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Sixpence and Christmas Pudding by Leslie Diamond — 23 Comments

  1. It appears that I am allowed to comment but not to like. Please know that I do like your post but have no idea what password I need to record my Like.

    Scandinavians serve Rice Pudding with a single whole almond on Christmas Eve. The person who finds the almond gets a small present. My mother maintained the tradition but with an elegant pudding as the basis. When I married, my husband did not like the pudding but loved the tradition so we carefully stirred the almond into slightly softened ice cream. That is still what my children do in their homes. I love that the tradition has been preserved and adapted through four generations of Norwegian Americans.

    • That’s a lovely tradition, Ruth! My mother baked a plethora of goodies before Christmas–many of which were recipes my grandmother used. I still have the recipe cards with their handwriting on them. My challenge lately has been to adapt the recipes without wheat flour. I’ve managed one or two so far!

  2. Delighted you are living in the UK, being a Brit myself I’m biased of course and being from Derbyshire even more so. Rain and Retribution was the first Fan Fiction novel I ever read and it’s still one my my all time favourites along with A Matter of Chance. What a lovely article this is and whilst I don’t make my own Christmas pudding, my mum does and her Dad followed this tradition with his 8 children all having to stir the pudding before the end of November. Hoping to get a new novel from you soon….Happy Christmas 🙂

    • Wow! I’m flattered to have R&R be your induction into JAFF! Thanks so much for letting me know!
      I love the tradition where everyone in the family stirs the pudding. It makes the tradition much more about the entire family. I was unaware of that tradition when I began thinking of this article. I attended a craft fair at a National Trust property and someone was selling little mesh bags with a sixpence inside and decorated with a sprig of faux holly. I was intrigued and this post was the result. I’m glad you enjoyed it!
      Merry Christmas to you too! 🙂

  3. This was interesting. I don’t know about eating something that’s been siting around for a month. I enjoyed the details you shared. I’ve enjoyed reading both your books and hope a new one is released soon.

  4. Deborah, it is probably comparable to the fruitcake we have in the States in some aspects. A melange of candied fruit, pecans, with a bit of batter to bind together. Heavens knows some fruitcakes sit forever in the cabinets! Now I am craving a Collins St. Apricot fruitcake!

  5. One of these days I need to try Christmas Pudding. Based on what goes in I’m not sure if I’d like it or hate it. The tradition of stirring, setting on fire and finding the items inside sound fun.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. I enjoy learning the history and traditions that have been passed down. It’s enjoyable reading them in the various JAFF novels too! Looking forward to your next book too! As you know, I loved ‘A Matter of Chance’.
    Enjoy your time in England and if you get the chance, travel to the Highlands of Scotland. They are breathtaking!

    • We have lots of places on the list, and Scotland is one of them. I only hope we’ll get everywhere in the time we’re here. I know there is bound to be something that we will have wished we’d done, but we try to get out and see something every chance we get-even if it’s close by.
      Thanks so much, Carole!

  7. My mother’s recipe came from her Scottish ancestors, and we called it carrot pudding because it used grated carrots instead of some of the pricier fruits like plums. It was strange to get suet because the grocer thought it was for bird feed. Her recipe made a lot, so we each had a chore: one chopped nuts, one prepared the dried fruit, one measured the dry ingredients, and one oiled the brown paper and lined coffee cans. It was aged a month, but alcohol was poured over it during that period, usually some kind of dry sherry or port. In those days in Canada, the only liquor stores were government-run. One year, there was a strike, and the only thing close to sherry she could get was Maneschewitz wine! Her carrot pudding was always excellent!

    • I’m not sure about Maneschewitz since I’ve never had it, but it doesn’t seem like it would be even close! I love that everyone had a chore to make it. It makes it more of a memorable dish when it comes out on Christmas!
      Oh! And since the plumbing can’t handle grease when you cook, the British will make balls of birdseed with the fat as a binder. I’m sure it’s done other places, but we’d never heard of it until we moved here.
      Thanks, Suzan!

  8. I wonder how many people have swallowed the sixpence by mistake! 🙂 A lovely and informative post, Leslie! And I also like your comment above, about making balls of birdseed! Thanks for sharing with us!

  9. Lovely guest post, Leslie! I knew about the puddings and sixpences because of reading Noel Streatfeild – in her Theater Shoes/Curtain Up, she has the characters eat a Christmas pudding with a sixpence, thimble and all sorts of things in it, and I thought it sounded such fun. Where are you living in the UK?

  10. Hi Diana!
    I’ve heard of the Noel Streatfeild books, but I’ve never read them. I should really. As for where we are, we’re in Suffolk. It is kind of funny. We are originally from Louisiana. We came to England and where we are, is not that different from Louisiana in some ways. We’re in the fens (or the broads), which were swamps that are now “reclaimed farmland”. There are still patches of the original fens along with pine forests, honeysuckle, and a few other familiar plants. I do enjoy the area, but I love traveling out of it and seeing the scenic countryside most associate with England.

  11. I’m kind of envious of your good fortune. To live in UK is my dream that I’m hoping will be realised one day. Anyway this is a very informative post, Leslie. Though my family doesn’t embrace all Western Christmas traditions (we’re Asian btw), I’ve been lucky to have learn of the traditions and I planned to incorporate them slowly.

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