Monday, 19 November 2012

Secret ingredient

 Over the week-end we made our Christmas pudding. Such an easy thing to make, I won't bore you with a tutorial, if you make one, you probably use a family recipe. If you don't make one you either don't like pudding  or you are happy to buy one. 
I make my Mums recipe, because I love her Christmas pudding and I make brandy butter to go with it, because that what Mum always does. 
I worked out last year that making my own is about a quarter of the cost of buying a good one. 

It has become a thing Little Bee and me do together, because weighing out the ingredients, juicing fruit, chucking it all in a bowl and stirring are all things Little Bee excels at. If baking involves snaffling handfuls of sultanas and almonds and glace cherries then HappY DaYs !!!

There is less 'snaffling' when it comes to adding the wet ingredients. Home grown eggs are a must, obvs.
Mums recipe calls for Guinness and brandy, but since I have been making my own the only ingredient I substitute is the Brandy.

You are unlikely to have come across Old Monk rum unless you are one of the lucky people to have holidayed or visited  India. This bottle of rum is a remnant of the last time I traveled to India which was for our honeymoon in 2005. In a previous career I was fortunate enough to travel there at least twice a year for the best part of about 20 years. It took a while for me to fall in love with the place, but I eventually I did.

750mls of Old Monk cost Rs.175 which is just over 3 quid, and it is so out of date its not funny.
Little Bee said it smells like nail varnish  remover but as soon as I opened the bottle....

I was transported........ here. 

Which isn't bad for a sniff, in my kitchen, on a stormy afternoon in the Wicklow mountains.

Linking with 'a very dark horse's Christmas traditions


  1. Oooh, I have always wanted to go to India. My girls have been asking to make our pud for the last couple weeks, and now like so often I'm nearly late. I shall have to get that done this week. You have a lovely blog by the way.

  2. Isn't it wonderful to have those Proustian moments that just send you off to another place? Ahh..This cake will be a winner with the amazing eggs!

  3. this is one of the things i love about christmas, the traditional we-do-it-every-year parts. I'm sure claud would love to help me bake a christmas cake, and the hubby nwould faint with joy if i did but i can't get enthused about making things i dont eat; i'm more of a gingerbread house and chocolate log kinda gal! hey you should hook this up with the christmas traditions linky stella is hosting. which is here

  4. Yikes, Indian liquor - I remember it only too well! Love your story about the parking angels btw. xx

  5. Ahh, smells are often so evoctive, aren't they?
    Bet the pud will be a triumph, with your home-laid eggs from the girls! My eldest asked me if we could make our own Christmas cake this year, but since no one really eats fruit cake, it seems a lot of money and effort, and then I'd have to eat it all because I don't like waste! M&S pud for us too - I am such a bad mother and housekeeper, it's all shop bought! xxxx

  6. Love the transported visual, that looks like some places I was lucky enough to witness in Puerto Rico! Here's to saving more by making pudding and pie at home so we can use the money on things that really matter. Like traveling...and good rum... :)

  7. I LOVE Christmas pudding, Christmas cake...whatever. It's the best. Yours sounds goooood.

  8. Yum I love Christmas pudding! We are making ours this weekend, we do the whole 'stir up Sunday wish thing' in our house! I love how one sniff of something can bring memories flooding back :) We have some rum from the Caribbean and it brings is all back whenever I take a sniff!

  9. What a lovely post Thrift Bee.:)

    You have some great memories and your pudding will taste delicious. I bet its cool in those lovely mountains today. Foggy and just above freezing here.


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