I usually try to give you a historical Christmas menu as the day approaches, and this year is no exception. It comes to you courtesy of The New York Times of December 13, 1931,which gave details of the English royal family’s Christmas Dinner at Sandringham the previous year.
Last year the Christmas dinner partaken at Sandringham was as follows:
Fried Fillets of Sole
Braised York Ham
Roast Norfolk Turkey, stuffed with chestnuts
The Christmas puddings served at Sandringham are made according to a recipe used in the royal household since the seventeenth century and preserved in an old cookery book at Windsor Castle. Many more Christmas puddings are made in the royal kitchens are made in the royal kitchens than are required for the King’s table, to be sent to the members of the royal family abroad and to a number of old friends. The recipe for the pudding follows:
Small raisins, one pound.
Plums (stoned and cut in halves) one pound
Bread crumbs, one pound.
Demarara sugar, one pound,
Eggs weighed in their shells, one pound.
Sifted flour, one-half pound.
Finely grated suet, one pound.
Citron, cut into slices, four ounces.
Candied peel, ditto, four ounces
Grated nutmeg, one half-teaspoon.
Salt, two tablespoons.
Mixed spice, one teaspoon.
Brandy, one wine glass.
You will have realised (or remembered) by now that Christmas pudding recipes from old sources commonly do not include details of the method, because ‘everyone’ would have known how to mix them.