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Probe: January 2, 2001

January 02, 2001

QUESTION: What's this about a postal rate going into effect in Jan. 7? I didn't see anything about it on the news. — Mail User, Imperial County

There must have been something in the news because you know about it. Obviously it didn't get much play.

There's been so much going on with the presidential election, the holidays and the nasty weather back east, news of a rate increase might have went over your head.

A stamp to mail a letter will rise from 33 to 34 cents Sunday. You can get more complete information if you call (800) 275-8777.

A PLUM PUDDING — Here is an English plum pudding recipe for the Hispanic man who wants to know more about Anglo culture. — Cook, Imperial

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Why are we only now finding out there are no plums in plum pudding? We expected to learn the plums were in fact prunes.

Where would the English get plums, a summer fruit, in December? But a plum pudding with no plums or even prunes! We're shocked.

To make the dish, combine one and a quarter cup of raisins, a quarter cup of currents, a cup of chopped dates, a half cup of walnuts and a half cup of flour. Set aside.

Mix two eggs, three-quarters of a cup of light molasses, three-quarters of a cup of buttermilk, a quarter-cup pineapple juice and a half-cup of finely chopped suet (beef fat). Combine a half cup of flour, a cup of dry bread crumbs, three-quarters of a teaspoon of baking soda and add to egg mixture. Add floured fruits and mix well.

Turn into a six-cup pudding mold. Cover and set on a rack in a deep kettle. Add boiling water to within three or four inches below the cover of mold. Steam or simmer about 90 minutes. Cool. Makes 10 or 12 servings. It may be wrapped and frozen.

CALL ME MEXICAN — I didn't tell you I am Hispanic. I said I was a Mexican! I refer you to an article on the front page of your newspaper Sunday. — Mexican, Calexico

OK, we read the article. That's right, you did tell us you are Mexican. You've been reading PROBE long enough to know we have struggled with labels.

For now we're going to rely on Roberto Rodriguez, a Mexican Indian who writes a column on indigenous cultures.

Rodriguez, quoted in Sunday's article, says, "We're wasting a lot of time on public labels. At the core of who we are is a spirit and that has no name." Right on, Roberto.

QUESTION: The 12 days of Christmas covers what time period? — Holiday Reveler, El Centro

OK, PROBE readers, if you ran out of time before Dec. 25, you've got the rest of this week to complete your gift giving. The 12 days of Christmas runs from Dec. 25 (Christmas) to Jan. 6 (Epiphany).

According to the Christmas carol "The 12 Days of Christmas," on each day the "true love" gave a gift to the object of his affection. The 12 gifts are symbols of the tenets of faith, according to a British Catholic publication.

The Practice of the Catholicism was forbidden in Britain from 1538 to 1829.

The Latin Mass Society of Great Britain in a 1999 newsletter stated the partridge in a pear tree is a symbol for Christ.

The "true love" refers to God. The repetition of the melody signifies God's continual renewal of his gifts. Have a nice Epiphany.

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