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Thursday, 3 December 2015

CHRISTMAS IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER ~ IT'S TIME FOR MY CHRISTMAS PUDDING RECIPE

Good Morning to you,


'Now bring us some figgy pudding
Now bring us some figgy pudding
Now bring us some figgy pudding
and a cup of good cheer
Glad tidings we bring
for you and your kin'

I just know, you will be singing the rest of the words to 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas'.

.... and how do I know, because I am singing them as well.


It's almost here, just two more days before the great unwrapping of our Christmas decorations.... well it is supposed to be.

.... but I have to tell you, when George went for his swim, I could not help myself, I  decided to peek inside one of the boxes.... and there, wrapped very carefully, was my Christmas globe, which I have to tell you, I love.

I swear, each time I unwrap a Christmas decoration, I go backwards in time, my mind fills itself with the memories of Christmases past.... listen to me, I am beginning to sound like the 'Ghost from Christmas Past'.

.... so as my mind is drifting backwards, I thought I would stay with this theme and share with you a few of my childhood Christmas memories.

....so I must return to the Christmas globe as this is a special Christmas memory for me.

When I was a child, Phyllis had a Christmas globe which I loved. It was just large enough to fit inside my small hand. I vividly remember shaking the little globe up and down, and probably far too much, but the little globe fascinated me. I would watch the snow inside the globe, for what seemed like hours, but which of course was only seconds.  Do you know, as a child, I really thought, the snow was trapped inside the globe. After shaking the globe, I loved to sit and watch the snow gently drifting downwards, settling onto the roof of the little house and then the rest of the snow, falling gently onto the ground.

I also loved Christmas cards which were covered in silver glitter.  I loved it when Phyllis opened the Christmas cards, to find there was not a plain card, by which I mean, a card without glitter, but what I thought was a super dupa Christmas card, one which was sprinkled with glitter.... and didn't that glitter get everywhere.  


.... and our Christmas decorations, they were so very different to the ones we hang today.  We had concertina, paper decorations which were hung around the room, which funnily enough, I  discovered have become so very popular again. My contribution to the Christmas decorations came by way of my Junior school. It was always fun during the last week of the Christmas term, as we would make Christmas calendars, Christmas cards and paper chains to take home.  We were given brightly coloured paper which was pre-cut into the correct lengths. The first thing we did, was make the initial link.  This was done by licking the glued paper.... sorry about that, but that was how it was done.  The sticky paper was then held for a minute or two and so the first link was formed.  We then went on to make the second link, by popping a second piece of paper through the first link, then we repeated the licking of the paper and went on to add more and more links, until all the paper was used. We always hoped to make the chains long enough to hang from one corner of the ceiling to the ceiling light... and if we were lucky, we had two chains which went from corner to corner.

.... but we did not decorate as we do nowadays as our decorations did not go up until Christmas Eve and somehow this made Christmas even more exciting, because you knew, as a child, that once the tree and decorations were up, we did not have long to wait until it was time for Father Christmas to come down the chimney.... hopefully, that he would be able to climb down the chimney with his sack of presents. It was always a worry, because we had an open fire, and I worried that Father Christmas would get burnt, but Phyllis would reassure me, that the fire would be dampened down before she went to bed, so it would be safe for Father Christmas to climb down the chimney.

I remember, keeping this tradition alive for a long, long time myself.  We would buy our Christmas tree a few days before Christmas Eve, and then Natasha, Danielle and I would decorate the tree.  George would hand us the decorations to be placed on the tree and each of us would have free reign to place the decorations, where ever we wanted. There was no formality or design, as our Christmas decorations were a mix of ornaments, some which the girls had made, some which I had made and then some which we had bought on our travels. There was no theme to the Christmas tree, but this made it fun, because the tree never looked the same each year. It was much later that I fell in love with the way my German friends decorated their trees and so I adopted that style.

The dressing of the tree was always fun. George would have a glass of red wine, the girls would have a glass of milk  and I would have a sherry.... yes really, a glass of sherry.... I love Crofts Original sherry and do you know the only time I drink it, is during Christmas time. It really is part of my Christmas tradition.


It is interesting how Christmas has changed over the years because when I was a child, Christmas was enjoyed, but not with the same intensity as it is today.... but I can still remember that feeling of going to bed on Christmas Eve, so excited, thinking that if only I could stay awake, I would be able to meet Father Christmas, which of course I never managed to do, because I would always fall asleep, only to wake the next morning, disappointed that I had not met Father Christmas, but also filled with excited anticipation..... had I been good enough throughout the year, did Father Christmas think I deserved a Christmas present..... and when I went down stairs.... there they were.... my Christmas presents and the wonderful feeling I felt, because Father Christmas had thought I had been a good girl.

....isn't it funny the things we remember.

....and here's another maker of wonderful memories,





my Christmas pudding recipe. Which is a part of our family Christmas tradition.

When Natasha and Danielle were little girls, they always helped me make the Christmas pudding. They enjoyed the weighing of the ingredients and they certainly enjoyed stirring the Christmas pudding and making a Christmas wish.


Now, Phyllis and I made our Christmas puddings the same way, placed inside a bowl and steamed, but Ivy did not use a bowl, she used a square piece of muslin. She would place the finished mixture into the centre of a piece of muslin, pull the 4 corners together and tie them tightly with string. This way she would form the pudding into what looked like a cannon ball... probably the wrong description, because the resulting Christmas pudding, when steamed, was nothing like a cannon ball.  It was rich in flavour and delicious. The muslin would be tied again to create a loop for the wooden spoon to be placed through and then the whole pudding would be suspended over a pan of simmering water, making sure the pudding never touched the water.... thus allowing the pudding to steam.


Some people know this as a Plum pudding, others as a Christmas pudding, whichever one it is, when I was a child, they had one thing in common.


Buried, deep inside the homemade Christmas pudding, would be a silver sixpence.... and to the finder, it was considered a lucky silver sixpence. So of course as children, we always hoped that we would be the lucky recipient... and do you know, we usually were.... isn't that strange. 

.... these are just a few of my Christmas memories, I wonder, what are your favourite childhood memories. What was your favourite Christmas tradition? 

I'd love to know.


Oh yes, before I leave you, I wanted to say I am sorry I have not replied to last weeks comments, I have had one of those weeks I'm afraid.  I will certainly be catching up with you over the next few days.

Take care and I will see you next Thursday.

This week I will be joining,



and


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