Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Appearances can be deceptive.



Newly born, they always look a bit like a mud-filled pudding basin, covered with dirty paper, muslin, and old string; not the most attractive things on earth.

We had agreed this year, NOT to have a Plum Pudding (Christmas Pud'), but then I found Lady Magnon up to her surreptitious elbows in dried fruits and brandy, in a steam filled kitchen. She simply couldn't face the idea of not having a Pud', complete with hidden coin, brandy butter, and thick cream (no custard in this house), as part of the big eat-fest.

We have always liked traditional fare at Christmas. Almost all of what we eat, and the way in which it is prepared, would have been familiar in Victorian kitchens. Roasted Turkey or Goose, stuffings, traditional accompanying vegetables, and home-made Plum Pudding; would have been prepared in a very similar manner in all but the very poorest of households.


So, look what was underneath all that junk; a perfectly cooked, and shaped, Christmas Pud'.

Now that my appetite is more modest than when I was younger, I find eating anything at all after a kilo or so of Turkey meat, rather daunting. But, not to be thought a killjoy, I always have a small piece of flaming Pud', just to make that wish;..... and I usually regret it.

Maybe Christmas Pud' should be served as a meal in itself, just a big slice, a generous amount of brandy butter, and a nice big dollop of thick cream. Only 4,000 calories, and enough fuel for a week!

I should add that Lady M's last minute Pud' was bloody excellent.



33 comments:

  1. I must admit that I have never made a Christmas pud. Perhaps I should make one in mid winter. It never seems appropriate in mid summer.

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    Replies
    1. I always find them a bit heavy after the Turkey.

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    2. Actually, thinking about it I only ate them as a child for the silver three pennies.

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    3. Susan, they should be made in November.... for the following year.... and they will keep, wrapped up with greaseproof and brown paper, in a tin for a minimum of two years.

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    4. That's what Lady Magnon was saying, but hers was made on the 24th!!! The day before.

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  2. It looks soft and delicious. I like the pretty decoration on it. The holidays are not over yet, so beware, there could be more surprises in store for you :)
    Greetings Maria x

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    Replies
    1. Traditionally the decoration is a sprig of berried Holly, but we have no berries this year. The above was the closest I could find (I wrapped the stem in foil!).

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    2. I think a sprig of Spindle is perfect, seeing as you are an artist!

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    3. It was the only thing about with berries!

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  3. That looks delicious and the sprig is perfect - but it is custard all the way in this household! Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas, best wishes for a Happy New Year!xx

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    Replies
    1. The Custard/Brandy Butter camps remain divided. We will always be on the side of BB and Cream. Rather looking forward to New Year's Eve now. Very best wishes, Cro xx

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  4. Cro, I am like you over the richness.... but circumstances beyond our control meant that we didn’t make the pud last year.... then forgot... and found the cupboard bare!
    So necessity being Mum of invention, I dived into the Good Housekeeping cookbook of 1955 and found a recipe for Scotch Dumpling, aka Scotch Pudding (1970 edition)..... it comes out as a lighter Christmas pudding. Also... no brandy in the house... Armagnac butter anyone....couldn’t tell the difference me’sell! And a final disaster to finish the year.... the dairy on the hill ran out of their “triple” cream... somewhere between double and clotted. So, this year we had real Créme Anglais.... Bird’s custard that holds a spoon upright!
    Altogether a much lighter affair...butter excepted... than true tradition.
    The recipe filled three pudding basins... only room for two in the steamer, so I used the microwave marmalade suet pudding times for the third... cooked just fine, but was paler in colour and didn’t have the depth of flavour that the proper steamed version had.... yes, we tried them side by side... they are that much lighter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our Brandy Butter was in fact Armagnac Butter.

      I dare not mention to Lady Magnon that she change her recipe; I would fear the rolling pin. We divide Christmas duties; I do all the easy stuff, and she does the cake and pud'; if I dared suggest any change I'd be in serious trouble.

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  5. T'aint right nor proper not to eat Christmas Pud. I had the tiniest portion ever.

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    Replies
    1. My portion could have fitted in a child's thimble.

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  6. Ours was store bought, but spectacular, though I only had aa small bit too.

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    Replies
    1. Mrs Peake's was my favourite; they always seemed to get them 'just right'.

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  7. We had carrot cake and a traditional English cake filled with glazed cherries (yum, yum) and raisins . Find Christmas Pud too heavy. But I was just saying yesterday I could manage a couple of mince pies!

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    Replies
    1. The problem is, that we eat them all on the same day. It's just too much.

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  8. I bought a Christmas Pudding from Waitrose for a fiver. It was the best Christmas Pudding I have ever tasted. We had it on Boxing Day preferring a tin of fruit salad on Christmas Day. We have fresh double cream with Christmas Pudding and never custard.

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    Replies
    1. Custard doesn't seem right. As I said above, I always swore by Mrs Peake's puds; they were perfect.

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  9. I do love sweets but even I have said “no more”. We don’t do pudding, but most do cookies - too many cookies. I am sugared out. I need to get back to healthy eating.

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    Replies
    1. I even said 'NO' to cake this afternoon; I must go on a diet.

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  10. I love Christmas Pud and though we cheated this year and had a Lidl one it was excellent served with Rum sauce which was always my Mum's accompaniment.

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    Replies
    1. Rum sauce sounds good; anything but custard.

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  11. Oh My Goodness, the cake looks so good. Sounds perfect with a coffee in the afternoon.

    cheers, parsnip

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    Replies
    1. It's not really cake Parsnip. Christmas Pudding is eaten hot, set alight with brandy, and eaten (in small amounts) with brandy butter and thick cream. But,thinking about it, it could be good with afternoon coffee.

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  12. We do Butter tarts with real whipped cream. They probably have the same calorie count as your pudding. Major walk for me tomorrow.

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    Replies
    1. I shall have to look-up 'butter tarts'.

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  13. We had sherryntrifle
    Lots of it

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    Replies
    1. Yesh, the more the merri..... hoppy crishm....

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  14. We had bread pudding made with torn croissants,eggs,sugar and cream- baked and topped with bananas foster! Oh My!

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    Replies
    1. No, no, no, it has to be Christmas Pud'.

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