I’m guessing, like everyone else out there, I’m finally admitting that Christmas is closing in on us and it’s time to start the lists and the Christmas cooking.  So this weekend I’m making our Christmas pudding.  As it’s going to be a lovely family day I’ve decided to make the traditional pudding that Mum made for many years.  When I was a child she made a pudding in a cloth, but in latter years she made this one in her pudding bowl, covering the top of the mixture with greaseproof paper and then foil and tying it off with string.  I still use her technique of making a string handle to lay across the top so that you can take the hot pudding from the boiling water more easily.  This makes a large pudding for 12, but you can halve the recipe if you want to.  I always make the large one and freeze any leftovers to be enjoyed later on.


Christmas Pudding 2012 cropped


Posting last week’s recipe for the Hot Chicken & Asparagus Roll started me thinking about Mum’s recipes for homemade pastry.  The first one that came to mind was one that I’ve used many times.  At some stage I must have gotten the recipe from Mum and typed it up, it appears in my recipe folder as ‘Biscuit Pastry’ I’m not quite sure why as I’ve always used it as a sweet pie or tart base.  It is really good with lemon meringue pie and lemon tart .

Biscuit Pastry cropped

Looking through Mum’s handwritten recipes I found these three oldies as well.


Pastry for Pasties cropped

The family loved homemade pasties.  Mum would have made the pastry, rolled it out, cut it into circle shapes, (probably using a bread and butter plate or a saucer as a template) filled them with finely chopped steak, onions and potato and then folded them over and sealed them.

Pastry recipe:

  • 2 cups Self Raising flour
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 125g lard
  • 125g dripping
  • 1 cup water




I’m not completely sure what Mum used this for, but I like the simplicity of just using flour and cream to make the dough.

Quick Pastry cropped



Rough Pastry cropped

I always thought Rough Pastry was a form of puff pastry, but this recipe seems to be something else again, maybe the rough just means that it’s easy to make?  It should have a lovely butter flavour though and now I’ve found it I’ll have to give it a try myself to how it works.

  • 250g plain flour
  • 90g lard
  • 90g margarine
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup water
  • Squeeze lemon juice



This recipe comes from the back of the Pampas Ready Rolled Puff Pastry pack. Originally Mum had to hand make any pastry she used, so the advent of prepared pastry was almost as good as sliced bread. The first type of prepared pastry came in a block and still needed rolling out which was a bit of a chore, then someone had the great idea of ready rolled sheets and using pastry became a lot easier.

Chicken & Asparagus Roll


The old no bake slices were a quick and easy way to make something sweet for the family or visitors, especially in summer when you didn’t want to heat up the kitchen by using the oven. This one uses condensed milk and Marie biscuits and has flaked almonds on the top. If the almonds are a problem for you I’m sure you could use dried fruits or even choc chips instead.

Caramel Fudge Fingers