For my latest 1922 Sarnia cookbook adventure, I made Prunes aux Rhum. It’s heartening to see the importance of regularity hasn’t changed much over the years.
I spotted the recipe for Prunes aux Rhum (pronounced Proons o Room with lots of rolled r’s) a few months back when I made the ball-shaped tragedy that was Potato Candy. Prunes aux Rhum seemed to evoke a more sophisticated time. I immediately envisioned white gloves, doilies on chesterfields and people named Hortence. Plus, the recipe called for booze.
Here's the recipe:
Soak best quality large prunes until soft and boil until the stones may be easily removed. Then soak for two or three days in rum. Drain, roll in sugar and serve.
Thanks to our modern world, I didn’t have to boil the prunes or pit them as per the instructions. I did, however, seek out the “best quality” prunes at No Frills.
I wasn’t sure what kind of rum folks had in 1922, so I bought the most old-fashioned looking bottle at the liquor store. It’s called The Kraken and had a squid on the label. It’s a well-known fact that people had to fend off gigantic sea monsters back in the day before pollution killed them all off. Thankfully.
I dumped the prunes in a jar that had previously housed crab apple jelly I bought at a fall bazaar. The jelly tasted okay, but check out the texture. Was I supposed to spread it on toast or use it to repair potholes? Needless to say, I wasn’t sorry to see it go.
To make the recipe more authentic, I made a label for my jar. It gave me an opportunity to show off my calligraphy skills, which, as you can see, are nothing to sneeze at. (I also do stag-and-doe invites if anyone’s interested.) I poured in the rum and sealed up the jar. The recipe said to wait for two to three days, but I let those lil’ prunies soak for a full week for maximum effect.
I was a little disappointed when I fished them out a week later as I was expecting the prunes to be all fattened by the rum. But there were only a little bigger than before. As to how they tasted, well, let me put it this way. I ate two and woke up a few hours later on my front porch wearing a pair of Daisy Dukes with glitter in my hair and an eight-track of Do You Wanna Funk in my back pocket. In other words, Prunes aux Rhum are strong. Keep them out of the hands of the elderly and the easily influenced.
Score: Six giant squids out of ten.