- a gift we would like for ourselves
- a gift we would like for someone else we knew
- something we would like to happen in our family, our church or our community
- something we would like to happen in the world.
The notes would go in my notebook and then the following year we would check them. I wish I hadn't mislaid that little book, it would be good to look back and realise just how many of those things had come to pass.
A few helpful tips I have learned in all these years of Christmas Cake & Pud Making
- a grated carrot or too adds extra sweetness and moisture to your pud [my Gran's tip - and recommended by Marguerite Patten too. It was a popular during WW2 rationing]
- if you are teetotal - and thrifty, you can always use cold tea instead of brandy in both pud and cake
- tying a cloth over the pudding bowl with string is the traditional method - 2 layers of greaseproof paper and an outer one of foil can be held on just as well with a rubber band, and it is less fiddly to put on. But don't forget to put in a pleat to allow for expansion.
- if you are steaming your puds, use a steamer - or a stack them in a pressure cooker [balance the lid on top, rather than fixing it right down] or, if you are making a lot of little puds, you can use a fish kettle - like the one Bob bought in a CS last year
- you can save time by cooking puds under pressure in a PC - I was making a load this year and decided to use the trad steaming method. Some years I have steamed them all by standing them in a roasting tray in the oven but I have never cooked them in the microwave
- if the hob is covered with steaming puds and there is a cake in the oven, plan your evening meal carefully. I put a tray of jacket spuds in the bottom of the oven - served up with microwaved baked beans, grated cheese and cold ham. The spare cooked spuds will go into the fridge and be used in tomorrows meal.
- keep a kitchen timer about your person, so you get regular reminders to go and check the pans have not boiled dry.
Do you make your own Christmas puds and cakes?
Or do you usually buy them?
If you make them, do you have any special tips?