Good pud

It’s raining heavily and Big-P is in the kitchen making Spicy Bean Stew and Sausages from the River Cottage Family Cookbook for dinner. It is one of my favourite dishes and it’s just perfect for a rainy evening.
Mum and I took the girls over to Chadstone this morning so Amelia could get a haircut and jangly Christmas music met our ears as soon as we stepped inside from the carpark. I actually didn’t mind a bit that it’s only November 2 and already it’s all about Christmas (and has been for some time in most retail stores). I can’t help loving Christmas. It’s the one big event I like to fall backwards into with arms spread wide like it is a big comfy bed. Now that we have little kids I am really enjoying adding new family traditions from year to year. Last year was the amazingly successful Advent activity calendar which we will definitely be doing again this year, and a big tree covered with decorations. This year I have volunteered our place as the destination of choice for our family Christmas lunch.

It’s not as brave as it sounds as our family is small this year, just us and my Mum and Dad and my Grandma. Like many other Australians we might not go for the whole roast dinner thing – more than likely we will buy a couple of good, hot charcoal chickens that morning and then add a whole bunch of homemade salads and accompaniments.

I can see that we will be doing all sorts of activities in the lead up – homemade christmas crackers, place cards… we might even make some crazy table decorations… as I think I may have mentioned previously, the planning is always my favourite part of a project.

And of course there also has to be a pudding*.

So I have been looking into Delia’s Complete Cookery Course, Nigella’s Goddess book and Stephanie’s Encyclopedia but I am not sure which one to go for. I know that Paul and Christina swear by Delia’s and they are the King and Queen of Christmas in these parts so I will probably go for that one. The only problem is that I watched mum grate suet last year and it was truly horrible. I have just read in Nigella’s book that the last Sunday in November is “Stir Up Sunday” and a good day to make Pudding. Fortunately that’s a while away so I can get my head around the suet thing.

* Hopefully not of the cranky variety, inspired by Norman Lindsay.

16 Responses to “Good pud”

  1. mhhicks@iprimus.com.au

    I love the illustration! I agree that Christina and Paul are the most brilliant Christmas celebrators! I have heard of vegetarian suet, but I don’t know if it is readily available. I am excited about your new blog too. I have been having a lot of fun buying things for Lola!

  2. Jasmine_Molders@hotmail.com

    Gorgeous illustration! And how good was that rain today? The crafty Christmas stuff sounds like fun with littlies and I am really looking forward to sharing activites with my litte Ariel, but being only one she probably won’t quite get into it until next Christmas.

  3. kellysreynolds@yahoo.co.uk

    Oooh, definitely Delia for pudding. Do you have her Christmas book? It is a HUGE 70’s style tome dedicated entirely to Christmas food – god knows how anyone gets through it all in one day! Her recipes can be very fiddly and time-consuming, but she is the Ultimate Source on traditional british foodstuffs.
    Good luck!

  4. jo.reid@optusnet.com.au

    I know this probably sounds like quite a daggy thing to tell you, but I bought this month’s BHG magazine and I was pleasantly surprised at their Christmas recipes. There are heaps for cakes and puddings. Worth a look. Their crafts, well, not great, but hey. I got my money’s worth on the recipes.

  5. thecolourbrown@gmail.com

    My Mum makes the best Christmas “Plum Pudding”. It has no plums in it, so I have no idea why it is called that, but it does contain sago which is great stuff. Looks likes frog spawn when wet.
    ps. the new kiddley links site was very helpful for me to find good kid pressies, it’s a great idea.

  6. tartchef@yahoo.com

    Honestly, Claire, I make puds every year and never use suet – I just grate a lump of very cold butter, and it has the same effect without the ick factor… Of course, I’m a libertine & put dried cherries in mine, so any advice from me is suspect 😉

  7. philr1@blueyonder.co.uk

    I’ll send you some veggie suet it if you want some, it’s readily available over here in the uk.It’s just as good as the real thing (in fact it’s better as the thought of it doesn’t make you want to hurl).
    Do let me know if you want some.
    : )

  8. jenny@jennybharris.com

    Hehe… love Mister Cranky Pudding.
    We have an Italian Feast on Christmas Day. The roast thing never worked for us either, seemed to set a more serious tone for the meal. We like lively and fun!

  9. janebrocket@aol.com

    I use vegetarian suet. I’ve also made puds with grated creamed coconut – the stuff that comes in packs a bit like butter – and that works brilliantly.

  10. jo_anne_reardon@hotmail.com

    I love the idea of the advent envelopes. I’m going to get my boys to help write the activities, then I’ll mix them up in the envelopes so we’ll all get a surprise. I wonder what things they’ll pick?

  11. leetusdesigns@optusnet.com.au

    I made a pudding about 2 years back. After lots of searching for recipes, I eventually went with the one out of Donna Hays “classics 2” book.(I added heaps more alcohol than its states though. hee hee) It turned out WONDERFUL!! No suet to be found in this recipe either. I am going to do it again this year.I highly recommend it.

  12. ar.taylor@bigpond.com

    I highly recommend the Women’s Weekly boiled Christmas pudding – no suet (my recipe comes from an aging paperback ‘best recipes from the Weekly’). I am the official pudding maker in our extended family. After inheriting the job from an aging Aunt, I couldn’t bring myself to use her reicpe when I discovered the suet. The puddings age just as well without it. Everyone is happy. WW is not very glamorous, but is also good for Christmas cakes.

  13. the_dymonds@optusnet.com.au

    Love the advent calendar idea. I will be doing it for my 3 year old. Need to think of some christmasy things to do each day!

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