Friday, December 14, 2012

Rhys's Twelve Days of Christmas, Day 3

Why do they call it plum pudding when there are no plums in it?
Inquiring minds want to know.
The answer to that is simple. The Victorians used the word plums to mean raisins. And the Christmas pudding has plenty of those.
It dates back to the middle ages and should traditionally have 13 ingredients in it to symbolize Christ and the 12 apostles. It should be made on pudding Sunday (the sunday before Advent) and should be stirred by each member of the family in turn.

You might wonder how it didn't spoil before Christmas day and the answer to that is booze. Lots of it. Brandy or rum or both, poured in copious quantities. When World War 2 was approaching my mother in law made five puddings and they lasted through most of the war years.

The pudding mixture is put into a basin, tied with a cloth and then steamed for hours. It is served with a sprig of holly in it. Some people pour spirits over it and bring it to the meal flaming.
I'll give you a link to a good recipe at the end of this blog.

The other fun aspect of the Christmas pudding is the silver charms that used to be dropped into the mixture. Each charm had a meaning. If you found a boot in your slice, you were due to travel soon, a ring and you'd be a bride, a pig and you were a glutton, a button and you were destined to remain a bachelor. We also used to have silver threepenny pieces in ours--those tiny little Victorian silver coins. I don't remember anyone swallowing one or choking. I suppose we ate carefully. Today I have to confess that I buy my puddings ready made. Since only John and I really like them, we only get a small one.
 Let me know if any of you still use charms or coins in yours.
And also let me know if you try the recipe and it's delicious.

Here's the link:


  1. First of all I have to say that I have enjoyed the entire series of Her Royal Spyness, including the e-book, which certainly deserves to be a best-seller too!
    I love reading your blogs, Rhys, and agree on so many comments that you make.
    But, please, when you mention your latest Georgie book, the title is The 12 CLUES of Christmas, not "days". (oops!)

  2. Whoops. Sorry. I need a proof-reader!