I couldn’t finish off my gift guides without giving a little nod to our furry friends. It’s been a bit sad at English Towers since little Ninja passed away. I miss being attacked on the stairs, and slowly but surely the random white hairs are appearing less and less on everything I iron. Soon I won’t be cursing as I pick them off every item of clothing – and what will I do then?
I think teenagers are some of the most difficult people to buy pressies for (difficult all round, but that’s for another day haha). Thinking creatively about their presents, aside from the never ending list of PS4/Xbox related things occupies quite a lot of my time before Christmas, so I thought I’d share a couple of lovely present ideas with you.
There’s something delightfully festive about a Harrods Hamper. Seeing as we’re all getting into the Christmas spirit here at English Towers, I was very excited when Harrods offered us the chance to try one out. We chose ‘The Sloane‘, and it arrived (you can track your order online, and it arrives within 3-5 working days) well protected and carefully packaged. The hamper, a glossy square dark brown cane basket with a faux leather embossed lid is huge – rather over huge, if I’m honest, for its contents, which I’d probably describe as all the ingredients for the poshest afternoon tea you’ve had in your entire existence.
I’m no wine expert, but we’re starting to know what we like and what we don’t. Here are a few things we’ve tried recently, plus a couple of recommendations for the festive season. Cheers!
Christmas is my busiest (and favourite) time of year. I’m never happier than when I’m pootling about in the kitchen, doing a bit of work, a bit of cooking, cup of tea on the go, fairy lights twinkling… And this is why I didn’t go with the boys to buy the tree.
So have you seen the Waitrose Christmas advert? We love the story of little Ellie, the reluctant baker, who ends up mastering the art of gingerbread baking for her school fete.
Waitrose have challenged me to get involved with their #bakeitforward campaign, to spread a little love and Christmas cheer to some people I really care about by baking them a special treat. I love decorating biscuits, it’s so Christmassy – so here are my cute little chocolate Christmas tree biscuits. This dough is perfect for cutting out shapes as it doesn’t spread in the oven – it’s really easy to make too.
So tomorrow (23rd November 2014) is stir up Sunday. If you’d like to cook a Christmas pudding this weekend – or if it’s any other date and you’re arriving here from the future, in which case HELLO FUTURE PEOPLE! – here’s my easy peasy step by step way to do it.
One of the best gifts we received over the Christmas period was a fabulous hamper from John Lewis. It arrived in a massive traditional wicker hamper and unpacking it was such good fun. We all dived in and found different things we loved. Obviously Mr English and I went for the wines (some really decent ones, actually – remember we used the fabulous Bordeaux on our cheese and wine tasting evening) – there was also a really good bottle of ruby port and some rather fantastic fizz too.
Over Christmas, having lots of guests means that nibbles are always welcome and the hamper contained loads of nuts, crisps and other nibbly bits. The New York Deli hot chilli nuts were a fave, as were the amazing Fire Cracker rice puff – so moreish! The hamper also had amazing Olives et Al spiced nuts, olives and cheesy biscuits. Perfect with drinks over the festive period.
The boys were delighted to see loads of biscuits and chocolates too, as well as a gorgeous cake AND a Christmas pudding, and we’ve STILL got loads of jams and preserves left, as well as a lovely bottle of balsamic vinegar.
All in all, there was something for everyone and it really was the gift that keeps on giving – well into the New Year in fact!
Check out all John Lewis gifts just here. And remember, some of their amazing hampers are now on sale!
Ah I’ve absolutely loved looking through all the amazing bakeoff entries. Now it’s down to our lovely judge Catriona to choose a winner to receive all those lovely Yeo Valley goodies. Good luck everyone!
So Mr English is home and the Christmas preparations can begin in earnest. His favouritest thing in the whole world at Christmas time is a home made mince pie. If you’ve only ever bought them, you’re missing a trick – they’re very easy and they make the whole house smell divine. I love scenting the pastry with the zest and juice of a clementine, or you could try a teaspoon of cinnamon too, or just leave it plain – it’s your pie. Here’s what you’ll need:
200g cold butter
400g plain flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 clementine or tangerine, zest and juice (optional)
Cold water and a tablespoon (have them ready)
First, then, cut your butter into little cubes and pop it into the food processor with the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt:
Mix gently until it resembles breadcrumbs:
Now add the egg and the clementine juice and zest and let it continue stirring gently until the mixture just comes together. Add a couple of tablespoons of cold water as it’s coming together so you end up with a nice, soft dough. Obviously you can do this by hand if you don’t have a food processor.
Form the dough gently into two balls, clingfilm them and put them into the fridge for 20 mins. Don’t leave them too long – rock hard pastry is not the easiest thing to handle. One ball should make 12 pies.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees/gas 5 and get ready to mess with your mincemeat. Now, don’t get me wrong – normal mincemeat in a jar is fine, but let’s face it, there’s not much in life that can’t be improved with a bit of alcohol (trust me, it’s not time that’s a great healer, it’s booze), so splosh some in: I’m loving Pedro Ximenez at the moment, but anything will do: port, cherry brandy, Cointreau – whatever you have to pep it up. I also add a handful of dried cranberries because I like the colour. I’m also partial to a glacé cherry or two. But don’t bother if you don’t want to.
So now, just roll the pastry out and use a cutter to make circles. Pop the circles gently into a muffin tin and put a scant teaspoon of your boozy mincemeat in each one. Don’t overfill or they’ll ooze everywhere and be very difficult to get out of the tin (sorry for the blurry picture – sticky hands) :
Now you can either cut out another slightly smaller circle to use as a lid, or just cut out something festive like a star or a tree, and pop on the top. Now, pass the whole kit and caboodle onto the Eggy Wash Department (you’ll need a small, willing child for this – just use a little lightly beaten egg to paint over the pies and add a sprinkle of sugar):
Bake for about 10 – 15 minutes and that’s it, you made pies! Give yourself a quick round of applause, then serve with more booze in the shape of some warm, mulled wine, or a lovely cup of tea. And now you’ve got into the swing of it, try mixing it up. The tree ones at the top were made in a deep-fill muffin pan with a plain cutter. Or try topping your pies with sponge mixture like my festive pastry cakey pies.
So little Lyra is just four months old now and growing fast. Since our last update she’s really cracked the house training thing and actually whines at the back door now to go out. Trouble is, if we don’t know she’s there, she’ll still piddle on the doormat, but hey, pretty impressive for four months. She adores the boys and showers them with kisses every time she sees them (and a few nibbles – we’re STILL working on that).
We’ve also attended our first puppy class (‘HEEL!’) during which I went through about a kilo of sausage, but did succeed in completing a successful recall exercise and getting her to sit. Woohoo!
Work wise it’s been really busy. I’m really sad that my partnership with the Sunday Times Ultimate Cookbook has now finished. You can find all the posts here if you want to catch up. The dinner party one is particularly fab. Chocolate nemesis baby!
I’ve also been working with London Gatwick Airport to provide families with Christmas shopping tips – here’s the finished article – I’m pretty proud of it, got to be honest!
A Cost and Time Efficient Christmas: Shopping Tips for Busy Mums
As a busy wife and mum to two, Becky Wiggins (aka English Mum) shares her advice for getting ahead of the impending Christmas present buying panic:
First things first: make a plan: grab a pen and paper (old school!), write a list of people you need to buy for and have a think about your budget per person. Then stick to it! Consider cash as that helps avoid overspend. Keep the list handy so you can note down any gift ideas next to each person if you think of any.
Take time to sit down with your kids and write letters to Santa. It’s a lovely tradition and will give you great insight into the sort of presents they’re after – even if your budget won’t really stretch to a pony this year (again).
If you’d prefer to cram it all into one mammoth shopping day, start early. If you can, pick a midweek day and stick to your list. Oh, and it goes without saying to try and pick a date before Christmas Eve.
If you are shopping early, be on top of the present hiding. There’s nothing worse than gifts being discovered before the big day – be creative: use empty suitcases, boxes in the garage or even high kitchen cupboards!
If you’re travelling before Christmas, use airport waiting time to make the most of the favourable prices vs the high street and the fabulous shops all under one roof. Gatwick in particular has a good line up having just opened a raft of stores including a new Harrods Department Store, Aspinal of London, Hugo Boss, Mango, Superdry and Ernest Jones (plus Zara, Victoria’s Secret, Fat Face, Snow + Rock and Ted Baker arriving early December). They also offer a ‘voucher passport’ with a range of special offers and a free ‘Shop Fly and Collect’ service, meaning you can go to town on buying big gifts or stocking fillers. You simply leave shopping bags at the airport and pick them up on your return!
Whilst abroad, consider buying a few gifts to bring home: local wines, soaps, pastries and cheese (if you don’t mind stinking out your suitcase) make wonderful presents, especially if you’re not certain on people’s tastes. Just step away from the castanets.
If you’re buying for teenagers, gift vouchers are your friend. In the run up to Christmas, I add a gift voucher into my shopping basket every week. It spreads the load and no teen will sneer at iTunes or Top Shop vouchers.
Get baking: there’s no rule that says you have to buy your presents. Home made presents show that you’ve really thought about the recipient, so bake an extra couple of Christmas cakes, knock up a batch of boozy mince pies or make chocolates, lemon curd or chutney.
Think quality rather than quantity. We’ve cut down on the amount of silly stocking fillers that cost money and were discarded by Boxing Day. Favourite shower gels, shampoos and chocolate bars are all great stocking fillers that you can stock up on in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Have a couple of small emergency presents handy: wrap a nice box of chocolates or a scented candle just in case guests arrive at the door bearing gifts. There’s nothing more awkward than receiving an unexpected gift so be prepared with a backup. On the plus side, if you don’t give them away you get a surprise extra pressie for yourself.
And finally, give your children a small budget to buy something for each other (or for you) – it’s lovely for them to experience the joy of present giving!
In other news, Sam has got his first uni offer – much excitement! – and Charlie is working hard towards his GCSEs and going to multiple gigs in London. This pleases me as I’ve always been a fan of spending money on experiences over material things.
Latest Instagrams have included this little beauty.. Emiliana Novas Gran Reserva which smells exactly like black jelly babies and is absolutely delicious.
Next up, I’m working on the brand new Big Christmas Bakeoff and some wine and cheese matches as well as loads of new wine recommendations. Watch this space!!
If you’re anything like me, the best bit of the build up to Christmas is all the lovely food shows on the telly. I have all the Nigella Christmas shows recorded and love having them playing in the background while I’m working. I also like all the programmes on Good Food (look out for Rachel Allen’s Christmas Cake Diaries) and Food Network UK (especially Barefoot Contessa – I love the way she says ‘budderrrrr’). If you’re going to be setting your TV box to record this Christmas, here are a few you shouldn’t miss. I’ve arranged them in date order – hopefully that’s more convenient than by channel:
Food Network: Rosemary Shrager’s Classic Christmas: Saturday 14th December, midday
Not sure if this is new (I think so) but it does look good.
BBC2: Tom Kerridge Cooks Christmas: Monday 16th December, 8.30pm
Following on from his amazing Proper Pub Food, Tom turns his considerable skills to Christmas dinner. Only half an hour? But we LOVE Tom Kerridge!!
BBC2: The Great British Bakeoff Christmas Special: Tuesday 17th December, 8pm
Not a huge bakeoff fan, but I do love Mary Berry. Definitely worth a watch.
BBC2: Food and Drink Christmas Special: Wednesday 18th December, 8pm
Apparently they’re bringing Food and Drink back for a new series next year. Mary Berry features in this one too.
BBC2: The 12 Drinks of Christmas: Thursday 19th December, 9pm
Alexander Armstrong and Giles Coren are brothers-in-law, apparently. This is their countdown to the best drinks of the festive season.
Channel 4: Gordon Ramsay’s Festive Home Cooking, starts: Friday 20th December, 8pm
If you missed his original Home Cooking series, you should try and find it on catch up. It’s fabulous. Really looking forward to this.
ITV: Let’s do Christmas… with Gino and Mel (daily), starts Sunday 15th December, ends Christmas Eve.
Mr English loves Gino and Mel. They have a great 0n-screen relationship and do have a great giggle. I thought Gino was doing a Christmas spesh too, but I can’t find it anywhere.
And for after Christmas, there’s Jamie’s Festive Feast on 30th December at 8pm on Channel 4.
If anyone’s got any that I’ve missed, please do let me know and I’ll add them in!
So next to get the Big Christmas Gift Guide treatment are your gorgeous teenagers.
First up are the frankly fantastic All in One Company who hand make their fabulous quality onesies in Northumberland. They very kindly asked me for Charlie’s measurements and made him a special onesie with his choice of purple camo polar fleece. He’s absolutely delighted with it because, hey, there’s not another one in the world that’s exactly the same. You can also give All in One Company gift vouchers so that people can design their very own onesie, and they also have an adorable baby section (check it out – the cuteness!)
Colgate’s new ProClinical A1500 electrical toothbrush is a bit more practical but makes a really cool present (and what teenager doesn’t love looking in the mirror let’s face it). It’s a really clever gadget with sensors that automatically adjust the speed and cleaning action of the brush depending on how it’s held in the mouth, and cleans using sonic vibration (32,500 strokes per minute!) to really attack that plaque. It also comes with a spare brush head so more than one person can use it, which is handy. RRP is £169.99 but it’s on a less than half price offer in Boots at the moment!
Scholl have got a really nice ColourPop manicure set which is like the the professional shaping machines you find in salons. It’s got lots of different filing and shaping heads and is rechargeable too. The little polishing head is useful if you’re not wearing nail varnish to give your nails a lovely shine. Nifty. (RRP £24.99)
TONI&GUY have got loads of amazing hairdryers and gadgets out in lovely kits this Christmas including Twist and Crimp (RRP £50) with which apparently – if you’re clever – it’s possible to crimp the underneath of your hair to give it more volume, or go all out 70s and crimp the whole lot, or the Reverse Conical wand for gorgeous casual waves and curls. We love these as they’re all in beautiful packaging and look really special.
The Snowman is a Christmas classic (30 years young!) and Build a Bear have bought out a special toy this Christmas, perfect for younger teens with a soft spot for film. He retails at £18 and is actually really gorgeous – you can buy him online or go into a Build a Bear store for the full stuffing experience! There’ll be a few adults that would rather like him too, we think!
Excuse the weird ear-selfie, but if you’re looking for beautiful, unique jeweller – for teenagers or anyone else, frankly – look no further than lovely Diva & Me who sent me these gorgeous 14k gold opalite earrings which literally change colour depending on the light – anything from the darkest purple to very light, almost translucent violet. The gold setting is a delicate ‘hand crocheted’ design – have a look at it close up on the website, it’s absolutely amazing. I adore them, and I’m really not a jewellery person.
Lifeproof do AMAZING iPad and iPhone cases that make them completely waterproof, shockproof and even mudproof, rendering their gadget pretty much indestructible. Once sealed (it does take a bit of time to fit, plus you have to test it, but all the instructions are in the box and the test kit is enclosed), it is shock proof from two metres with an IP level of 68, whatever that is, and is so waterproof it can actualy be used as an underwater camera. Brilliant.
Stocking filler wise, I’m always keen to keep away from any sort of useless plastic crap that will be broken by Boxing Day, so we concentrate on anything yummy or useful. The boys get through tons of the Lynx shower gel and shampoo, especially the Apollo scent, so these are always a winner. We love all the Cadbury Christmas chocolate, especially the Winter Wonderland bar. Yum! and Kleenex‘s lovely Winter Originals Christmas pocket tissue packs are cute and handy too.
So following on from fab pressies for foodies, this time it’s the turn of the cook in your life. Don’t immediately discount cookery books as the safe option, there are some fabulous cookbooks out there at this time of year.
The wonderful Eric Lanlard, Master Pâtissier and all-round creative genius has brought out a gorgeous book, perfect for any chocolate lover: Chocolat: Seductive Recipes for Bakes, Desserts, Truffles and Other Treats is stuffed full of every chocolate recipe you could ever want, plus it looks stunning. The perfect gift.
The Great British Vegetable Cookbook by Sybil Kapoor is full of really inventive vegetable recipes – both as accompaniments to main meals and as delicious meals in their own right. It’s wonderfully inspirational when you’re planning meals and would make a lovely gift for a veggie or meat eater.
Another of my favourite books of the year is A Good Egg: a year of recipes from an urban hen-keeper – by Genevieve Taylor. Perfect for anyone who yearns for the simple things – cooking simple, delicious dinners made with produce from your garden and eggs from hens pecking in the yard. It reminds me of classic Nigella books as it’s a lovely read as well as having some really gorgeous recipes. A bedside book, I’d call it. Inspirational.
I must admit I did once get very cross with Mr English for buying me a breadmaker for Christmas. It was when we’d first got together and I thought it was the most unromantic gift I’d ever received. Now, of course, I’d be delighted with a gorgeous appliance and I’ve got my eye on this very pretty pearly Breville Aurora toaster to go with my glossy cream kitchen units.
Next up is cheeeeese! No Christmas is complete without cheese and this one is really special (and extensively tested by me. You’re welcome). The Denhay Dorset Drum of cheddar is a real showstopper and packs a bit of punch, flavour wise. Denhay have now decided to focus all their attention on their bacon, so this is the last time you’ll be able to buy it. Snap one up online (from £25 + p&p) .
For something really special, how about a bottle of English Knightor Brut NV sparkling wine from Cornish winery Knightor. We gave it a try and it really is the perfect festive fizz – light, fruity (peachy?) and with lovely, almost creamy bubbles. You can buy it online, priced £27 from www.knightor.com. Gorgeous.
Experiences make really interesting gifts too. Why not treat your favourite chef/chefette to a course at Padstow Seafood School. They have a fab range of courses starting at £95 for a half day course. Gift cards are available and can be posted direct with a personalised message (they have no expiry date). Check out rickstein.com/seafood-school for details.
And for little stocking fillers? Check out Monin’s gorgeous gingerbread syrup (yummy in coffee, but equally good poured over pancakes or even as an ingredient in cakes), or why not wrap up a couple of Very Lazy’s little pots – the Smoked Chopped Garlic, Smoked Chopped Chillies (our favourite – amazing on pizzas) and Fire-Roasted Sliced Chillies are really interesting and useful – what more could you ask for?!
So every year I do these gift guides, and half the time I’m thinking about the boys, or about what my Mum would like, or what would be wonderful for Mr English, but as I’m searching, I often see something and think ‘ooh, I like that’. I started to note them down, just so I could write a Christmas list, and here they are, my ‘that will do nicely’ list for Christmas 2013, interspersed with some lovely things that I’ve been sent.
Don’t forget flowers if you’re considering Christmas pressies for mums. I adore receiving flowers. Debenhams sent me these absolutely beautiful Christmas flowers called ‘Cinnamon Spice‘. They had soft, velvety red roses, cute gerberas, bright red berries, lots of beautiful-smelling red roses and the festive addition of some cinnamon sticks too. The flowers smelt divine and lasted for ages. (£29.99). If you use this discount code: XMASBLOG, you’ll get £5 off all Christmas gifts too (expires 21.12.13).
There’s nothing quite as lush as a Harrods Hamper. This beauty is £100 and contains six decent bottles including a nice Rioja, a Cape Coral Mourvedre Rosé, Emiliana Novas Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot and a lovely Chardonnay – the gift that really does keep on giving. Find the Harrods hamper selection here.
Asda have got some lovely foodie gifts this year. I especially liked this Extra Special olive oil set with Toscano extra virgin olive oil and a ceramic olive oil decanter. It’s just £6 too.
I’ve really enjoyed Tom Kerridge’s TV series Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food and would really like to eat at the Hand and Flowers, which is actually quite near us. I’ll settle for the book that accompanies the series for now, though. I’d also like Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger. I adored The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, but missed this one for some reason.
For the home, I’m loving tartan at the moment (inspired, of course, by my lovely friend Erica up in Edinburgh). Buyakilt.com have all sorts of beautiful tartan rugs (as well as scarves and even kilts if you fancy going the whole nine yards). The pupster has got quite fond of our lovely soft Jacob tartan rug (they call it a rug but it’s perfect as a sofa throw – it washes beautifully on a cool wash) ad there are all sorts of lovely colours to choose from.
I love candles and I’m very spoilt as lovely Yankee Candle always send me their new ones to try. My favourite this Christmas is Merry Marshmallow which will fill your home with the delicious, warm sweet smell of baking, even if you can’t be bothered to actually bake! I’d also like the more traditional Christmas Memories scent as well please, Santa!
L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Laser Renew is hands down the best moisturiser I’ve ever used – it’s non-greasy and sinks in really easily. It also seems to give a really nice base for make-up, plus I like the smell. Winner winner chicken dinner.
Redken Body Full is a godsend if you have fine hair. When I had my hair cut recently my stylist used it and my hair felt amazing. WANT! (By the way check out the shop I’ve linked to here – it’s owned by a friend of mine from school).
You know me, I pop up all over the interwebs, and at the moment you can find me chatting about Stir Up Sunday on the Yeo Valley website. Funnily enough, my recipe is the same as theirs in that you’ll need to start a little prep the day before, as the fruit benefits from an overnight soak, but if you don’t have time (or you’ve only just read this bit and were all ready to go), don’t worry – just give it as long as you have. Now, if you need information, hints, tips, ingredient notes and a step by step guide to making Christmas pudding, please just click here.
This is my updated recipe for 2013. This year, I’m going back more to how Christmas Pudding used to be, with loads of figs, currants and sultanas, and moving away from the more modern apricot and cherry additions.
I was chatting to our lovely friend (and wine expert) Tom Forrest from Vinopolis on Twitter about what booze to use, and he had some really lovely suggestions. I’m a huge fan of Pedro Ximenez and Tom recommends a Pedro from the English Whisky Company (£18) or an Aussie Brown Brothers Muscat Liqueur (about £12). You can also be more traditional and just use brandy, obviously.
Figgy Christmas Pudding
250g dried figs, finely chopped
50g prunes, finely chopped
100ml black tea
1 cinnamon stick, snapped in half
100ml Pedro Ximenez or other booze
3 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp black treacle
1 Bramley apple, grated
100g self raising flour (or rice flour for gluten free)
100g fresh white breadcrumbs (or again, ground almonds if you need to keep the recipe gluten free)
150g veggie suet
150g dark muscovado sugar
25g almonds, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
So on to the recipe then:
1. Weigh out the dried fruit, then have a good pick through and get rid of any stems, they’re yucky if you crunch on them. I let them fall through my fingers into the bowl a handful at a time. With the larger dried fruit, make sure they’re stoneless and snip them into small pieces.
2. Finely grate the lemon zest, then juice it as well. Add the zest and juice to the fruit then brew up the tea (one tea bag is fine for that amount of water) and pour it over the fruit, along with the rum. Add in the cinnamon stick and stir it all up. Cover with a plate and leave the whole shooting match to steep (make sure it’s not a metal bowl) overnight, stirring occasionally if you remember.
3. The next day, weigh out all the dry ingredients and combine them in a huge bowl. Don’t forget the spices! The muscovado sugar can be a bit lumpy so you might need to sift it to break up any lumps.
4. Take the steeped fruit and remove the cinnamon stick pieces. Add the eggs (give them a quick mix with a fork first), honey, treacle and grated apple (leave the peel on).
5. Stir well, then you can add all that into the dry ingredients. Give it a really good stir (get everyone to take a turn to stir and make a wish).
6. Now butter a big basin (3 pint/1.7 litre) or two smaller ones and bung in your mixture, pressing it down well and filling as near to the top as you can.
7. Cut out a circle of greaseproof paper, bigger than the top of the basin/s, then add a layer of foil. Tie the two layers tightly just under the basin rim with string, leaving lots of excess to make a handle. Now there is some weird way to loop the excess string underneath the basin to make a handle, but I’ve never managed it as I didn’t pay attention at Brownies. If you want to be extra sure no liquid gets in, add another layer of foil and tie again. Or you can use a basin with a lid, or tie it in a muslin, or use one of those special circular moulds.
And that’s it, you’ve made a Christmas pudding! Pause here a minute to give yourself a quick round of applause.
To steam it, you can use a steamer if you’re posh, but I haven’t got one so I just use a huge saucepan and balance the basin inside it on a circular metal pastry cutter so it isn’t sitting on the bottom of the pan. This will also stop it burning if you inadvertently let it boil dry. Add boiling water about halfway up the basin and put the lid on the saucepan. Steam for 5 hours, making sure you go back every so often to top up the boiling water.
I rewrap it with fresh greaseproof paper and foil, but you don’t have to. Keep it somewhere cool until Christmas day when it’ll need to steam for about another 2.5 to 3 hours (don’t worry if it gets a bit longer, it won’t ruin it). Or you could *gasp* just microwave it on Christmas day. Much easier, but not really traditional!
On Christmas day, just warm some booze gently, then at the last minute, pour it over the pud and set it alight. A splash of rum or a bit more of that Pedro and a tablespoon of icing sugar in some whipped cream (Yeo Valley Organic of course) would make a welcome addition.
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