Well, it’s that time of year so I thought I would post a few of our Christmas family favourites: Christmas pudding should be made now really and it’s something the kids can help with they like to stir and it’s supposed to be lucky.
- 300g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 100g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ whole nutmeg, very finely grated
- 350g raisins
- 100g mixed peel
- 50g flaked almonds
- 250g suet
- 225g Demerara sugar
- 225g sultanas
- 225g currants
- 2 carrots, peeled and very finely grated
- 2 cooking apples, peeled and very finely grated
- (sh)Wet ingredients
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 small wine glass of brandy and a tad more..haha
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
Put the breadcrumbs in the biggest mixing bowl you can find. Sieve the flour into the bowl with the mixed spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then add the remaining dry ingredients, up to and including the grated apples. Combine all the wet ingredients in a jug. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and mix together, with a big wooden spoon. Take it in turns to give it a stir, closing your eyes and making a wish.
Cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth and leave overnight.
Butter 2 x 1.2-litre pudding basins and spoon the mix into them. Place a disc of baking paper on top of the puddings, then seal with a big sheet of baking paper with a central pleat, to allow expansion. Cover with a cotton or muslin cloth and tie with string or foil. Steam for 6 hours in steamers, or in pans with simmering water that reaches two-thirds up the sides of the basins – be sure to keep the water topped up. Remove and allow to cool.
When cool, re-cover the basins and store in a cool, dry place. On Christmas day, or the day you’re going to eat the puddings, steam for another 1-2 hours. Turn the pudding onto a plate, then pour 75ml of brandy into a ladle and carefully warm over low heat for 1 minute or so. Light the brandy using a long match and tip over the pudding and enjoy it!
What do we eat with our Christmas Turkey? Bread Sauce…living here in Phuket we were surprised how few of our friends even knew what this was so I am assuming it is an old English country recipe it was one my mum handed down to me. I always save any spare bits of bread in a bag in the freezer ( It is better to use stale bread).
About half loaf of Stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.
- I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
- 2 bay leaves.
- Salt & Pepper.
- About half pint milk.
Pour milk into a saucepan and add the studded onion. Slowly bring to boil and turn down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool remove Onion and bay leaves. This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.
4 shallots chopped.
2 cloves, crushed or finely chopped.
450g/1lb chicken Livers, trimmed and cut in half.
1 tbsp Brandy.
1 tsp mustard powder.
salt and freshly ground black pepper.
1 bay leaf, to garnish.
2-3 fresh cranberries, to garnish.
Melt 110g/4oz of the butter in a pan over medium heat, then add the onion and fry until softened, but not coloured.
Add the garlic and chicken livers and fry the livers until golden-brown all over and cooked through. Add the brandy and mustard powder and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place the liver mixture and 55g/2oz of the remaining butter into a food processor and blend until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Transfer the pâté into a serving ramekin or small dish and decorate with a couple of cranberries and a bay leaf….. I use lime leaves as I cannot always get fresh bay leaves.
Melt the remaining 55g/2oz of butter in a clean pan. Skim off the froth and pour the butter over the pâté. Transfer to the fridge to chill, then serve from the ramekin when ready.
Pickled Onions. There is nothing like your own crispy pickled onions… I use shallots…
- 2 lb Pickling Onions, peeled.
- 11/2 pints pickling vinegar..I use white vinegar or a mix of apple cider and white vinegar.
- 2tbls Pickling spices or your mix…again I mix black, white peppercorns, coriander seeds.
2 days before mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in a cool place. I keep in the fridge due to the heat here.
Then drain onions and pat dry. Pack into sterilized jars layering pickling spices as you go then pour over vinegar making sure onions are completely covered. Store for 4-6 weeks and they ready…They are the crispest onions I have eaten, far better than shop-bought and generally don’t get to 4 weeks let alone 6 weeks as they get dipped into …men!
That’s all for now …next time it will be a family favorite Prawn Cocktail which I have to make on pain of death, my son will not let me away with it..” you always make it mum” so mum does…haha and Mince Pies of which it wouldn’t be Christmas without a mince pie or two and Sausage Rolls which my mum always makes but here I have to make own…. and my big son…teases me over Skype with nans sausage rolls and I must admit no one makes them like my mummy…