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Friday, 22 October 2021

Nine weeks to go (plus one day)

 I decided to check the last Christmas posting dates for the Royal Mail.  First class cards should be in the post by December 22nd and second class by 18th December.  I'm usually well ahead of that but I still like to know!

I've started to think about Christmas food.  I've already made some jams and chutneys and may make some more if my knee replacement is happy with the thought.  The next thing is Christmas puddings.  Considering that this is a household of one I seem to make quite a lot: my current list is for seven one-pound puds and eight half-pound puds!  This week I made my first batch using this recipe.  This quantity will do two one-pound puds with a bit over.  

Very Berry Christmas Pudding

100g (3½oz) sultanas

50g (2oz) each dried sour cherries, dried strawberries, dried cranberries and dried blueberries

50g (2oz) each ready-to-eat dried prunes, apricots and figs, roughly chopped

150ml liqueur, preferable fruity

Zest and juice of 1 lemon  

Butter for greasing

75g (3oz) shredded suet

50g (2oz) self-raising flour

125g (4oz) fresh breadcrumbs

½tsp each mixed spice and ground ginger

1tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch each of salt and freshly

grated nutmeg

75g (3oz) soft dark brown sugar

2tbsp black treacle

1 Cox's apple, grated

2 medium eggs, beaten

50g (2oz) pecans, chopped (optional)


1 Put the dried fruit, liqueur, lemon zest and juice into a non-metallic mixing bowl. Cover and leave to soak overnight. Lightly butter a 1 litre (1¾ pint) pudding basin and put in a cool place. I use reusable plastic bowls with lids.

2 The next day, put the soaked fruit into a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix together until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pudding basin, pushing it down firmly, and level the surface.

3 To cook, put the pudding in a slow cooker with water halfway up the basin.  Cook for an hour on high then reduce to low for about ten hours.   Store in a cool, dark place for up to three months. 

4 On Christmas Day put it in a slow cooker for about four hours.  You could microwave but using a slow cooker means a better flavour and less work just before serving and you could even cook it in the garage or other out-of-the-way spot meaning there’s one less thing in the kitchen.  I cook mine in my utility room.

And I've been making presents.  Actually I've been making a few throughout the year but this week I made lavender bags.  I used a cheap pack of five inch squares which were so badly cut that I wouldn't consider them for a larger project but they were fine for this.  


  1. I admire how organized you are, and the Very Berry Christmas Pudding sounds delicious.

    1. My hope is that my writing this blog each week I will have a record of how to organise my preparations. Usually I am badly organised but this year I have had a lot of time at home and it seems like a good time to create a plan for future years.

  2. That Christmas Pudding sounds delicious. I need to ask what is meant by a "pudding basin"?

    God bless.

    1. It's just a basin suitable for steaming a pudding in! I have plastic basins with lids and suggest to the recipients that I would like the basins back when the pud has been consumed.

  3. I've already got some turkey thighs and some ham steaks in the freezer for Christmas. Tins of Quality Street have just arrived in the stores so I'll probably buy one next week and out it away. I am on the lookout for some new Christmas cards and I do need more stamps so both are on my list.

    Take care of the knee and don't over do things!

    1. The knee is making me plan better so I don't overdo things! Food shopping will start soon.