I love Christmas, I really do. I know not everyone celebrates and that’s fine too. But I love putting up the tree, seeing friends and family I don’t see all that often, using the ‘shuffle all’ option on my iPod because it doesn’t matter that Christmas songs play!
It’s a time of year I really look forward to – you know, playing a bit of Michael Bublé and dancing around my kitchen etc. However, I don’t believe in spending lots of dosh you don’t have on things that will be consigned to a cupboard. Instead, I’m a bit old fashioned and I believe Christmas should be about spending time with those you love and doing nice things for others.
I don’t really care about the present side of things at all for myself, but I do like to give a little something nice to those I love. For many years the hubby and I used to make hampers of handmade gifts (yes we are those people)! My family and friends always seemed to genuinely appreciate what we did and were actually disappointed when we stopped for a few years – well they said they were 😉
So this year we decided to resurrect the tradition. Family and friends, look away now if you don’t want to know what you are getting!
Over the years we’ve always made hampers with edible goods, you know, sauces, chutneys, jams, handmade chocolates or fudge. We’d then added little fun things like calendars and jokey things. One year, we even did jars with cookie and cake making kits for my cousins kids and they loved them!
The first year we did it, our other friends decided to do the same and we were delighted to receive a hamper from them with a wonderful Christmas pudding. She’s made me one every year since and I just love them. However sadly our friends have moved away to Croatia, so I decided to take up the Christmas pudding mantle. I know they won’t be as good as Laura’s, but I couldn’t contemplate not doing them.
Instead of big puds though I’ve made mini puddings, I’ll be adding something else into the mini hampers too – but I’m not going to divulge now (see I’m not giving the whole game away).
I’ve NEVER EVER made Christmas puddings so was a bit nervous about doing it. But I LOVED IT. I just hope they are nice! I stuck to a traditional Delia recipe from her Christmas book. I only messaged my friend in Croatia once (just to check the mixture was the right consistency )- “Add more booze” was the response!
I’ve made 14 small puds and two large ones in total and they were actually very easy and very satisfying to make. Although I did struggle with the steaming side of things because there were so many. Instead of doing them on the stove top in a steamer I did them in the oven in a water bath (roasting pan filled with water) and it worked just fine – thank you Google!
I already had large pudding bowls, but the mini bowls were very easy to find (The Range). I’m very pleased with the end result (although I’ve not tasted one yet – eeek).
I’ll definitely make the puds again, but I think I’ll branch out in the future and add a few different things to the mix, like different nuts and perhaps some port.
I’ve also made two Christmas cakes which my husband and I are now ‘feeding’ weekly so they are good and boozy at Christmas. I can’t tell you how good the house smelt whilst all this baking was going on!
What are you all up to this year?