"You've written a post about Christmas puddings, Mum? Why?" 





A week before Christmas, Andy buys a Christmas pudding.

“What did you buy that for?” I ask. “Is it to add to our collection?”

“Huh?”

“We still have last year’s pudding, and one from the year before, and one from the year before that … Actually, we must have lots of puddings in the pantry.”

“We do?”

“Yes, we buy them and never eat them,” I say.

“Then I’ll throw this one onto the Christmas pudding pile,” smiles Andy. “I’ll add it to our collection.”

Christmas Day arrives and we eat a huge dinner, but Christmas pudding isn’t on the menu. No one is surprised.

But a few days later, when Andy serves up dessert, we all sniff deeply. Something smells wonderful. Our mouths are watering.  And when we look into our bowls, we almost faint. It is Christmas pudding. It is this year’s Christmas pudding. Soon we are scooping up spoonfuls of dark dense pudding. It is rich. It is moist. It is delicious.

“Wow! This is wonderful,” I say, between mouthfuls. Everyone else nods emphatically. We’d forgotten how good Christmas pudding tastes. We all want more.

I wonder...  Are the other puddings in our collection still edible? Would it be safe to eat them? I decide to Google the question: “How long do Christmas puddings last?”

But before I have a chance to do some research, the air fills once more with that wonderful fruity-brandy smell. My mouth waters as I look at the pudding Andy is about to serve up.

“I thought we’d finished the Christmas pudding,” I say.

“We finished this year’s pudding," he says. "This is one of the other ones from our collection." Then he adds, “It could be last year’s… or the year before's... or it could be a few years old. I don’t really know.”

Is it safe to eat? Will we all come down with food poisoning? Should we risk it?

“Anyone for pudding?” asks Andy.

We don't hesitate. “Me please!” we all shout.

Soon we are tucking into another Christmas pudding.

For the next few weeks, we enjoy lots of Christmas pudding (and even a forgotten Christmas cake). Eventually our supply comes to an end. Our Christmas pudding collection is no more.

I never did Google, “How long does Christmas pudding last?” I never did find out the answer. But I don't think it matters. I am certain next year’s Christmas pudding won't be around for very long. It won’t disappear into the pantry never to be seen again. Next year we won’t be starting a new Christmas pudding collection. We are actually going to eat it... I suppose we will have to collect something else.

This story seems to be at an end. But now, like my children, I am wondering... what is the point of this post? Why did I want to write about puddings? I don't really know. All I can come up with is...

... I just felt like it.
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  1. Hilarious tale of what is to be found in your pantry. As I'm on a "get it done" and "stash-bashing" spree, this is rigth down my alley. I was trying to pull myself together to write of whar I found on my shelves, but your Christmas pudding collection story is just so good, I'l let it stand alone ;) I am happy to learn that Christmas pudding seems to keep for years, as none of you got ill.
    What are you going to collect now?

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    1. Uglemor.

      PLEASE write your own story about what's collecting on your shelves. I'd love to hear what's on your pantry shelves. Could you have a stack of something as good as Christmas pudding? I hope you'll tell us.

      There were no ill-effects from eating the puddings. Actually, we are sure Christmas puddings get better with age!

      What are we going to collect now? Hmmm... After Christmas we did have a huge chocolate collection. I thought that would last a long time but somehow it seems to have disappeared!

      God bless!

      Delete
  2. What is Christmas Pudding?

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    1. Hi Miu!

      Christmas pudding is such an integral part of our Christmas food, I thought everyone would know about it. It's funny how we assume everyone knows what we are talking about!

      Christmas pudding originally came from England. It contains a rich mixture of dried fruits, spices, brown sugar, butter, flour, maybe alcohol like brandy, maybe citrus juice or peel... There's different recipes. I guess it's a bit like traditional Christmas fruit cake, except it is boiled or steamed. We serve it hot with either custard or cream or brandy cream. It's very rich and dense, and you wouldn't eat huge bowlfuls.

      Now I am wondering what traditional Christmas foods you have in Germany, Miu. No doubt something delicious. I have a friend who sometimes cooks me wonderful German food using recipes passed on to her by her German mother!

      Delete
  3. Funny! Sometimes, you don't need to know why you are writing about something...you just do it and smile. Is there a lesson hidden somewhere in the Christmas Pudding story? Probably! (Maybe that you discover some things you keep putting off turn out to be unexpected blessings when you finally get around to them...)

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    1. Karla,

      Yes, I was smiling as I wrote this story. It seemed so funny to us when it happened. But I wondered if anyone else would find it funny. Funny stories are like that sometimes: when they are retold they fall flat!

      "some things you keep putting off turn out to be unexpected blessings when you finally get around to them.." I like that! I could have written a totally different and better ending to my story if I'd thought of that.

      Thank you so much for your comment!

      Delete
  4. Then write away you must! I am curious to know what is Christmas pudding? Something more than regular chocolate pudding?

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    1. Noreen,

      "Then write away you must!" Writing is exactly like that at times! For some strange reason, certain stories want to be told. Yesterday I started writing about something else, and halfway through I thought, "No, I want to write about Christmas puddings." And so I did!

      If you look up at my reply to Miu's comment you will find out what Christmas pudding is. It's basically a steamed fruit pudding. Traditionally it contains no chocolate, but this year we found some that did have that magic ingredient.

      It seems chocolate is making its way into everything. We've had chocolate Easter or Hot Cross buns for a few years now. Now I wondering... does everyone else have Hot Cross Buns? Is this a universal Easter custom? Again, I think these buns originated in England. They are very popular here. We will see them in the shops all through Lent and Easter. Actually, I think I saw some the other day and Lent hasn't even begun! And in case you have no idea what I am talking about... they are sweet buns containing dried fruit and spice... and maybe chocolate! The top of each bun has a cross on it: a piped flour dough decoration.

      Delete
  5. The reason for your posting about puddings was to make me laugh obviously. I don't look forward to Christmas pudding but whenever I actually tuck into a piece (usually with custard) I think "ooh that was rather yummy".

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    1. Lisa,

      I am glad you laughed! Does your laughter mean you understand because you do similar things? I guess you don't collect Christmas puddings though, especially as you don't look forward to them. Actually, I think that was our problem: We bought the puddings because that's what we always do at Christmas, but we weren't really anticipating them. But when we served up the first one... "ooh that was rather yummy". That describes our reaction perfectly!

      I am glad you know exactly what I mean by Christmas pudding! Though, as I discovered from your blog recently, even Australians and New Zealanders have differences in their customs and words. It is all rather interesting!!

      God bless!

      Delete
  6. "Just felt like it" is a very good reason for writing a post :) Like Noreen, I am curious about what exactly Christmas pudding is. I know that you have different terms for certain foods in Australia and I'm not sure if this is the same as our puddings or not.

    Lol...I always worry about food poisoning too when stuff is a bit old! I see that you all survived just fine though!

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    1. Mary,

      You are quite right about having different names for the same food. When I was writing my children's book I used all the food (and other) words I am familiar with, but when the book was edited, Ellen (editor) told me that American and Canadian children wouldn't understand what I meant. Of course, there were also some foods I mentioned that are unique to us. Anyway, I described Christmas pudding in my reply to Miu's comment. You must tell me if you have something similar!

      We had no adverse reaction to the old Christmas puddings. They were all wonderfully delicious!

      Delete
    2. Hi Sue,
      There may be something similar but if there is I've never tried it :)

      I can usually figure out what food what my English and Australian friends are talking about but Christmas Pudding had me a bit stumped. Thanks for explaining it. It sounds delicious!

      Delete
    3. Mary,

      Blogging is very educational! Now you know all about Christmas pudding. We probably have lots of other food differences too. My mind is ticking over with more blog post ideas on this subject...

      God bless!

      Delete
  7. You didn't know why you wrote this, and I'm thinking "so we'd all break out in smiles!!!" What an enjoyable post! And I will be waiting (right here) with all of your other non-Australian friends to find out what Christmas pudding actually IS ...

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    1. Nancy,

      I am glad you smiled! Isn't it awful when you tell a funny story and everyone says, "Huh?", and doesn't get the joke? Sometimes funny stories just fail because of a lack of understanding about the cultural background.

      This is just one of those silly stories I just felt compelled to write! I was thinking about one of your recent posts... the one about jewellery. You said that it is good to have a light hearted post every now and then. I agree! We can't get too serious or make sense all the time.

      Christmas pudding is a rich fruity steamed pudding usually laced with some alcohol like brandy. I described it in more detail in the reply to Miu's comment. And a sprig of holly on top of a pudding is one of the images of Christmas (secular, not religious, of course!)

      God bless!

      Delete
  8. Oh, that is too funny! What a great story! In fact, I can picture it in my mind as a wonderful children's picture book! Really!

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    1. Kimberlee,

      A picture book? That is such a great idea. I will pass your suggestion along to my daughter Felicity. We are working together on a children's book at the moment. I have written the stories and Felicity is illustrating them for me. We have another book in mind: a picture book based on my post "What Does a Nun Actually Do All Day". A Christmas pudding book? That might be lots of fun!

      Thank you so much for stopping by.

      God bless you!

      Delete
    2. I agree with Kimberlee about turning it into a book. Lol. Thanks for the the laugh! I loved it.

      Delete
    3. Elizabeth,

      This was one of those stories I thought might fall flat. I'm so glad you laughed. Thank you for sharing it!

      Delete
    4. Oooooh! I can envision it as a Children's Picture book as well, what a wonderful idea...it would also spread a cultural understanding of Christmas Pudding! lol. Kimberlee is brilliant. ( Americans associate pudding as a flavored powder mixed with milk that thickens into baby food consistency, sometimes served with whipped cream)

      Delete
    5. Karla,

      It looks like we'll have to give the picture book idea a go! I really wish I could draw. I would have so much fun illustrating my stories. Writing words is easy. It's getting someone to do the pictures that's the difficult bit.

      Thank you for telling me about American puddings. I think all the differences between our countries is very interesting. I must be able to think of a post idea to do with this topic...

      God bless!

      Delete
  9. Hi Sue Elvis! I am so glad you dropped by my blog so that I could find you! When I saw your name I thought, "Hmmmm, where do I know Sue Elvis from?" And then it hit me...Kari's blog! "Overflow". Thanks so much for dropping by! I've enjoyed perusing your blog and am a new follower. Your stories have touched my heart. I am a mom to 8...5 in Heaven and 3 sweet souls here on Earth. I can't wait to read more.

    Thanks also for your fun, light-hearted Christmas pudding post! This American, too, did not know what Christmas pudding was...is this what "figgy pudding" is or is that an entirely different English concoction?!!! LOL Anyway, I think Christmas pudding sounds delicious...but I'm not sure about eating "old" Christmas pudding! When I saw the ingredient list includes butter...hmmmm!

    Anyway, so excited to meet you and follow along on your journey!

    Valerie

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    1. Hi Valerie,

      It is so lovely to see you on my blog. Thank you for visiting and sharing some of my stories. Yes, we both know Kari! I also saw your name on her blog.

      I am sorry to hear you know the sorrow of losing children too. I hope we can get to know each other better, and perhaps share more.

      I have been thinking about your comment about butter in Christmas pudding. Is that a problem? I don't know much about preserving food safely so I'd love to hear more. Usually food doesn't last that long around here so we don't have to worry about storing it safely.

      Actually I just rattled the Christmas pudding ingredients off without thinking. I looked up a traditional Christmas pudding recipe and it seems suet is used instead of butter. Would that make a difference to its long life qualities?

      Then again, Christmas cake has butter in it, and that is basically the same recipe as used for traditional wedding cakes, and they last for years. I remember us eating the top layer of our wedding cake at my first daughter's baptism, and that was a few years after we were married!

      Anyway, we ate every single pudding (and a cake) without a single bad reaction! And we enjoyed them all. But this year we'll play safe and eat our pudding while it's fresh!

      Figgy pudding? I remember there's a line about figgy pudding in the song "We Wish you a Merry Christmas". I think that's something different. It's main ingredient must be figs.

      I am excited to meet you too.

      God bless!

      Delete

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