street for Rich Ruby wine. I remember my instructions being to go to a “Miss Samuel” and ask for the wine. Now that fine lady has since passed away and who knows if anyone else knows about the wine. One can only investigate and ask.
The next step is to go to Dias Rum Shop for the brandy. Here’s the problem, Dias Rum Shop is not there any longer and there is no indication about the type of brandy. Hang on a minute, the instructions say that port is necessary, so that means another trip to Quinn Farara – but which port?
I will just use whatever port smells good and tastes good and the brandy will be the first one that comes to hand. The Rich Ruby is necessary to soak the fruits for the next few weeks in a glass jar.
There is flour, vanilla essence, sugar, more port, more brandy and more wine – all mixed together. It seems to me however, that some of the ingredients are missing in this recipe. I will just have to wing it.
And, those of you who doubt my baking/steaming pudding skills stop gasping with incredulous, disbelieving laughter; I can hear you over the tapping of my fingers on the keyboard!
Once the mixture is in the mould, then it must be steamed on an old pot with a stone on top and only on a coal pot fire. Hmmm, these instructions seem very complicated and quite frankly my eyes are watering at the thought of the fumes from the brandy, port and wine. No wonder I was always a little “happy” after eating the Christmas pudding.
Did I mention that after the pudding is finished, it is to be placed in a special tin can with a tight cover and some port is to be poured over the pudding at least once a week? The fermentation must be something else.
With all that stress over the start of Christmas pudding season and preparing for the marathon of entertaining and jollyment, I think that perhaps Dan’s Bar is sounding better by the minute. A sun-downer is in order. Maybe he knows a little more about steaming pudding on a coal pot.
The pudding instructions do prey on the mind however, and I have written down a note to self: ask David and Lisa if such a thing still exists, and if not, maybe we can try some new wines? Now there’s a good plan.