Mistletoe and Wine, Christmas Time…

In the run up to Christmas, you will find everything here from recipes to trivia and traditions…I would also ask that when you are shopping for presents, food, and decorations that you think about its origin and how it was produced…carbon footprint, child labour…You think about can the packaging be recycled or reused…Do you really need it? Every little helps…x

Don’t forget… on the 24th of November…Stirup Sunday‘, so put on your apron, gather your ingredients, gather family or friends to make a Christmas pudding. It’s the day when wishes are said to come true, so get stirring!



Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Christmas is approaching, and to us, that means one thing: Stir-up Sunday.

My mum always used to put a silver sixpence in the pudding ...what are your family’s traditions past or present?

Putting a silver coin in the pudding is another age-old custom that is said to bring luck to the person that finds it. In the UK the coin traditionally used was a silver ‘sixpence’. The closest coin to that now is a five pence piece!

silver sixpence

Photo credit: seriykotik1970 on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

The tradition seems to date back to the Twelfth Night Cake which was eaten during the festivities on the ‘Twelfth Night’ of Christmas (the official end of the Christmas celebrations). Originally a dried pea or bean was baked in the cake and whoever got it, was ‘king or queen’ for the night. There are records of this practice going back to the court of Edward II (the early 1300s). The bean was also sometimes a silver ring of a small crown. The first coins used were a Silver Farthing or penny. After WW1 it became a threepenny bit and then a sixpence.

My mother stopped when my dad chipped one of his teeth and I suspect there were many a chipped tooth from those customs…

You might also get other items (sometimes called ‘tokens’ or ‘favours’) placed in the Christmas Pudding which also meant to have special meanings:

  • Bachelor’s Button: If a single man found it, they would stay single for the following year.
  • Spinster’s/Old Maid’s Thimble: If a single woman found it, they would stay single for the following year.
  • A Ring: If a single person found this, it meant you will get married in the following year! It can also mean you will be rich for the following year

A bit of history…

Christmas (or Plum) Pudding is the traditional end to the British Christmas dinner. But what we think of as Christmas Pudding, is not what it was originally like!

Christmas pudding originated as a 14th-century porridge called ‘frumenty’ that was made of beef and mutton with raisins, currants, prunes, wines, and spices. This would often be more like soup and was eaten as a fasting meal in preparation for the Christmas festivities. That sounds like a good idea as I can remember feeling extraordinarily bloated after our Christmas dinner and never wanting to move again.

Christmas Pudding

By 1595, frumenty was slowly changing into a plum pudding, having been thickened with eggs, breadcrumbs, dried fruit and given more flavor with the addition of beer and spirits. It became the customary Christmas dessert around 1650, but in 1664 the Puritans banned it as a bad custom as they could find no justification in the bible to celebrate and indulge in gluttony, drinking, and other such frivolous occupations… 

advert for plum pudding


Photo credit: Boston Public Library on Visualhunt / CC BY


In 1714, King George I re-established it as part of the Christmas meal, having tasted and enjoyed Plum Pudding. By Victorian times, Christmas Puddings had changed into something similar to the ones that are eaten today.

Christmas is also the time of many lists…I have lists everywhere or I did… I must admit as I have gotten older I have condensed them somewhat and of course, now we have the internet lists can be kept online accessible from your phone…Rather than digging down the bag for that elusive list, you know you had…

It was my dear blogging friend Dolly who reminded me of this she also has goodies like blueberry pie and other such yummies so please pay her a visit…So I found this one for you to download if you are a list person…Thank you, Carmia it is a pretty list and very functional…

Christmas Decorations…Pool Noodles…A great way to upcycle…


Easy to make with lots of images even the kids could help…


How many sleeps? 42 days, 11 hours and 42 minutes at the time of writing this…

Now my lucky American family and friends get to eat two Christmas dinners…First comes Thanksgiving …which had been celebrated on the last Thursday of November since the time of Abraham Lincoln. That was until as 1941 ended, when Roosevelt made the final permanent change, as he signed a bill making Thanksgiving Day fall on the fourth Thursday of November, regardless of whether it is the last Thursday of the month or not.

I like that Thanksgiving is before our Christmas as sometimes I find some yummy recipes which I haven’t tried before…as a cook I am always looking for new recipes…


I would like to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and to ask if you would please share your recipes with us here…x

That’s all for today …I hope you have enjoyed this post see you next Tuesday…x

P.P.S…There will be a Christmas jumper corner…I just need to see yours???? So come on don’t be shy..Share…x

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…We all need to be aware of our home’s carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system


Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead xx

34 thoughts on “Mistletoe and Wine, Christmas Time…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…Health, Recipes, and plenty of Christmas cheer! …Week ending 17th Nov 2019… | Retired? No one told me!

  2. Hugh's Views and News

    We are looking forward to Stir-up Sunday, Carol. We have our ingredients at the ready to make the pudding. Alas, health and safety means no more coins in the pudding, so we put in an extra few tablespoons of brandy instead.
    We had our first Christmas dinner on Saturday night with the next one planned for Dec 1st. Our family take it in turns to host a Christmas dinner in the runup to Christmas.
    I’m also eager to get out the boxes that contain the Christmas decorations. With Christmas movies already being shown on the TV, I wonder how long it will be before I’m tempted to open those boxes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      That sounds like a plan Hugh a touch more Brandy…Lucky you getting all those xmas lunches…Don’t forget to let me have a picture of your xmas jumper for my blog..Few more weeks for decorations or are you an early bird?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hugh's Views and News

        I’m currently looking for this year’s Christmas jumper, Carol. I can’t decide which one to get. I’ll probably end up buying them all.🙄
        Once the first window on the advent calendar is open, those boxes of Christmas decorations will be opened. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Bonnie Anderson

    Hi, Carol! I love this post and look forward to clicking on several links. I thought I’d better tell you how much I like this before I click away and forget. Thanks for all the history and tips. I’ll be going to your list link first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      If you like a rich fruit cake you will like a christmas piudding, LLaurie…very rich and I can only eat a very small piece at a time but love it ….I also love tradition 🙂


  4. Shelley

    I didn’t know that finding a ring in the pudding would mean you’d get married the next year. Do you think if I did that one of my daughters might find it and there’d be a wedding in the works? Hmm…happy holidays to you! So nice to read your post, I found my way here via SeniSal!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Mistletoe and Wine, Christmas Time… — Retired? No one told me! – yazım'yazgısı (typography)

  6. olganm

    I helped one of my friends to make Christmas pudding for her family once, but I must say that although I lived in the UK for many years, I never got a taste for it (like for many other traditional British delicacies). Far too heavy for me! Here we have a tradition that also involves hiding something inside a cake (well, el tortell de reis) to celebrate the Epiphany… In this case it’s two things, a dried up bean and a tiny figurine of a king…
    Thanks for the post and for the reminder of the Christmas traditions, Carol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      You are welcome for the memory, Olga.. Yes it is heavy which is why we have a very small portion and generally after our lunch has gone down.. But too good to miss out on… Thank you for the link 😀


  7. Norah

    I didn’t know there was a special day for making Christmas pudding, Carol. That’s interesting. I haven’t made one for years, if at all. My mum used to make a lovely pudding and we all had to stir a smile into it as she made it. A friend now makes a Christmas pudding for me every year. It’s a very special gift that I really appreciate. When we were kids there were always threepennies or sixpennies in the Christmas pudding. When we changed over to decimal currency in the 60s, that tradition changed as the new coins contained nickel and couldn’t be used. How sad was that?
    Enjoy Thanksgiving – what a wonderful tradition.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Ahhhhh what a lovely memory , Norah and you are so lucky to have a friend who makes your pudding that is really special. Thank you for the Thanksgiving good wishes but I am not American so don’t celebrate although my American family do and get two turkey dinners…haha…lucky them 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person


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