Saturday, 17 October 2009

Christmas Pudding recipe : delicious and very easy

Here I am AGAIN today, blogging away and it's because I was thinking about traditions and families and handing recipes down etc etc. Then I thought it will be OK if I blog it because it will be out there in the ether.... And then: how long for? Will there be a day when blogland is full? When bits get deleted? Will we be charged for what's out there?
Will my children read this when they are in University, have their own homes, when they/if they become parents, will grandchildren read this? How will we be living in 40 years time?
I could go on.......
We had a tradition in Holland, where I grew up that mum would be given a Christmas pudding from Fortnum and Mason's every Christmas. We would celebrate St Nicolas on or around the 5th December and Christmas was a quiet affair, mostly about eating, trekking to Rotterdam for the Christmas service at the Anglican Church for Seamen and coming home to open a few presents from English relations of my mother's. Mum would roast a turkey in an oven she had insisted had to be big enough for the Christmas turkey although we did not eat roasts very often at all.

I had never eaten homemade Christmas pudding until 2004. In that year nuts were BIG. They were EVERYWHERE. And I'm allergic to nuts. In a ''call the ambulance she's turning blue'' kind of way. As a family were not that keen on mince pies and we can kind of take or leave Christmas cake, BUT we all love Christmas pudding!!! So what to do? Waitrose came to our aid as they were still distributing free recipe leaflets in those days( they don't anymore- don't ask me why) and here follows the recipe that is now a firmly rooted TRADITION in our household.
It was made: In June 2004, June 2005, August 2006,October 2007 and October 2008.
I stuck it into our Fruit Desserts Cookbook so as to not lose it! And it's beautifully illustrated in steps. We'll do step 1 today together with the ingredients list: OK?
For us it makes 2 puddings:a small one and a large one: diameter of oudding basin: 5'' and 7'' respectively. The recipe says it does one 1.2l pudding.
75G semi dried cherries ( but I have also used part of a berries and cherries pack or the Asda 5 fruits pack)
150g cranberries( dried)
150g raisins
150g sultanas
finely grated zest and juice of a large orange
0.5 teasp nutmeg( which I leave out- allergy again)
1 teasp cinnamon
1teasp ground mixed spice
200ml STOUT such as Murphy's or Mackeson ans this year I found a local double stout see below.
2 tabsp brandy or rum or madeira. Plus 100ml for serving au flambee for which I always use a bit of Courvoisier.
125 g Atora light vegetable suet- and don't use the full fat one as I did in 2005 as it didn't work!!!
50 g self raising flour
100g fresh white breadcrumbs- make them yourself from slices left to dry for a day and then process into crumbs
1 Bramley apple peeled,cored and grated( medium)
225 g dark brown soft sugar
2 large eggs beaten.

It's the brown ingredients that you put in a large bowl and soak overnight covered by a damp clean tea-towel.
Every year I have a job understanding what is stout! In the Netherlands it's all one thing: BIER!
But here there is ale and bitter, lager and stout: sooo confusing! So every year when wandering around Waitrose reading beer labels I enlist the help of someone- usually male. NOT this year as for once a bottle actually SAID stout on it! AND it was local!!! Right up the road in our County.
Where progress is measured in pints it says on the cap....
I always use RUM in the pudding as we have it to hand- I'm a bit partial to rum, especially dark rum or Jamaican rum.And how cool is it to have a CROCODILE on your logo?!!!It's on the trade mark. This was taken 11 October 2007, so I'm a bit late this year...It started getting later when I was working, I was a fulltime mum in 2004 and 2005.
Ooops I have a confession to make: look at the piccie above and then below.
We can play ''spot the difference''?!!This year's is more red, probably because I did use some 50 g of Asda's 5 fruits pack and the cherries and berries has even more cranberries in it, whereas the dried cherries pack in 2007 was just cherries and they look large and a purple/brown.
AND oops, yes AND I forgot to buy extra oranges!!! So no orange until tomorrow for the zest and the juice. My family have eaten this week's oranges ....

This went into the fridge at 8 pm covered to avoid any drying out.( or any alcohol escaping!)
Still the scent is WONDERFUL!!! The whole kitchen and fridge smell of CHRISTMAS!!!!
That fruity spicy cinnamoney comforting scent....
AND I made the first gown today! They can be decorated so we added a few smiley faces...
And Lucy couldn't keep away as I laid it for a photograph...3 Bows out of sewn bias binding on the back. Easy Peasy. The girls tie dyed this in one of the holidays and it's never been worn, it's new.

And for the history books what did I do on a grey dull Saturday in October 2009 in the UK?
Will this be turned into a HORRIBLE HISTORIES BOOK one day? Sooo beloved by Miss Y!!
I have walked 2 dogs on a field with the eldest daughter.( Miss E)- 1 hour
Sorted and put away washing. Put the school uniform/white wash on and hung it to dry when it finished.
Found 9 or more tshirts in the attic for making gowns as above.
Blogged the Lucy antics on the stairs in the morning.
Fed family: breakfast, lunch and dinner- all eaten in our kitchen together.( fed dogs too of course!)
Marked KUMON maths for Miss Y.
Chased and cajoled re homework for both and piano and cello playing for each of the daughters.
Played a little piano myself.
Debated ''what to wear ''to Wembley for her first pop concert with Miss E.
Ensured ''dad'' knew where and when to take her before setting off to go the rollerdisco with Miss Y.
2 hours of inline rollerskating which was actually enormous fun as it makes me feel about 8 years old again. I can also pretend it's ice skating which I absolutely LOVE and did a lot as a child .
Praised and hugged Miss Y a lot as she doesn't like excercise much, but she did very well!!
She's now engrossed in the inevitable: X factor TV programme....
E-mailed friends and answered a few too.
Logged the post and updated diary for next rollerdisco dates. Need to invite a few friends and make halloween costumes.
Shopped for the cranberries, which although bought, were EATEN by Miss E before they made it to the pudding!!!Also bought stout. Ate the rest of the packet of berries and cherries: Yummy!
Made the soaking part of the pudding and blogged the recipe.
Read a few of my favourite blogs.
Cleaned Kitchen and sewed a gown.
Chatted and planned progress for our marketing company with JJ.
Agreed where ensuite fittings should go on Monday, plumbers are finally finished. Electrician is to finalise .
JJ has put a new stairgate up!!! Lucy is NOT impressed.
Cuddles with JJ and with dogs.
Researched times for family movie: to go see UP.
Also planned and discussed what we'll do during half term. Agreement between the parties is almost reached....
And now it must be time for:
dishwasher unload/load, crochet with a bit of i-player catch up as TV is monopolised and at 11 pm we'll go pick up Miss E from the railway station.

No comments:

Post a Comment