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Byron Shire
January 25, 2021

Dear pudding eaters…

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A Christmas pudding – suet?

Suet or not to suet – the Christmas pudding question

My mother-out-law makes the most delicious Christmas pudding. It’s an entirely different entity than the one that my mother makes (also very delicious), which is a traditional pudding with several spices and other ingredients – including suet, which now that I’m an annoying vegan, I don’t use. Also, I’m a lazy (read: that pain-in-the-arse friend who is always too busy to do anything fun) annoying vegan, so by the time I get around to sourcing vegan suet, it’s usually too late.

My mother likes to make her Christmas pudding by the end of October – at the absolute latest, then, she hangs it in the garage for a few weeks (she says it needs to hang for four to 12 weeks) and she boils it up again a day or two before December 25 and serves it with custard – or these days, coconut ice-cream.

My mother-out-law’s Christmas pudding can be made the day before, or if you’re really in a pinch for time, it could actually be made fresh on Christmas Day, but you’d want to get up with the Sun to have it ready in time for lunch.

Not suet, 4 (or 5) ingredient Plum Pudding

2 cups fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
(Margaret just tears up two slices of bread).

2 cups mixed dried fruit (she uses a 375g packet).

1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel
(some call it zest).

2 cups mashed ripe bananas.

Not in the original recipe; Margaret also adds a small packet of glacé cherries.

You simply put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl (remember the foil and the string if you need to) and stir the lot together. Pour it all into an oiled steam pudding bowl with a tightly fitting lid.

Boil for three hours, checking water occasionally, because you don’t want it to boil dry, and voila! Christmas pudding so delicious you’ll turn vegan.

When I was a young lass,
a very, very, long time ago…

When I was a young lass, which was a long time ago, I used to make steamed puddings, but I didn’t have a pudding bowl. I made do with using the stainless steel bowl I mixed it in, then I’d make a lid out of a big sheet of foil folded twice in half. I’d oil it on the pudding side then I’d tie it up with a criss-cross of string – the bow made for a handy lifter that I could use with the aid of a fork to pull the pudding out of the boiling water.

Margaret, my mother-out-law, goes out of her way to find David and I vegan treats, and last Christmas she made sure her pudding was on the menu for lunch.

She says she has been making the pudding this way since 2006. She attended a Seventh Day Adventists Christmas luncheon in Alstonville that year and they served the pudding and were happy to give out the recipe. She says it’s very easy and I can tell you it’s very delicious!

So please everyone, enjoy the festive season. Be careful and safe – we love you all too much to lose you.

Signed, The Annoying Vegan

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