A penny for your memories

David wants shillings in the Christmas pudding. If he can find them it’s on, or in I guess.


Memories of Christmases past…

As a cook of largely ‘old fashioned’ food I often see peoples dining experience trigger  memories.
The smell, the look, the ingredient or the taste of something real in a world watered down and awash with the artificial, the emptiness of bland and the hollowness of fashion.

The luxury of time to unravel and reconnect, the simplicity of good things allowed to be themselves, ease of being surrounded by beauty and the comfort of gentle food, wine and people.

This is what I’ve strived to achieve at The Zin House this year.

When we eat our Christmas pudding it may or may not be as good as those of years ago. However, it will taste delicious because the love and the memories are being passed on still.

pudding recipe

My Grandmothers Christmas pudding


1 lb butter
1 lb brown sugar
3/4 lb flour
1/2 lb breadcrumbs
1 lb currants
1 lb sultanas
1 lb raisins
1/2 lb citron peel
1/2 lb almonds
1 gill ( 6 tables) brandy
1/2 teas nutmeg
1 teas mixed spice
pinch salt
1/4 teas (level) baking soda
8 eggs
1/2 tin condensed milk – added last

Cream butter, sugar & salt. Add egg gradually then flour, breadcrumbs & fruit alternatively, then milk. (If possible prepare fruit, pour brandy over it & store in air tight jars for several days)

This mixture makes 7 fowler no. 28 jars.

Mixture should come to within 1″ of the top of the jar. Boil 4 hours the day you make them 2 hrs (or 1 will do) the day you want to use the pudding.



  1. vanessa cox

    HI Kim, I spied a threepenny bit. i can remember mummy putting farthings into pudding, then threepenny bits, then, sixpences. then she bought special tokens manufactured for the purpose that looked like the tokens we played pontoon with on Boxing Day when we were allowed to play for real money(actually matches but they did have a value) 6 matches were worth one penny.Aunty Mavis always bought crumbed cutlets that she bought from a caterer. they had chefs hats covering the end of the bone and were frightfully expensive. MR & mrs Perry had lots of smart things like a TV, fish pond and asparagus and espalliered fruit trees. they could afford money and time as they did not have children.

    1. Kim

      Hi Vanessa

      Of course this is such an English thing! Your memories are further example of how our food connects us to special times past and makes new ones too. I added your hazelnuts as a meal this year and cut back the flour to compensate. Yum! Enjoy Nicola x

  2. Jane

    This recipe could be my nana’s! Even the writing looks the same. She made hers in a big muslin cloth, boiled it and then let it hang (I think?) And always put old pre-decimal coins in it. The smell on Christmas Day of that pudding boiling up – usually in sweltering heat – just brings it all back 40 years later. She also made custard and brandy butter. Thanks so much for the happy reminder.

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