stirring up old recipes

November 21, 2010 at 8:00 pm 15 comments

Today is Stir Up Sunday; the last Sunday before advent and traditionally the day to make your Christmas pudding.  Last year I wrote about trying a sugar free, flourless Christmas pudding recipe but I didn’t in the end.  Gathering the ingredients I stalled at ‘breadcrumbs’.  I didn’t have any bread.  Bread contains flour, hmmm.  So I didn’t use that recipe but I did still make my puddings.  You don’t recall?  Well I didn’t post the end result because I wanted to surprise George’s dad when I presented him with this pudding, made using his mum’s old family recipe.

George’s Nan’s Christmas puddings were the stuff of legend and whenever someone asked what she put in it she refused to tell. When she died in 1999 we all thought her Christmas recipes had gone with her.  Until this time last year when G was reminiscing about his Nan’s wrapping and boiling of her puddings and I remembered she’d written it down for our wedding cookbook.  How could we have forgotten?

When we got married my brother wrote to all our guests and asked them to share their favourite recipe.  He collated them into a ‘wedding cookbook‘ and presented it to us at our reception.  I’m ashamed to say that Nan’s Christmas pudding was the first recipe I’ve actually made from it.  It was such a wonderful gift and although I’ve not made the recipes I like to flick through it from time to time.  Perhaps 2011 should be the year for stirring up some of our friend’s recommendations.

Anyway I digress.  Back to the puddings and Nan’s recipe.  Well I couldn’t possibly share it – family secrets and all!  Well perhaps just one ingredient, hic. 

Entry filed under: in the kitchen.

haw berries, crab apples and rosehips Herb Heaven at Cheltenham Literature Festival

15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ruth  |  November 21, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    You look just the same. Made me smile x

  • 2. Bilbo  |  November 22, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Wedding cookbook – what a fabulous idea

  • 3. Johanna GGG  |  November 22, 2010 at 10:42 am

    what a great present – so glad you can still enjoy Goerge’s nan’s christmas pudding – and thanks for the reminder of stir up sunday – maybe it will be next week for me

  • 4. nina - tabiboo  |  November 22, 2010 at 11:06 am

    What a beautiful idea and so thoughtful – though I’m afraid I’m a bit of a cheat with Christmas fare – my mum makes it for me. How naughty is that?

    Have a lovely day – and week,

    Nina xxx

    ps. no hunger pangs I’m afraid with the old biting incident and no vampire films to blame either though I did have to try verrrry hard not to laugh with her explanation.

  • 5. Simon  |  November 22, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    It is amazing how many families have a favorite passed down recipe for Christmas pudding and how few actually share it with other families. I still have two puddings that my mother maid and she passed away in 1992. Wonder what they will tatse like? All I can remember is that the fruit was put in a large bowl for several weeks and copious amounts of brandy added each week.

  • 6. mangocheeks  |  November 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Oh what a beautiful gift. At least now you’ve found a reason to cook from it.

    Love the Beautiful fresh faced couple photograph.

  • 7. Nip it in the bud  |  November 22, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Ruth – oooh flattery. I like :o)

    Bilbo – it was, and all the more charming for being so lovingly home made

    Johanna – I didn’t actually start mine yesterday either (blogging’s like my ‘note to self!”). I’m going for a fruit and nuts only recipe this year – an hour steaming instead of 6! As I won’t be feeding it with booze reasoned there was no hurry.

    NIna – family traditions are important and mums do it because they want to so long may it last! Kids are hilarious and so hard not to giggle sometimes when you know you’re supposed to be telling them off

    Simon – wow vintage puds preserved in brandy. Could you bear to break into them though? They’d still be in my cupboard too

    MC – yep, heavier (more cuddly), more wrinkly (wise of course) but still as happy to be with one another. Quite an achievement these days!

  • 8. Mal  |  November 22, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Timing is a large part of it. Missing stir up Sunday would be a matter of shame in our house. Do you ‘top them up’ between now and Christmas?

  • 9. Jacqueline  |  November 23, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    You are such a tease Nic! But seriously, what a fabulous idea for a wedding gift 🙂

  • 10. Nip it in the bud  |  November 24, 2010 at 9:19 am

    a nice reminder of my Mums Christmas pud.
    The nicest memory was sort of helping but more towards running your finger round the huge bowl for left overs to be licked! mmmmmm

  • 11. nina - tabiboo  |  November 24, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Hi Nic,

    I did try and email you with granny stripe instructions, but I fear it didn’t work properly – sorry.

    Basically the pattern is Lucy’s at Attic 24 –

    And if I remember I did a foundation chain of (roughly) 24 then worked from Lucy’s pattern. I hope that helps? If not then if you could email me directly and I’ll try and talk you through it that way rather then through comments – if that is OK?

    take care,

    Nina xxx

    ps. please delete this message if you want as it is of no relevance to your posting.

  • 12. Stephanie M at Together In Food  |  November 24, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Love the idea of a wedding cookbook! What a treasure to have. I made a sticky toffee pudding from a recipe I found in an English cookbook (quite the task to translate grams etc. into cups and tablespoons) and it was delicious; can’t wait to make that again soon.

  • 13. Choclette  |  November 24, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    What a lovely wedding gift and how very thoughtful. Luckily I don’t need the recipe as my mother makes the best xmas puds ever 🙂

  • 14. Nip it in the bud  |  November 25, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Nina – thanks Nina, will email you my address. Will get my mum on stand by in case of hiccups!
    Happy to leave your comment though for useful link to Granny Striped warm things :o)

    Stephanie – I like the simplicity of American cup measurements but the one time I tried a US cupcake recipe it was very disappointing! Glad your toffee pudding was worth all the effort

    Choclette – mum made anything – best in the world :o)

  • 15. It’s Stir Up Sunday « Nip it in the bud  |  November 20, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    […] It’s that time of year again; the last Sunday before Advent and traditionally the day for making your Christmas pudding.  I have other plans for today and will be postponing baking until I finish work in 3 weeks time.  As I’m breaking with the timing tradition I thought I’d make Christmas cake instead of puddings this year.   […]


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Welcome to my once-about-gardening-and-cooking blog that is now mostly about our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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#onefromthearchives in the days when I had time to experiment with preserve recipes and create edible gifts
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