Monday, December 22, 2008

A Cheap Christmas Pudding, 1890

I have a very short story for you today – I am sure you will understand, it is the busy season after all. I give you an idea from a letter to the Editor of The Times, December 24, 1890.  It is a reminder that times have been hard in the past, that a little creativity in the face of economic hardship is always possible, and that, sadly, prices have risen somewhat in the last century or so.

A Cheap Christmas Pudding.
 Sir, - There are tens of thousands of respectable families whose life is one continueal struggle with poverty, who at the present season of the year plunge into the most unnecessary expense in order to provide themselves with an orthodox Christmas pudding.
Now that eggs are 2d. each, and sultana raisins 1s. a pound, a really cheap Christmas pudding would be a positive boon to many. The following recipe will not be found in any cookery book, as it is the result of some experiments I made with dates a few weeks ago. Dates are now retailed at 2d. a pound, and enable us to make a rich, nourishing, and wholesome pudding, sufficient for six persons, at a cost of 4d.
Take a quarter of a pound each of suet, flour, and brown sugar (Porto Rico), one pound of dates, and a quarter of a grated nutmeg. Chop the suet finely, stone and cut up the dates, mix all the ingredients well together, moistening with as little water as possible; boil the whole in a buttered basin for four hours.

Quotation for the Day …

A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together
Garrison Keillor.


T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Actually, it doesn't sound far off from a recipe I used once. Not much booze, though. But that is the expensive part.

The Old Foodie said...

I think it sounds pretty good - a bit like a sticky toffee pudding, if it was served with a caramel sauce.