Monday 12 December 2016

Memorandum Monday: And We'll Have Pudding After All

Ah, Monday! A get-up-and-go-to-work day here. A take-care-of yourself-and-don't-stay-late day! (that would be from me). An I'll-be-fine, where's-my-tie? day (that'll be from him, after a break of ten weeks, easing slowly back to the office). We've spent more time together over the last couple of months than at any time since the summer we were married; and I'm not complaining. I have material for a December Memories journal all ready thanks to our extra two-some outings:

In fact, I started early:

and have been filling it with Christmas-in-November. You might remember this one

and there was this one:

and then we squeezed in some baking:

Ah. And at this point, I have to apologise, no excuses, to Mitra, to whom I promised a Christmas pudding recipe several weeks ago now. I completely forgot until I started putting this page together. What did I learn this weekend? That I can't rely on my memory any more. We scrapbookers have a word for that realisation. We call it opportunity. Don't want to forget? Write it down in any number of notebooks, make a page. Can't quite remember? Pull out an album.

Last year, at this time, I made a gift book for our girl, to mark her last Christmas spent at school. Quite a number of friends asked me how I felt about marking that moment in my life when I would no longer have any school children coming home with invitations to carol concerts and Saturday morning fairs. It felt like an ending; and I'm never good with those: but I had no idea how much of a beginning it wold show us at the time time. The race towards Christmas this year has already offered up some unexpected delights here and there are new possibilities for all of us opening up, revealing themselves already, for the new year.

Our girl came home to decorate the Christmas tree on Saturday. She made sure we had our traditional fish and chip supper once the tree lights were finally in place, before she disappeared to find some bright lights of her own. There'll be a page in that, though it's a story I don't expect to forget in a hurry...

....but I'm ramblin' on, when I had intended to post the Christmas pudding recipe for anyone who is curious. Everyone in the UK knows what it is and has a way of making it; but every year I get a question or two from farther afield, so I thought I'd leave it here, just in case.

Granny Fair's Christmas Pudding

  • 3 oz fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 oz self raising flour
  • 3 oz Atora vegetable suet
  • 3 oz brown sugar
  • 8 oz sultanas
  • 3 oz mixed peel
  • 3 oz crystallised ginger
  • 3 ox chopped cherries
  • grated rind and juice of one orange 
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 eggs

  1. Grease bowl (2 pint mason bowl) and put disc of greaseproof paper in base
  2. Weigh fruit and put in a casserole or bowl. Add orange rind and juice and cover
  3. Weigh dry ingredients and put in another bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Add fruit to dry ingredients and sprinkle in spice.
  5. Beat up eggs and stir in. 
  6. Tip into greased mason bowl
  7. Cover with two sheets of greaseproof paper and then a double layer of foil. Tie on with string, very tightly.
  8. Steam or boil on hob for six hours
  9. Remove boil from steamer and take off the cover immediately
  10. When cold re-cover, ready to steam again for two hours on Christmas Day.
It sounds complicated. It isn't and this has been the Fair family pudding since the days of Great Grannie Fair, who went to Catering College with Delia Smith's aunt. Mmm..I wonder how it compares with Delia's recipe? I've never thought to check that..

A slightly different memo today! That's mine: how about yours? Anything new? Anything you learned that you didn't know before? You know the drill..

Deb, Helena, Mary-Lou, Ladkyis, Karen, Fiona, Maggie, Eileen, Alexandra, Barbara, Jane and Mitra made a memo last week. Go on, give 'em a wave! And have a good week!


Ruth said...

Your notebook looks lovely already!
I do hope TA takes your advice and comes home on time ... I suspect he'll be exhausted.

Karen said...

Your journal is already wonderful; I love the hand-drawn borders. So glad to hear TA is off to work today; hope it's a good re-entry! You've had a taste these last 10 weeks of the lovely thing called retirement with lots of time to spend together. (Although some weeks our schedules take us in such different directions it's more reminiscent of working.)

Ali said...

Hope your hubby had a good day at work - after half an hour it will feel like he's never been away - lol. Such a lovely post as always xx Have a good week xx

debs14 said...

I bet your husband will be tired when he gets back home tonight - I hope he's taken your advice and not over done it!
Your recipe looks very similar to my mum's and I bet it tastes amazing. It's all in the stirring and getting those wishes mixed in properly!

Patio Postcards said...

Glad to hear TA is able to be off to work again - he will probably be surprised how quickly he tires. Your November to December seasonal celebration book is quite lovely.

helena said...

back to work after 10 weeks must feel quite strange - but a nice break for xmas soon - although I'm sure they don't get to take in monopoly on the last day of work before the break! Your recipe looks nicely familiar - not sure ginger was in the old version but it has been since the 70s

Jane said...

It will be strange getting back to normal, I hope he settles back well.

Maggie said...

You haven't mentioned the special stirring.....Glad to hear man is on the mend.

alexandra s.m. said...

What a life experience this break must have been for the two of you!
I hope I feel the same way once my last school child moves on...
and YUM! Thanks for that precious heirloom of a recipe!

Jo said...

I'm so pleased to hear that your other half is well enough to go back to work. Your pages look amazing!

Sandra said...

I hope he took your advice and took it easy. Wishing him well xxx

I really knew you'd be awesome in a travellers notebook. Already you've created pages I can't wait to pin xxx

Mitralee said...

I have googled at least three of the ingredients and I'm trying to talk myself into making it..but I have some questions...and wait, wasn't there some alcohol? Must go back and read again...

Mitralee said...

Sultans look like dried white grapes, I think our international section would have the suet and mixed peel...but I cannot find what boil on hob means :-) And I think our grease proof paper would be waxed paper here....It's true. I just need to come there for a lesson!

Lizzy Hill said...

Looks like things are moving along nicely at yours.... the DD looks fantastic & the pudding... well. We don't bother - too hot usually here;). Tonight is going to be the hottest on record here. 27C, then at midnight 28C & tomorrow at 9am 31C..... not the sort of 1st I'm too keen on.... got to 38C today. Send some cold, please!!!!

Susan said...

I love how you took what most would view a setback and turned it into an opportunity (to borrow your scrapbooking term). Your record of your pre-Christmas time together looks lovely. And as one who no longer has children in school of any kind, I can definitely assure you that while some traditions fade away, there are always new ones to take their place.

Julie Kirk said...

It's strange isn't it - how illness sometimes comes with strange benefits? Like getting to spend time together, enforced rest, guilt-free-doing-nothing-ness. (When I had flu in the summer I watched Wimbledon and played games on my laptop all day ... and didn't feel bad about it!)

Not that I would wish it on anyone ... I'm so glad he's on the mend. But time out like that kind of helps to contrast what happens in our regular/healthy days. I wonder if that's what life would be like if we were all independently wealthy and didn't ever have to get back to work?!

I hope he's been having a good week. x

Susanne said...

Yay for a first day back at work, I hope it went well for him. The recipe looks interesting - I wonder if I can get college girl to attempt it with me?

alexa said...

So glad to hear The Accountant is easing back to work - good time, just before Christmas. And lovely to have a continuing tradition as well as the possibility of new ones. Your journal is looking very nice :).

Barbara said...

I hope the first day back at work for hubby went well. I love your journal such a good idea.

Melissa said...

OH, I do hope he's had a good week back at work & has been taking it easy! Your December memories album is absolutely wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Your December album is looking great. Glad that your enjoying it even with both the kids away.

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