Blimey, where did the year go ? It’s only a month to Christmas so my mind is turning to festive cooking. I really hate all the commercialism of Christmas but I absolutely love the traditions, the cooking , the baking, the homely cosy times. I’m not bothered about parties , works do’s and the getting bladdered. I’d rather be decorating my home with all things natural and creating in the kitchen for family and friends.
The start of the festive season for me is ‘Stir up Sunday,’ traditionally the last Sunday in November when you make Christmas puddings. Christmas puddings are so easy to make, just a lot of different ingredients and a big mixing bowl. I love all the aromas of the festive ingredients, it fills the kitchen with the divine smell like a Christmas pot pourri
The day before I cook my puds I mix all the ingredients and allow them to macerate overnight so all the flavours emalgamate together. The most important thing to do is get every member of the family to stir the mixture with their eyes shut and make a secret wish which must never be divulged. It’s at this point that my son shakes his head and wonders whether his mum is actually a witch.
The following morning I grease 2 x 2lb pudding basins and pack all the mixture in. These puddings are covered in grease proof then foil is tied on. I also tie on a handle to ensure safe removal at the end of cooking.
I use a traditional steamer and cook my puddings for 8 hours for the 2lbs size on a low simmer. I remind myself to check the water level in the pan every hour or so to ensure it doesn’t boil dry.
It’s exciting after the 8 hours cooking,removing the foil to have a look at the finished puds. They smell divine but and I always want to dive in , but I must resist. The puds are allowed to cool and then covered in greaseproof and cling film and stored on my pantry shelves until required. In the past I have kept puddings for a whole year before using them and they taste fantastic for being allowed to mature for so long.
On Christmas day puddings require 2 hours steaming to reheat them and my favourite accompaniment is lashings of rum sauce.
Below is the recipe I use although this time I used clementines instead of of lemons and they only had mixed fruit in the supermarket so I used that. Smells delicious anyway and I am sure the taste will match. Have a go, get stirring 😋