"Christmas Recipes"

Christmas Puddings.

Nellie’s Christmas Pudding. (Bay View)

3 to 4lb Selfraising flour.

2lb Sugar

2lb Sultanas.

2lb Raisins.

2lb Currants.

1 Box of mixed spice

Small tin of Black treacle.

1lb of Margarine (or ½ Atora Suet + ½ margarine.

Rub the margarine and flour together and add the sugar, fruit and spice. If possible leave overnight.

Melt the treacle in hot water then cool by adding milk mix the ingredients together well and place in a muslin or clean cloth. Wet the cloth in water and add flour before adding the mixture, this will help to prevent the pudding from sticking to the cloth.

Boil for 4 ½  to 5 hours (in a boiler) remembering to add boiling water to ensure the boiler does not run dry.

NB This recipe will make four or five puddings and in fact most families always made more than one pudding, some would be given as gifts.

During the war when sugar was scarce grated carrots would be added to sweeten the pudding.

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Ellen Williams’s ‘Pwdin Clwt’

This pudding can be sliced and eaten cold like a slice of cake. In fact this recipe was popular and used for thrashing day, when quite a few men needed to be fed, it was also known as Pwdin dyrnu ‘Thrashing pudding. It wasn’t quite as rich as plum pudding.

 

8ozs Self raising flour.

4 ozs of Brown sugar (though 5 is better.

4 ozs of butter cut up into small pieces.

¾ lb of mixed fruit.

Salt

2 eggs

4 ozs Breadcrumbs.

Teaspoon of black treacle.

A little Bicarbonate of soda.

Mix all the ingredients together with cider or milk.

Place in a muslin or cloth and boil for 3 ½ hours.

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Goose

Most people in the area would have Goose for Christmas dinner and in the early thirties as Griffith Thomas notes in his diary a Goose cost 8/-. He bought his from a farm in Rhiw. They used to hold a special market in Pwllheli before Christmas known as ‘Y Farchnad Felys’, where you could buy geese, turkeys, chickens or game. Here’s how to choose a goose, according to the Welsh equivalent of Mrs Beeton :-

Choose a goose with light skin and yellow feet, this ensures that the goose is young and tender. If the weather permits hang the goose for 3 to 4 days. Feather carefully and sing the fluff that is left behind. Cut the skin at the base of the stomach and remove the innards carefully. Wash and dry the inside of the goose, but do not scald the skin as is often the practice. Cut the neck near the backbone and ensure a longer flap of skin is left. Cut off the feet and wings at the first joint. Make a stuffing of sage and onions and fill the goose with the mixture. Secure the skin at both ends and also secure the wing and thigh with skewers and tie with string.

To Roast. Hang the goose on the spit above the fire and baste often roast for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Clarify and remove as much as is possible of the fat and make a dark gravy with the juices. Serve with applesauce.

The giblets, including the feet and wings are excellent for making a broth or as it suggests in the book ‘Y Ty a’r Teulu’ a pie could be made alternating layers of the minced innards with minced beefsteak.

Goose fat was kept and used for a good deal of uses around the house. One excellent use is for roasting potatoes (very tasty).

Nowadays turkey is eaten on Christmas day and Goose served on New Years day.

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Poor man’s goose

For the poorer folk there was however an alternative known as ‘Gwydd dyn tlawd’ (Poor man’s goose).

Pig’s heart, liver, kidneys and sweetbread.

3lbs potatoes.

Onion.

Sage.

Salt and pepper.

Par boil the potatoes in their skins, peel and slice.

Chop the onion finely.

Chop the sage finely (after having dried it in the oven.

Wash the meat thoroughly and dry in a cloth and cut into small pieces.

Grease a pie dish, and place a layer of potatoes on the bottom of it with a little of the onion and sage. Then add a layer of the meat mixture. Alternate the layers until the pie dish is full using the potatoes for the final layer. Fill the pie dish up to the last inch with water and placed oiled greaseproof paper on top of the layer of potatoes. Bake in a medium oven for ¾ of an hour.

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On New Year’s Eve families would often get together and make ‘Cyflaith’ or toffee.

3lbs Soft Brown Sugar.

½ lb salted butter.

Juice of one lemon

¼ pt of boiling water (or more if the mixture tends to be dry).

Pour the boiling water over the sugar in a saucepan and melt the sugar slowly mixing all the while, this’ll take about 20 minutes.

Lift the saucepan off the fire and add the lemon juice and softened butter mix thoroughly.

Return to the fire and boil rapidly for ¼ of an hour without stirring at all.

Drop a spoonful of the mixture into a cup of cold water. If it hardens in the water then it has boiled for long enough.

Place the mixture into a well greased bowl, but ensure that you do not add the scrapings from the bottom of the saucepan or the mix will become sugary again.

Grease your hands with butter and pull the toffee into long strings. Then sit back and enjoy!!!.

The making of toffee was only part of the celebrations. Games would be played, people sang, told stories and in some places the hearth would have been scrubbed clean and greased with butter and the mix thrown upon it for everyone to have a turn in pulling the toffee, which would have provided a lot of fun as there was quite an art to it and not everyone was an expert.

According to Gwilym Hughes the little shops in Rhiw would be full of oranges and fruit which for most of the year were a rarity and the aroma in the shop at Christmas would be wonderful a far better childhood memory than piped music, plastic trees and the surreal shopping malls we have now!!!

 

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