Saturday, December 22, 2012


Christmas Greetings!
Yesterday I baked my glazed ham.  See it fresh from the oven in its mouth-watering deliciousness!
I have tried various recipes over the years,
but the family favourite these days is Faux Fuchsia's fantastic glaze:
1 cup marmalade - lime and ginger is our fave
1/2 cup mustard
5 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup ginger ale
You know what to do next!
Chocolate chip and cherry cookies - Coles Christmas recipes, free at the checkout...
And here is the recipe known in our family as Meca's Plum Pudding,
passed down from Mr Cardinal's grandmother, and as recorded by our dear daughter who interviewed her Grandma:
375g mixed dried fruit
2 tablespoons Bundaberg Rum (a Qld. specialty)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup self-raising flour
1 teaspoon bi-carbonate soda
1 green cooking apple, peeled, cored and grated
1 teaspoon lemon essence
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
plain flour for flouring the cloth.
60cm square of unbleached calico
Large cooking pot with handles on either side
Stand to place inside the pot, eg wire cake rack
Rubber gloves
Put the mixed dried fruit in a bowl and pour the rum over it.  Soak overnight.
Boil water in cooking pot, then boil the cloth in the pot for an hour.  Put on rubber gloves, remove the cloth and wring out excess water.  Set the wet cloth aside while making pudding, but don't let it dry out.  Retain water in pot.
In medium saucepan, combine soaked dried fruit, brown sugar and butter.  Stir over medium heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves and it begins to boil.  Transfer mixture to a large bowl, cool to room temperature.
Whisk the 3 eggs with a fork and stir into fruit mixture.  Add breadcrumbs, SR flour, bi-carb soda, grated apple, lemon essence and spices and mix well.
Top up water in pot, and bring to the boil.  Meanwhile, spread the pudding cloth on the bench, sprinkle enough plain flour on the cloth to cover an area 40cm in diameter, leaving flour a little thicker in the centre.  The flour will form the skin on the pudding.
Place pudding mixture in centre of cloth.  Gather cloth evenly around the mixture, avoiding any deep pleats, then pat into a round shape.  Tie cloth tightly with string, as close to mixture as possible.   Pull ends of cloth tightly to ensure pudding is as round and firm as possible.  Do not despair if pudding looks a little small, as it will get bigger.  Knot two pairs of corners together to make the pudding easier to remove.
Place the stand on bottom of pot so pudding does not stick and burn.  Lower pudding into boiling water, typing the free ends of the string to the pot handles to suspend the pudding.  Cover the boiler with a lid a boil for 3 hours, replenishing water as necessary to maintain water level.
To remove, untie pudding from the handles, and place a wooden spoon through the knotted calico loops to lift pudding from water.  Place pudding in a large colander, cut the string and carefully peel back the cloth.  Turn pudding onto a plate and carefully peel cloth completely.  Allow to cool.  It is important to remove the cloth while hot, to prevent the skin sticking to the cloth.  It should also be removed before storage, as mould can form.
When cool, wrap in plastic wrap and store in fridge.
On Christmas day, boil the calico cloth again, tie the pudding in as before and boil for 1 hour.
Or do what we do, and reheat in the microwave.
Serve hot with brandy sauce, cream, custard, ice-cream, egg nog ......
My daughter tells me there has been 12 inches of snow in Ottawa, with giant snowflakes like feathers falling all day.
What a wonderful White Christmas they will have, with the Petit Garcon and the Little Bebe.
Hurrah for Skype!!
Happy cooking ..


  1. Thanks for that pudding recipe. I would like to try a pudding recipe that doesn't call the the one ingredient that is almost impossible to find in the US, Suet. Sounds delicious!

    1. Suet is an old-fashioned ingredient, I think. it might be available here, but I have never bought it. Butter works well in this pud!

  2. Gosh, your photos are mouthwatering, Patricia. This evening our son gave us ham glazed to a very similar recipes and it was delicious.

  3. What a fantastic looking ham! One of these Christmases I'm going to try a Christmas pudding and will save your recipe to use. I bought a metal mold years ago because I thought is was pretty and decorative, but it's packed away in the basement now. Maybe next year!