This recipe is for those who have a thriving vegetable patch and at crop of zucchinis about to ripen – every summer back in the 70s that was certainly the case. Although I’m not sure it is now. Back then there were plenty of slice and cake recipes to use them up and pickling them to serve with salads was another idea. If you haven’t got the homegrown variety this recipe only uses a kilogram so it wouldn’t be too expensive to buy them.
This is a fairly traditional recipe for a Christmas pudding and gives instructions about tying off the top of the pudding bowl with string. Mum always made a string handle to make it easier to lift out of the boiling water. Easy to do – lay a double thickness of string, long enough to go about 10cm over each side, across the bowl and catch it in when you tie around the bowl, then tie the overlap to secure the handle.
I always marinate the fruit for my Christmas Cake in brandy and then slosh a bit more onto the cake hot from the oven. It makes a wonderfully rich cake which is great at Christmas, but is a bit too rich for other times of the year. This recipe has a great tip to substitute the brandy with cold tea. I’ve turned a failed Christmas Pudding into a cake by doing that, but this is the recipe I’ve come across that suggests using it from the beginning.
Christmas Mincemeat doesn’t have meat it and Plum Puddings don’t have plums in them – makes you wonder how these dishes got their names, doesn’t it. This year I’ve decided not to make a large Christmas Pudding I think I’ll make individual puddings instead. This old recipe uses sago, you can substitute tapioca if you need to.
I’ve always wondered why this is called Mincemeat when it obviously doesn’t have any meat in it, but as you can see from this very old recipe it’s been called that for a long time. Mum used to make a batch each Christmas for her fruit mince pies and while buying them from the supermarket is not a lot easier now, they somehow don’t have the same flavor.