Contemporary and epic fantasy with unforgettable characters, complicated families, and music in the sentences.

Holiday Combustible Deserts Safety Tip

This is a version of the flaming plum pudding PSA from my old LiveJournal blog. I put it back out there every year, usually in time for Yule. I have expanded it a bit, with instructions for playing snapdragon and an updated link for more information about that illustrious game. Who would not wish to know more about a traditional children’s game that involves eating things while they are literally on fire?

Here goes:

You may be planning to set fire to a plum pudding this weekend.

No problem, you’re thinking. Brandy burns at such a low temperature, what can possibly go wrong?

You can even play snapdragon with your combustible dessert.

And snapdragon is a lot of fun.

You scatter raisins over the platter with your plum pudding on it, pour the brandy over them as well as the plum pudding, turn down the lights, ignite the brandy and… Oh, the effect is magical. You reach your fingers into the fire to snatch out individual burning raisins, fast as you can, then pop them, still flaming bright blue, into your mouth.

But the plum pudding you’re imagining is decorated with holly leaves. Maybe freshly cut holly leaves, maybe dried, maybe —and this would be interesting — plastic.

Igniting your combustible dessert won’t burn your fingers, but it will get your holly leaves going in a very serious way, as we discovered a couple of years ago. Your flaming holly leaves could, theoretically, get other things going, too.


Take the holly off and put it well aside before you light the brandy.

Live a long time.

And Happy Holidays.

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