Friday, 20 December 2019

A Few Days before Christmas


...and the rain is still falling. 

Christmas preparations are slowly progressing.   Slowly because there is no rush and I am enjoying myself.    No rush, no pressure. 

The simple pleasures of the kitchen and home, an escape from the wider world.


These illustrations were done by a Lincolnshire artist, Colin Carr.   They all appeared in 50/60 year old copies of Lincolnshire Life.     They may be too sentimental, nostalgic, or sugary sweet for your taste, but his work has brought much pleasure to people for many decades and still sell well as Christmas cards.

I have continued my experiments with frumenty, fermenty, furmitty, etc.   There are no photographs though because no matter how the recipes and ingredients may vary, the finished dishes all pretty much end up looking the same.    However, the experiment has been a success.   Healthy and nutritious food which has slotted so easily into the way I like to eat and, as a side benefit, I am happy to say that I have lost 3lbs in weight.

The basic dish can be enriched in many ways, and even made to resemble the flavour of Christmas Pudding, not surprising as that is where the traditional pudding is thought to have evolved from.  Of course Cromwell and his Puritans would most certainly not have approved of such decadence, especially over Christmas.   They believed that this period should be spent in fasting and prayer and if any house was suspected of having any such delicacies hidden about the place, they were searched.

This led to rebellion, plum pudding riots, year after year.    Woe betide the man who gets between and Englishman and his plum pudding.

I digress.   I have made:
Poorman's Frumetty - a very simple dish of creed wheat, milk and honey.   It was delicious.

Creamy Frumetty - all of the above, but with the addition of sultanas, nutmeg and brandy. I had to omit the brandy, for fear of migraines, but it was still very good.

Plum Pudding - pearl barley, raisins, currants, nutmeg, sugar, butter/suet.    This one filled the kitchen with the aroma of Christmas Pudding.  Deliciously decadent and very moreish.

Barley Pudding - pearl barley milk, sugar or honey, butter.  Simple, but excellent.

Groat Pudding - traditionally eaten by the poor as a Christmas pudding up to the late 1800's.  Groats/pin head oats, sugar, raisins, milk, water.   Another really delicious dish.

There are dozens of recipes still to try, mere tweaks on the basic dish, but I shall give them a go.  The richest of the dishes is one I have decided to leave until Christmas Eve - for I know how to have a good time.   It is noted as being the equal of any modern day Christmas pudding:

Rich Frumetty - wheat, mixed dried fruit, brown sugar or honey, 1 egg, milk and butter, with a glug of brandy to your taste.   


Ooops!  I hit publish, when I meant to 'save'.  Oh well, I haven't got time to write more, so this must do for today.

20 comments:

  1. These all sounds amazing and delicious. Much more up my street than Christmas pudding as it is now, I find that far too rich and sickly.

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    1. It has been a delicious experiment. I dare say that I will indulge in a portion of Christmas pudding, but after one or two days of rich food I will be happy to eat simple foods again.

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  2. How did you lose weight eating all these? Sound pretty rich and tasty. Merry Christmas!

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    1. The basic dish can be as simple as porridge, and therefore a healthy choice. Portion control helps with the richer versions, although they are a much healthier choice than many dishes, Marcia. Merry Christmas!

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  3. I tried making it but I either cooked too long or didn't use the right ingredients. It came out almost a solid mass! But never one to give up I will try again over the Christmas break. I despise raisins but like the other fruits used in fruit cake so may add some to the pot. I love the cosy fireside scene, almost have the same setting here but no where near as many knic knacks and pictures. Wishing you a very merry Christmas and hope it's just as you want!
    Cheers, Sheri

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    1. Oh, dear, that's a shame. Which grain did you cook? If you had stirred in some milk to slacken it off, all would probably have been well...I had a similar problem with some oatmeal which I cooked in the slow cooker but I just added some water and a few large oats, gave it a stir around and let it cook for a few more minutes, it was absolutely fine. Thank you for the Christmas greetings, Sheri. Merry Christmas to you, too!

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    2. I used pin head oats (what I had on hand) but have since purchased some barley to try. Hoping this recipe is a winner!!
      Sheri

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    3. That should do the trick. Fingers crossed!

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    1. I think I must come from peasant stock, Joanne. These simple foods really suit my tastebuds and my digestion!

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  5. I love hearing about your experiments with the old cookery books. Wonder if people in 200 years will be searching out Jamie, Nigella et al!

    Also like the illustrations - very cosy. I'm going to google him

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    1. You have to wonder, Sue! I suppose what I most like about these old books of recipes is that they were mostly passed on by very ordinary people, living ordinary lives. Nothing fancy, no fame required, they were simply doing their best to feed the family with what was available at the time. Even the recipes which call for unspeakable lumps of meat and entrails had their place, nothing could be wasted. I respect those cooks and mothers so much, but I am truly grateful that I don't have to do it!!

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  6. These illustrations are lovely to look at. The frumetty.. I could eat those!

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    1. I have a book of his illustrations, Kathie. I'll be sure to post some more in the future.

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  7. All sound like a lot of delicious cholesterol busting fun. Must confess I’ve often wondered what it was and have been too lazy to find out.

    LX

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    1. The cholesterol busting is a bonus! I was sorely tempted to try out some of the many recipes for Lincolnshire Plum Bread, but i knew my self control would not hold out, I would have sampled more than the odd slice or two. Frumenty/Plum Porridge was about as far as I could stretch, weak willed person that I am.

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  8. I love the illustrations! Don't know how I've been missing your posts. That rushing water in your last post is amazing...lots of rain. Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas!!

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    1. Aren't they lovely, Henny Penny. Don't worry, we are all busy at this time of year, it gets very difficult to fit things in. Merry Christmas!

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  9. Happy Christmas Elaine. I'm well impressed with you losing 3 lbs. I've hid my scales in the cupboard!!

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    1. Happy Christmas, Molly! I hope all is well with you and that you have had a lovely Christmas...no scales allowed until the New Year.

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Lovely to hear from you!