Well, it certainly has been a long time since posting though not for the lack of cooking, eating and making memories but more for the uncontrollable business of life!
Since last writing, I am so excited to announce that the fresh start on life I’ve been aiming for these last two years has finally arrived! I have now left the home of my lovely parents and moved into a little place of my own- and, if I may say so, it’s lovely!
I’ve already gone cooking crazy since living here! I’ve indulged in old favourites such as Thai Red Curry and Chicken Pathia, naturally had Josh and Stephen to visit for Wholegrain Maple Gammon, and on my first weekend here I had my parents to dinner to show my gratitude for everything they have done to support me, where we had a starter of Mojo Chicken, a main course of Beef Bourgignon and a dessert of Retox Pie.
But all those recipes are to follow soon! Last, I had my cousins Sarah and Samantha to stay and we indulged in a simple favourite- Chicken Fajitas! Sarah’s birthday passed recently on 31st May so I thought it would be nice to treat her to a favourite for dessert. Having exposed her more than once as a psychotic cheesecake thief, a strawberry cheesecake seemed the only option! And then there was this bottle of rum just lying around…
AND SO STRAWBERRY RUM CHEESE CAKE WAS BORN!!
Yesterday was a very special day on the Family Calendar- the day my Grandmother starts the secret Family Recipe Christmas Pudding.
I’ve been very proud the last couple of years to have assisted my Grandmother with this, and be taught each loving step of this recipe. This is definitely one to be added to my lovely new recipe book, but if you think for one moment it’s something I’m going to blog about on the world wide web, think again! However, when our hard work was done and the puddings were steaming away, I seized the opportunity to badger another recipe out of my Grandma… Shortcrust Pastry.
You may recall, a few months ago, I made some “proper sausage rolls” and threatened there and then that I would have my Grandmother teach me to make Shortcrust Pastry so I could produce a Festive Sausage Roll idea I had when the Christmas season arrived? Well, here we are!
For me, these taste just like Christmas as they’re based VERY much on an Apricot & Almond stuffing the family all enjoy once a year with our Christmas dinner! I’ve been very excited to make them and share them with the family, and now based on everyone’s reaction I think a few more batches will be on the way too!
Today was a grand day in the village of Long Buckby- the Annual Buckby Feast! Despite this apparently going on for the last 100 years, I only really became aware of it when the challenge to make the traditional “Feas Pudn” was posted through my door- a challenge I quickly accepted.
The making of the Feas Pudn carries with it a strict set of guidelines. Here’s a copy of the lark that was posted…
BUCKBY FEAS PUDN- HISTORY AND HINTS
No, it’s not a typo! We’ve reverted back to the original name in old Buckby language! Feas Pudn is an old country recipe made by country people with ingredients found in houses or specially bought for the Buckby Feast. People would return home for the celebrations and eat as much pudding as was offered while visiting family and friends!
Here are some helpful hints (and a bit of history) to help you make your Feas Pudn.
- BREAD – was proper bread. Our sliced cotton woolly type didn’t exist, thank goodness, and will NOT get a successful result. Adams white or brown, or any homemade white or brown will be suitable.
- SUET – vegetable or reduced fat did not exist. Please use beef suet (other fats are not suitable).
- DRIED FRUIT – currants, sultanas, raisins (these were called dark sultanas as distinct from light ones). Glace cherries did not exist- DO NOT USE THEM
- CANDIED PEEL – Was homemade- orange and lemon. Ready prepared is quite suitable.
- EGGS – Were not size graded so medium or large can be used. Too large or too small are not a good idea! Hens eggs, duck eggs etc- as you please!
- MILK – Was full fat but using semi-skimmed does not affect the recipe, using skimmed however might!
- MIXED SPICE – Use basic cake spice and/or nutmeg. Please be generous with it as the taste should be noticeable. Many other spices were not available then.
- SUGAR – Can be white or light brown.
- The bread should be torn or rubbed by hand. No one had processors, though coarse graters were sometimes used. It is soaked overnight in milk/water and must look very well wetted!
- The mixture will be very runny and lumpy when all the ingredients are mixed in before baking.
- The Pudn was cooked in eartenware bowls, 2 – 2 1/2 pint size kept especially for the purpose and used only at Feast Times. If you have something like this, use it. Failing this, an oblong Pyrex dish, a lasagne dish, a roasting tin or even a thick 8″ diameter tin would do. Pudding basins are NOT to be used. Whatever the container you use, grease it very well. It can be lined with greaseproof paper as well, as this helps when turning out the pudding.
People took their puddings to be cooked overnight at the bakehouses- the Co-op in Church Street, Palmers in King Street, or Bob Clarke’s in Brington Road. This was done after the bread had been baked and the oven was still hot but embers starting to cool. This was still being done at the end of the 1940s.
Well, needless to say, after that delightful little read, I was ready for action! Step one. Bread…