Saturday, 9 October 2010

Christmas Puddings!!

As per my October mission I have made Christmas puddings today.  I have vivid childhood memories of making puddings with my mother, with all the ingredients spread out across the dining room table, my mother measuring and us tipping and stirring!! I re-created that today for my own children and had friends come round too to share in the fun.  We did two rounds of pudding making and everyone went home happily clutching their pudding basin!! I was especially touched by one friend who had never made puddings as a child and never made them for herself as an adult.  She was so delighted to be making them, possibly more excited than the children!!

The recipe that we used is as follows:
  •  225g/8oz golden caster sugar
  • 225g/8oz vegetarian suet
  • 340g/12oz sultanas
  • 340g/12oz raisins
  • 225g/8oz currants
  • 110g/4oz candied peel
  • 110g/4oz plain flour
  • 110g/4oz fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 55g/20z flaked almonds
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 150 ml/5 fl oz brandy or rum.
  • I also put in a bag of pecans as I love them in my pudding!
Mix together all the dry ingredients then stir in the beaten eggs and brandy well. Grease your pudding basins and spoon in the mix. Cover with baking parchment and foil (creased in the middle to allow for steam) and tie round with string/wool firmly. Steam for 5-6 hours.  I don't have a steamer so I put an up-turned bowl in the bottom of my soup pan and sit the pudding basin on top before filling to halfway up the pudding bowl and simmering for 5-6 hours as above. Cool the puddings then cover with fresh parchment and store in a cool cupboard until Christmas day! (recipe from BBC good food site originally but I can no longer find this particular one to link to)

Each of the children took a turn at stirring the pudding mix as we all said the 'pudding poem'......

Into the basin put the plums
Stir about, stir about, stir about!
Next the good white flour comes
Stir about, stir about, stir about!
Sugar and peel and eggs and spice
Stir about, stir about, stir about!
Mix them and fix them and cook them twice
Stir about, stir about, stir about!
(traditional poem)

Then each child (and adult!!) closed their eyes and made a wish as they stirred. it was so sweet to see the little ones squeeeeezing their eyes tight shut!!

I am pleased to have this done and we enjoyed doing it together. I had to set my alarm for 2am to turn the second pudding off which wasn't so fun but he house smelled divine!!


  1. Hi Jennifer
    Totally unrelated to Christmas puddings but did I read somewhere that you have completed some Montessori training? Do you mind me asking where/how? I love the ideas and am interested to find out more.
    Many thanks

  2. Hi Maddie, I am doing my 3-6 years International Diploma with Montessori centre International in Balderton Street in London, via distance learning, if you google them you will find the website with all the links to the various routes through that they offer! Great news if you decide to go for it!!

    jenni x

  3. Thanks Jenni
    Hope you don't mind some more questions!!!? How do you find the course, does it help with your home ed, is it very time consuming, will you do the teaching practice? I have only skimmed the surface but I think I like that it allows children the freedom but would give me some structure? Would that be an accurate assumption?
    Thank you!

  4. Hi Maddie, I found the course very demanding as I work and home ed also, i got into my stride after a while but they have very high standards, it is tough. it does help with home ed, it has given me the confidence to flex to my daughter's needs and be able to present things in a montessori way but not necessarily following the exact protocol, if you know what I mean! I am halfway through the teaching practice now at a fab nursery. yes I would agree that it gives you the structure and them the freedom, but you do have to be adaptable doing M at home.... you prob won't have the room for a classroom!

    jenni x