Happy New Year!
I’m thrilled to present my great great Grandma Georgina’s Cold Winter Pudding!
So, darlings, it’s time to fasten your apron strings, pull up your sleeves, grab ya mixing bowl and wooden spoon, and join Miss Windsor for a gay ol’ time down memory lane where together we’ll recreate a delicious slice of food history!
I say this frightfully British suet pud will certainly raise one’s body temperature during those rather inclement days or evenings – How spiffing! And I dare say, if you’re a fan of bread pudding, although this recipe contains no bread at all, I’m sure you’ll fall head over heels with Grandma Georgina’s creation!
Oh, and I must admit Grandma's original recipe lacked a bit of winter flair! So, I "jazzed" it up a tad with the addition of mixed spice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and lemon/orange zest – How inventive, Miss Windsor!
Now, before I go into any more detail about this devilishly old-fashioned pud originally created by my great great grandmother Georgina’s fair hands, who gloriously entered this world during the grand ol’ year of 1861 in Shepton Beauchamp, North Somersetshire!
You see, for a while now I’ve been pondering when would be the right time to reveal my exquisite hand-scribed heirloom, the source of this toothsome recipe, which I wish to share with my fellow culinary enthusiasts of yesteryear!
“Blimmin’ heck Miss Windsor, what the Dickens are you harping on about?” I hear you squeal with immense excitement! Now pipe down, darlings, as Miss Windsor requires your undivided attention – Ta very muchly!
Well, the merry season has now fluttered away into the shadow of 2018, and so without fuss or fuddle, the bright skies of 2019 have beckoned Miss Windsor to showcase one of her most treasured heirlooms pertinent to her favoured subject of "food history" - a handwritten corker of a recipe book! That I believe my great great grandmother Georgina started to write during the early 1900’s or maybe a trifle before that whilst Queen Victoria was still on the thrown - How riveting!
Darlings and I must say, this marbled covered, rather frayed and fragile, sepia-tinged recipe book, splattered with dark blobs of cake batter and fat, handwritten in ink, pencil, then recipes and adjustments later written in biro, was lovingly passed down through the kitchen hierarchy of my beloved ancestral abode in the seaside town of Clevedon, North Somersetshire – How fascinating!
Oh, and one must bear in mind, that most of the recipes, until the introduction of a gas stove, were created with the aid of fire - a wrought iron range cooker to be exact!
You see, although this gem of a book commenced its culinary journey with my great great grandmother Georgina’s beautiful handwriting in ink and pencil, recipes were also added by my great great aunt Betty. Oh, and some of the recipe adjustments made in biro were by my darling grandmother Josie – a rather commendable joint effort, don’t ya think!
Now, one of the most fascinating facts about this handwritten recipe book is that many recipes were either shared between friends and family, or they were simply snaffled away from fellow cooks – of course, that’s if you were a lady of a dishonest nature – naughty, naughty! Oh, and funnily enough, snaffled is exactly what our British culinary marvel, Mrs Beeton, is also guilty of. And so, rumour has it, she nobbled (or snaffled in this case!) a fair few recipes from famous cooks such as Eliza Acton – slapped wrist, Mrs Beeton.
Therefore, I discovered recipes for Nellie’s Boiled Cake (a neighbour who lived at no.10) Miss Awdry’s Marmalade – cousin of Reverend W. Awdry and creator of Thomas the Tank Engine (Aunty Betty worked for Miss Awdry) Winnie’s Chutney, Jim’s Mum’s Sloe Gin, Olive's Cake, and many many more. Oh, and some are clearly wartime recipes, because they require powdered eggs and butter ration, and are dated during the early 1940’s.
Now, darlings, I do wonder if my great great grandmother Georgina was a Muffin Warrior (or Worrier?) of some kind? “Muffin Warrior, Miss Windsor, what the heck is that?” I hear you shrill with oodles of intrigue!
Well, several moons ago I turned on the wireless and tuned into Wordaholics on BBC Radio 4. One of the panel mentioned Muffin Warrior, and if my memory serves me correctly, it translates to "a group of old ladies eating muffins, drinking tea, and gossiping."
Question is, did Grandmother Georgina participate in such activity? And if so, I presume she enjoyed a jolly good gossipy natter, gorging on muffins and supping tea, whilst she snaffled or exchanged (I hope!) recipes with her fellow Muffin Warriors - I dare say, sounds like terribly good fun to me.
Darlings, I don’t wish to disappoint, but there’s not much else to say about Grandma Georgina’s Cold Winter Pudding! However, suffice to say that it's certainly stood the test of time as far as British food is concerned and would, indeed, go down a treat with those who wish to indulge in a proper pudding doused in Bird's custard, of course!
Oh, and if you’re keen to learn more about my handwritten culinary heirloom, or would like to further your acquaintance with my great great grandmother Georgina, great great aunty Betty, and grandmother Josie, then please do pop back soon, as I have a wonderful surprise in store for you!
In the meantime, please take a peek at the following recipe which features my beloved grandmother Josie - Ta very muchly!
ALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY MISS WINDSOR EXCEPT PHOTOS OF FAMILY!
Grandma Georgina’s Cold Winter Pudding!
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 1 & 1/2 hours
Serves 6 rather chilly guests!
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