Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Feeling Christmassy

Only Sunday-week and Christmas is upon us! No wonder I'm feeling all festive. This year has been so awwwwwfully busy that it was easy to cut myself a bit of slack around Christmas organization. I didn't even feel guilty. Even though I love christmas decoration swaps, I didn't sign up for any because I knew we just had too much on. I didn't commit to organizing any end-of-year do's for school or sport. I haven't sent a single card. The only things I needed to organize were the one present for someone in my big family (easy peasy, since it's supposed to be cheap, second hand, or homemade) and a couple of wee things for each person in my wee family. It's been very painless and now the presents are all done and dusted.
Having said that, we still end up wanting to give a little something to various other folks, so it's nice to have a wee treat on standby for such purposes. This year I felt compelled to make little Christmas puddings to give as gifts. I used an exceptionally easy recipe from one of Alison Holst's kitchen diaries and then steamed it in large tea cups to make little puddings that would comfortably feed 2 or 3 people.

Christmas pudding
From Alison Holst's Kitchen Diary Vol. 9 (1986)
2 cups flour
75 g butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1 cup raisins
1 cup currants
1 c sultanas
1/4 c mixed peel
1/4 c cherries
1 t cinnamon
1 t mixed spice
1/2 c golden syrup
1/2 c milk
1 t baking soda
2 eggs
Grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon.
Whizz the flour, sugar, butter, and spices in a food processor until the mixture looks like fine bread crumbs. Warm the milk and golden syrup to mix them, then mix in the eggs and the baking soda. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix in the fruit. Tip into a large pudding basin (or several tea cups with a disc of baking paper in the bottom and well-greased sides), cover with greased foil, and steam for 3-4 for a large pudding or 2-3 h for the small ones. Longer steaming makes them nice and dark.
Turn out and cool. Sprinkle with a little brandy then wrap in baking paper and foil. On the day, steam again to reheat- an hour should do it for the wee ones, maybe two hours for a big one. Serve with cream, custard, icecream, and/or brandy butter.

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  1. I admire your generosity Miss Smith - making things for people, especially YUMMY things is a great gift.

    Isn't it sad that Xmas has turned into such a ginormous greed fest? What happened to a thoughtful gesture and a little treat.

    I'm actually quite looking forward to our "family day" this year although the butler's brother and kids are now coming so what was going to be a simple get together has now taken on a bigger scale. However I am determined not to go all out when simple and sincere will do just as well.

  2. Oh, Miss Smith! Merry Christmas and all the trimmings to YOU! And your sister is so right. A thoughtful gesture and a little treat is what it's about. Oh, and Jesus, of course :o)

  3. Merry Christmas to you and your sense of humour!!

  4. Great little puds. Like the cake, our first Christmas pudding is nearly history and what a great find it is in the fridge on an evening after tea. At a spontaneous pinch, it microwaves very well. We have moved! and have found enough peices to put together the computer and the kitchen. Need to sort the T.V out before Monday and the final of Mentalist. It is looking like we may have to visit neighbours for that. Talk soon, if you are not flooded out?

  5. Yum! I hope you had a lovely christmas, and are having a nice break - any sun where you are? We've had nothing but rain. Not great for the plans to explore the local beaches.