Plum porridge

The Christmas pudding is made, not a traditional recipe because my children don’t care for it, but it is made and is maturing in the dark, waiting for Christmas Day. In my little Atora suet recipe book from 1933,the ‘Book of Olde Time Christmas Customs, Games and Recipes’, there is a couple of small chapters about mixing and tasting and testing the pudding:

Mixing the Pudding.
No Christmas dinner of course, is complete without the pudding. Turkeys and geese are bought, ready and fat,, at the poulterer’s. They have only to be cleaned, stuffed and roasted – but the Christmas pudding has to be MADE! It is mother’s masterpiece. It is made of the choicest ingredients, and no one in all the world can make it better than mother. That we all swear! When her friends beg for the secret of her success, she whispers “It’s simple, my dear. I always use ‘Atora’ suet, and follow ‘Atora’ directions”. A thing to remember about the Christmas pudding is that it must be properly stirred, and it is never quite right unless everyone takes a turn – even father is he is about. Yes, the mixing of the Christmas pudding – the dish of the year – is indeed A STIRRING EVENT.
Tasting and Testing the Pudding.
The modern Christmas pudding, like the modern railway engine, was not a product of a day. Oh no! – such perfection was only to be attained after years of trial and testing and tasting. Christmas pudding was formerly known as plum porridge, and a fearful and wonderful mess it must have been. Beef or mutton broth was thickened with brown bread; raisins, currants, prunes and gingerbread were added, and the whole concoction was boiled up into a pulp and served in a tureen. The prunes – dried plums, – were later supplanted by other ingredients, the virtues of good English suet were recognized, and eventually and gradually, the present wonderful pudding evolved. Which of you, we wonder, would like to return to the “good old days” and pass up your plates for a second helping of plum porridge?

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