I lucked out this year and got a free range goose! I was so happy when I found it that I was jumping up and down. It was going to be a Dickens’ Christmas after all!
There never was such a goose. Bob said he didn’t believe there ever was such a goose cooked. Its tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness1, were the themes of universal admiration….
In half a minute Mrs Cratchit entered — flushed, but smiling proudly — with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.
`A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us.’
Which all the family re-echoed. `God bless us every one.’ said Tiny Tim, the last of all.
We’re going to have a Dicken’s Christmas this year. I’m roasting a goose, and I’m serving Christmas Plum Pudding for dessert. The journey to this pudding has been long and interesting.
Getting suet was difficult. Why? Because most people don’t buy suet, so it’s hard to come by. What is suet you ask? Suet is the hard fat around the kidney of a cow or sheep. Suet has a high burning point, so it’s perfect for making such things as Christmas pudding and mince meat.
I had mince meat pie that was made with suet, and it is truly superior to that which does not have it. So many people said “Ew!” to suet that manufacturers removed it from the ingredients, thereby producing a far inferior product. It’s been so vilified that younger butchers don’t even know what it is.
I finally found a butcher who had it, and asked my friend to pick it up for me, as he was closer to the butcher shop. He brought me this mass of fat, and I put it in the refrigerator. So, today, I started actually making the pudding.
I decided to use a recipe from Housekeeping in Old Virgina. Actually, I used a combination of the various recipes. They all had the same thing in common, equal amounts of bread, suet, eggs, brown sugar, and raisins. This was some true eyeballing.