Sugarplums are Fast Food
December 13, 2008 by Karen Resta
The Fast Food Feminist posted a collection of links to sugar plum recipes last year around this time – along with some philosophic musings.
Here is the post:
Photo Flickr-Phil Gyford
Are there different ways to be “sweet”? Women are defined in general presumption to be like the rhyme “sugar and spice and everything nice” (whether we wish to be or not)(personally I have no problem with the sugar or spice part but that word “nice” does tend to grate on my nerves)(nice nice nice blech)(reminds me of how guys sometimes look at a girl and say “Smile!” to her. Pah. Smile yourself, my friend.)
Does sugar have more than one flavor or bite?
I decided to look to sugarplums for wisdom.
Sugarplums are thought of as a Christmas sweet – though many people have never seen or tasted one. What are they?
Fast Food Feminist put on her detective hat to find out.
Food Reference.com tells us that sugarplums were originally sugar coated coriander, rather like the sugar coated seeds which many know from the end of a meal at an Indian restaurant. In olden times these were called “comfits”. Comforting things.
tells us that Queen Isabella and Benjamin Franklin loved sugarplums. I’m not sure whether that fact will make me run out to chow down on some, though the examples shown are well-rounded and solidly bourgeois and even look as if one alone might make a delicious meal.
has a different take on the sugarplum, saying they may have been actual plums preserved in sugar. I wish sugar could preserve me, too, but so far there is no proof that this could occur.
website has an excellent recipe for sugarplums made in the Victorian fashion (always so jolly, you know) that includes crystallized ginger, which I personally adore. It’s pretty fast to make, too.
will likely swear by the recipe provided in their forums.
who this year did not make sugarplums at all but who instead provided sweetness in life through cranberry-pistachio bark, a recipe I too know and love, as much for its fastness as for its foodie-ness and imagined femininity though of course one does have to imagine a bit to guess at that.
knows sugarplums as wild plums to be gathered from the fertile earth, then to be carefully laid out, sugared and dried. A simple feast, an earthy thing of honor.
speak of the same ingredients and technique for sugarplums as Saveur does. Which brings to mind the question: Does a rose by any other name smell as sweet?
Playing on the sweetness and light of sugarplums,
gives us a recipe for Sugarplum Tofu with Udon. Another way of sweetness, this one with a corporate relations link at the top of the page.
Sugarplums are many things, of differing varieties.
Therefore sugar apparently is as you like it, if we follow the wisdom of sugarplums.
There have been a few changes since last year: Whole Foods changed the title of their recipe to not include the word ‘sugarplum’ but rather just ‘plum’. I wonder why. Was the word ‘sugarplum’ just a bit too perky for Whole Paycheck Foods? Oh well. Likely we’ll never know.
And the link to the sugarplum recipe from Diary of a Kentucky Cook is now here.
Sugarplums always start their rounds this time of year – the visions of them created by the well-known poem, dancing round in our heads – is so warming, so old fashioned, so slow food. But sugarplums are fast food.
They are so easily made in the home kitchen today. Most recipes are just chop stir shape for the most part.
It’s funny to think of sugarplums being fast food.
Now if I had to grow the ingredients that went into them, or if I had to dry or shell things, or chop down sugarcane or even peel and distill the stuff to make sugar, then to my mind sugarplums would be slow food.
Actually I’m sort of glad that sugarplums are fast food. I don’t have a whole lot of time around the holidays and no wish to wear an apron (or chefs coat for that matter) for two or three weeks straight.
So I will dream of fast food tonight.
Sugarplums. They dance in my head, and rather quickly too!