MAKING THE CHRISTMAS PUDDING
CONTINUED . . .
CHRISTMAS IN BRITAIN – THE CHRISTMAS MEAL
The Christmas dinner is the main Christmas meal on Christmas Day in a British household. It is traditionally eaten at about 1 pm and family and friends get together for this occasion.
Roast turkey is top of the list, although roast duck, goose, beef etc are popular nowadays. To accompany the meal are the following: “Pigs in blankets”, ie little sausages cooked inside thin slices of bacon. The turkey will be stuffed with one of a variety of stuffings inside the neck: ie chestnut stuffing, stuffings made with white breadcrumbs with herbs such as parsely and tyme, or sage and onion etc. Roast potatoes accompany the meal, and perhaps also small baby new potatoes which are boiled. The traditional vegetables are brussels sprouts and perhaps another vegetable such as carrots, parsnips etc. There is always a gravy sauce served with the meal, made from the juices from the meat, thickened and browned. The other accompaniment to roast turkey is cranberry sauce, which is made from cranberry berries. (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/8362/really-simple-cranberry-sauce) - or here you can buy a small jar of it.
Christmas pudding usually follows, and this is a very rich pudding containing brandy. The Christmas pudding is usually made well in advance of Christmas because, like good wine, it improves with keeping. It will be made with lots of fruit and it is traditional to steam the Christmas pudding in a saucepan of boiling water for about 6 hours or more, depending on the size. The traditional British Christmas cake is also very rich, filled with dried fruit and some alcohol and this is best when made well in advance of Christmas and stored. Every month a spoonful of brandy can be added through the bottom of the cake and left to soak in. This rich fruit cake is also used for weddings, Christenings etc in Britain.
Recipe for Christmas Pudding, to go with my poem:
Ingredients (serves 4-6) plus mixing bowl and spoon.
50g butter or margarine
50g plain flour
125g soft dark brown sugar
75g white breadcrumbs
50g chopped dates
25g candied peel
50g halved glace cherries
2 tablespoons of black treacle
Half teaspoon of nutmeg
50 ml orange juice
Juice of half a lemon
50 ml apple juice
A small amount of brandy (optional)
Microwaving your pudding: Lightly grease a half litre (1 pint) pudding basin and fill with mixture. Cover with loosely fitting cling wrap. Set in the centre of the microwave oven and cook on medium high (700 watts) for 10 minutes. Leave to stand for 10 minutes after cooking.