What The Heck Is Figgy Pudding?

What The Heck Is Figgy Pudding?

"Now bring us some figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer!"
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What the heck is figgy pudding?

Anyone who sings the song, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” around Christmas time sings the lyrics, “Now bring us some figgy pudding, now bring us some figgy pudding, now bring us some figgy pudding, and a cup of good cheer.” But what is figgy pudding? I never knew what this was growing up, and I had never met anyone who actually did know what it was. So, here’s to all of you out there who were just like me.

Figgy pudding, also called plum pudding and Christmas pudding, is a popular Christmas dessert in Britain, which is how it ended up in the jolly Christmas tune we sing today. It’s a staple on a British Christmas menu, but is rarely eaten in the United States. Its original number of ingredients (thirteen) represented Jesus Christ and the twelve apostles, so the dish carries a symbolic meaning to the Brits around Christmas time.

First, let’s establish what “pudding” is. Over in England, pudding doesn’t refer to the creamy deliciousness inside of a snack-pack that Americans know and love. It refers to any dessert, so Christmas pudding, a type of cake, fits this label.

Though this cake’s names would lead you to guess what it is made of, it does not always contain figs or plums. Figs were historically incorporated in the recipe, but are occasionally left out of modern ingredient lists. The term “plum” used to be a generic term for any dried fruit, which is how this particular nickname came to be, since the cake does contain lots of raisins.

A figgy pudding is a steamed cake (those two words don’t seem like they go together) filled with brandy, dried fruits, and fresh fruits. A steamed cake is quite literally a cake that is steamed instead of baked, and the brandy contributes greatly to the flavor of the “pudding.”

This dessert is often made from scratch, and the process is very labor-intensive. The alcohol in the cake is meant to age for a couple of weeks to draw out more flavor, so it needs to be prepared in advance. Christmas hosts across Britain are already at work on their cakes and are letting the brandy soak to create figgy deliciousness.

Oh, and another thing about Christmas pudding? You can set it on fire. You can light this cake up Baked-Alaska-style. If that doesn’t scream Christmas cheer, I don’t know what will.

You now know what the heck the lyrics of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” are talking about. You can run and tell all of your friends that you know a bit of Christmas trivia that they probably don’t know. You can also sing the song with a sly smirk, knowing that you’ve read up on the overlooked meaning of the words.

And, if you’re really curious and patient and want to try out this Christmas staple for yourself, you can click on the link below for a recipe from BBC.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/851637/figgy-christmas-pudding

Happy holidays!

(Source: www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/12/20/460488236/...)

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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How To Play 'New Girl's' True American Drinking Game

"It's 75% drinking, 20% Candy Land, and the floor is molten lava."
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I think it's fair to say that anyone who watches New Girl knows about True American. This crazy, non-sense drinking game which pops up every so often throughout the seasons and first introduced in Season 1 Episode 20.

The game, as described by New Girl character and fan-favorite Schmidt, is 75% drinking game and 20% Candy Land with a floor of molten lava.

The point of the game is for players to navigate through the Candy Land-like spaces to the "castle," which is a table in the center of the room that holds beer "pawns" and the "king" bottle. The first person to reach and sip from the bottle wins.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things "New Girl" Fans Know to Be True

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Here's how to play:

Step #1: Prepare the "castle"

First, set up your "castle." The castle is made up of beer "pawns" and the "king," a bottle filled with the alcohol of your choice.

The bottle should be in the middle of the table, surrounded by four lines of beer pawns. There is no exact number of beers necessary for each line of beer pawns. Choose any amount of beers that seems appropriate for the amount of players.

Step #2: Set up spaces

Set up spaces using pillows, chairs or any other objects players will be able to stand on. Place an equal amount of spaces around the table. You'll want about 5-8 spaces on each side, depending on the size of the room you're playing in.

Only four of these spaces should reach the castle, lining up with the parade of beer "pawns" and allowing players to take a beer pawn from the castle. For example, in the photo above, each of the chairs touch a corner of the table at the end of the line of beer pawns. Therefore, these are two of the four special spaces that allow players to take a beer. Unlike the pillows pictured, which are just regular spaces that the players can use to move around.

Step #3: Pick teams

Teams are optional. To pick teams, all of the players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers against their forehead on the count of three.

Any players who hold up the same number are a team. Unmatched players can team up as needed or simply pair up with the person standing closest to them.

Step #4: Begin

Begin with a shotgun "tip-off" to determine which player goes first.

The winner of this shotgunning contest will yell, "One, two, three...JFK!" to announce the official beginning of the game. All players will enthusiastically respond, "FDR!" then quickly grab a beer pawn from the castle and run to any space they wish to start at, excluding for the four special spaces that reach the castle.

Step #5: Make moves

The winner of the shotgunning contest has earned the first turn. From then on, the order of turns will move in a clockwise rotation. During each turn, the player will move one space toward the castle and choose to play one of the following mini-games.

Mini-game number one: the player whose turn it is will count to three then all players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers on their forehead. Any player who selects a number no one else selected can move ONE space.

Mini-game number two: the player whose turn it is will recite the beginning of a famous American quote. The first player to complete the quote can move TWO spaces.

Mini-game number three: the player whose turn it is will name two famous American people, places or things. The first player to identify what the two have in common can move THREE spaces.

For example, say it's your turn. You will move one space then choose one of the three mini-games. You and all of the players will participate in that game, and the winner will move accordingly. After this, your turn is over and it's the next player's turn (in the original clockwise rotation).

Step #6: "Play on, playa."



Continue playing by these rules until one lucky winner reaches the bottle and sips from its royal glass.

The bottle cannot be opened until every last pawn is removed from the castle. Any players who fail to keep at least one beer in hand, who accidentally end up with more than three beers in hand, or who touch the lava are immediately disqualified. Disqualified players can rejoin the game by shotgunning a beer.

Congratulations!

You are now able to impress all of your New Girl-loving friends with knowledge of the workings of the epic True American drinking game. Know your limits, drink responsibly and enjoy!

Cover Image Credit: i.amz.mshcdn.com

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25 Treats You Can Eat For Free On Your Birthday And How To Redeem Them

Because who doesn't love free food?
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It's your birthday!! Why not spoil yourself?

These restaurants offer birthday freebies when you sign up for their rewards and/ or email list. Some require you to sign up so many days prior to your birthday. Be sure to check the conditions of each to ensure you receive your birthday freebie.

1. Arby's

When you sign up for Arby's rewards, you will automatically receive a coupon for a free Roast Beef Classic with the purchase of a drink. For your birthday, you will receive a free shake!

2. Auntie Anne's

With this app (Auntie Anne's Pretzel Perks), you will receive a free signature/ classic pretzel for your birthday!

3. Baskin Robbins

When you join Baskin Robbins Birthday Club, you will receive a free birthday scoop!

4. BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

When you sign up for their Premier Rewards Plus, you automatically receive a free pizookie, and you get another free pizookie on your birthday!

5. Buffalo Wild Wings

When you join the Buffalo Circle Club, you will receive a free order of snack size wings (boneless or traditional) to celebrate your birthday!

6. Chili's

With My Chili's Rewards, you can get a free dessert on your birthday!

7. Cold Stone Creamery

Cold Stone Creamery will give you a Buy One, Get One FREE Creation coupon for your birthday!

8. Firehouse Subs

You will receive a free medium sub reward that can be used on your birthday or within the following six days!

9. Great American Cookies

When you sign up for their email club, you will receive $3 off your next purchase and a birthday surprise!

10. IHOP

Being a part of their Pancake Revolution will earn you a free birthday meal and another free meal on your anniversary of joining!

11. Krispy Kreme

With their app, you will receive a free welcome original glazed doughnut and a free gift on your birthday!

12. Longhorn Steakhouse

With Longhorn Steakhouse Rewards, you can get a free dessert on your birthday!

13. Maggie Moo's

Maggie Moo's will give you a birthday surprise!

14. Menchie's

Menchie's will give you a coupon worth $5 in Menchie's money that will be available to you two weeks prior to your birthday and two weeks after your birthday!

15. Olive Garden

Olive Garden will give you a free dessert worth up to $10 for your birthday!

16. On the Border

Joining their Rewards Club brings you a lot: free bowl of signature queso or sopapillas on your next visit, exclusive "cinco deals" on the 5th of every month, and free queso on your birthday and anniversary of signing up!

17. Panera

MyPanera rewards you with a free pastry for your birthday!

18. P.F. Chang's

P .F. Chang's will give you a birthday reward!

19. Red Lobster

Red Lobster rewards you with a surprise birthday offer!

20. Sonic

Sonic will give you a free birthday surprise!

21. Starbucks

All Starbucks Rewards members get a free beverage or treat to celebrate their birthday, plus 15% off!

22. Subway

Subway will give you a free lunch on your birthday!

23. Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse will give you a free birthday surprise!

24. Wingstop

When joining The Club with Wingstop, you will automatically get an order of fries for free, but you will also get a free gift on your birthday as well!

25. Zaxby's

When you join the Zax Club, you will receive a free sandwhich meal. On your birthday, you will receive a free nibbler!

Cover Image Credit: everypixel.com

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