[Just pulling this recipe (first posted 11 Nov 2013) out again for this holiday season. Can’t wait to have some hot puligi & custard on New Years Eve. Mmmmmmm…]
We have a funeral in the family this week. My mom’s beautiful Aunt lived a long, full life and was called a few days ago to rest in Paradise.
Typical of many Samoan funerals, Auntie won’t be buried until early next week. In the meantime, the family is spending a lot of time together – cleaning, cooking, planning, reminiscing, discussing protocol, and sharing lots of meals.
Enthusiastic cooks might think ‘bring-a-plate’ gatherings like these would be the perfect time to show off their culinary skills – they’d be wrong. We’ve got a big family connected to several church groups, and all Samoans are programmed to not arrive empty handed… so your stellar dish would be lost in the mountains of food available throughout the week.
But late in the evenings of a Samoan funeral, when most of the day’s visitors have gone and only the close, blood relatives linger – to buoy each other’s spirits with light banter and shared memories… this is the time to bring out the best of our refreshments. This is Cup Tea time.
Of the dozen or so dishes typically served as part of a Samoan Cup Tea, probably the most iconic for us (or maybe second only to our panipopo) is the steamed pudding. We call it puligi.