There is a magic about Christmas that I love. Even as a child growing up on a farm, in a family where money was scarce, the excitement and sense of expectation around Christmas was powerful. My memories centre mainly around the aromas of baking and cooking. Cakes and puddings for all the neighbours were made by my mother during the month of November and early December and her Christmas pudding is still legendary. She shares it with you here. The secret to its lightness is that it has no flour.
Mother’s Christmas Pudding
- 6oz soft brown sugar
- 5oz cherries
- 10oz sultanas
- 2oz candied peel
- Tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 Tsp nutmeg
- zest of one orange
- zest of one lemon
- 1 medium carrot grated
- 2 eggs
- 6oz white breadcrumbs
- 4oz ground almonds
- 60z melted butter
- 1/4 pint Stout or mixture of it and whiskey
Mix all dry ingredients together and leave for a few hours. Add butter and eggs with some stout (Guinness or other) to a wet consistency. Leave overnight. Add more stout or whiskey to keep mixture moist. It needs to be very moist consistency. Put in pyrex bowl, cover with greaseproof paper and securely tie with string. Put in large pot of water, bring to boil and simmer for 4 hours. Boil for another hour on Christmas Day. Serve with cream or custard of your choice.
My mum did most of the shopping on Christmas Eve. Of course, we had our own turkeys for many years and while I avoided the ‘killing’ (carried out by my mother in an outhouse), I often witnessed the plucking as her hands moved rapidly over the bird, plucking at a pace that would have earned her a medal if there was a Plucking Olympics.
Christmas morning was Santa presents and church and after that it was all about the food. Dinner at one with turkey and the trimmings, followed by pudding or trifle and then the Christmas movie usually ‘White Christmas’. Board games for those so inclined such as Ludo, Monopoly, Sorry and then tea with turkey sandwiches and mince pies and Christmas cake. My mum made wonderful home-made soda bread, but we preferred the shop-bought white for the sambos.
When our girls were born, like most families, we started our own traditions, traditions which changed as circumstances changed. The trip to Arnotts to see Santa and the Christmas panto evolved into shopping expeditions and dinner out.
Now it is just Graham and me who head in for a wander around town to soak up the atmosphere, enjoying the beautifully decorated shops and restaurants.
Obsessed with Christmas, I go crazy with lights and decorations and collect Santa Claus figures like they are going out of fashion. The tree is fake, unlike my childhood tree, but the decorations have evolved from paper chains, tinsel and holly.
I do not bake like my mother, but I do cook the traditional dinner (though I don’t have to chase my turkey around the yard) and have done so for the last thirty odd years.
GG and I continue with our champagne breakfast (lots of orange juice, of course) and I will still continue with my tradition of buying the girls a Christmas Tree decoration. Glass ballet shoes, tiny bears, glass baubles etc. made their way into their stockings every Christmas Eve and though Santa no longer visits, there will still be one to add to their collection.
And this year our grandson will be nearly 16 months old and joining us for dinner and even though he will not be aware of it, I will be adding a Christmas decoration for him and buying him a book and so a new tradition begins.
I have joined with 4 of my blogger friends in this holiday post and know you will enjoy reading about their traditions, as I have.
Nina from SharingaJourney shares her post here
Suzanne from AskSuzanneBell here
Robin from HelloImFiftyish here
Cindy from FashionTrendsAndFriends here
Merry Christmas to all my readers. I hope it is a happy time for you, whether you are with family or friends. Thank you for reading.