Thursday, 17 December 2009

So here it is Merry Christmas...

Not long to go now dear readers.  Time for Pig in the Kitchen to sign off until next year.
See you in 2010,  I hope you have a wonderful festive season with plenty of what you love and lots of warm and fuzzy moments!

And lest you get withdrawal symptoms, I shall leave you with my little rant on the parlous state of the Nativity play in British schools.  Sensitive souls might not like what they read....;-)


© Pig in the Kitchen
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Gluten Free Christmas Pudding (egg free, dairy free, gluten free)

If you're only here for the Christmas Pudding recipe, you just need to scroll on down.  If you've been wondering how Glenda has been since the last instalment, then read on....

Glenda Bannington-Blythe was feeling vexed. The Christmas party had been Roger’s idea, and he was nowhere to be seen. She had spent months planning this damn event at his request; drawing up the guest list, printing the invites and planning the menu. She’d made sure Cook was prepared, ordered a chocolate fountain, arranged the firework display, and even booked a juggler to perform in the ballroom as a surprise. ‘The very least he could do’ she fumed, ‘is be present at his own bloody party!’


Chandra moved across the back seat of the Bentley and nuzzled Roger’s neck, her hand moving up his thigh,
Are you sure Glenda won’t suspect?’ she purred in his ear
‘Hmm? What?’ he grunted.
Chandra frowned, she had noticed that most of the time he didn’t seem to listen to her. He said she was different, more special than the rest, but perhaps he was lying? Still, he did buy her anything she wanted, so maybe she was trying to intellectualise too much.
‘I said, are you sure Glenda won’t suspect?’
‘Good God no! Half the office will be at the party, including the popsies from the typing pool, she’ll just think you’re one of them’.

He knew instantly that he’d upset her. She stopped nuzzling his neck and turned away, pouting. Roger fought down his irritation, and thought quickly. They were just turning onto Bond Street, so he leant forward and rapped on the glass behind the driver,
‘Jerome! Stop the car! Miss Simpson and I have a little shopping to do’.
The grin that Chandra flashed him and the inappropriate fondle as they slid from the car told him he’d made the right decision. He checked his watch, he would have to do some fast talking to explain his lateness to Glenda, but - he glanced at Chandra’s long legs and her Louboutins – he felt sure it would be worth it.


Glenda’s eyes glazed as Charlie Bunton-Hissy launched into another anecdote about his skill as a commercial pilot, and the time he'd had a near miss over the Andes. As Rosa came within reach, she interrupted,
‘Oh do excuse me Charlie, I simply must check on something, Rosa! Rosa!’
Rosa started at her name, and instantly looked guilty,
‘What Mees, I done summing wrong?’
‘No Rosa, nothing wrong, but have you seen Mr Bannington-Blythe?’

Rosa panicked. She had seen the master arrive ten minutes ago. She thought it odd that he was using the back stairs, because they only led up to the guest rooms on the top floor. Rosa had gaped at the woman with him; so tall and with such enormous…,
‘Rosa! For God’s sake, it’s a simple question, have you seen him?’
‘I not see him go upstairs Mees.’
Glenda was baffled; she was beginning to think that Rosa was mentally sub-normal.
‘Oh never mind Rosa, I will look upstairs, but in the meantime, I want you to circulate with those little Christmas puddings that Cook has made’
‘Circ you hate?’ Rosa could make no sense of Glenda’s words. Glenda’s fists clenched.
‘You. Take. Christmas puddings. You. Give. To. Guests’
‘Yes Mees, Ok Mees, I do right now Mees’

Rosa scuttled off, vaguely aware that she had said too much about the Meester, but relieved that she had understood her next task.


Roger knew he was panting, but he didn’t care. It may have been climbing all those bloody stairs, or it could be that saucy underwear Chandra was wearing; it had been worth every Bond Street penny. He fumbled with his belt, trying to find the clasp under his overhanging belly. On the bed Chandra sighed quietly; she didn’t relish what was to come, but reminded herself that it paid for her lovely, red-soled shoes.  She caught his eye and writhed provocatively,
‘What’s keeping you Roger? If you are naughty and keep me waiting, I will have to spank you very hard...’
Roger hopped clumsily around on one foot, trying to free his leg from his trousers. At her words he gave an excited guffaw, lost his balance and landed with a blubbery thud on the floor.


Glenda could feel herself flushing with annoyance as she moved from room to room looking for Roger. Where the bloody hell was he? Over an hour and a half late, and not even a call from his secretary.
‘He treats me like a member of staff’ she muttered to herself, preparing to descend and rejoin the party. At that moment she heard a dull thud from the guest rooms overhead.


Chandra bit her lip and tried not to laugh. He looked so ridiculous struggling to get up from the floor. It reminded her of a turtle she’d once seen on its back, hopelessly flailing as it tried to right itself.
‘Chandra! I can’t get up! I’ve done something to my back’.
Chandra slid off the bed and straddled him.
‘Tsk, tsk Mr B, I’m going to have to punish you’
‘Noo! You fool, I’ve put my disc out again, get off me! Get me up!’ Roger’s face was grey with pain.
Chandra made a face, climbed off and held out her hand to pull him up. His fat, sweaty palm slipped straight out of hers as she pulled. God, he weighed a ton.
‘Harder you idiot, pull harder’ he groaned.
Chandra dug her stilettos into the Chinese silk rug, braced herself and heaved with all her might.


Glenda was creeping quietly up the stairs having armed herself with a brass candlestick. She’d heard of this kind of robbery. The Boswell-Jones’ on the other side of the river had been cleaned out during their last party, the thieves had even worn suits to blend in! ‘They won’t get away with it here’ she thought grimly. The noise was coming from the main guest bedroom, and raising the candlestick above her head, she gave the door a shove.

What happened next took them all by surprise. As Glenda shoved the door, Chandra’s well-toned quads and biceps propelled Roger upwards and forwards. The heavy oak door swung open, striking Roger squarely in the face and he stumbled. Glenda, seeing a wobbling semi-naked mass coming at her, did the only reasonable thing; she clubbed him over the head with the candlestick and Roger collapsed in a senseless heap.

Reader, you can imagine the mess there was to clear up. Someone from the party heard the commotion and before long the landing was filled with drunken guests all trying to photograph the scene with their Iphones, and get Chandra’s number at the same time. Charlie Bunton-Hissy was applying cold compresses to Roger’s broken nose, black eye and gashed head, and dear old Rosa was stumbling around with a silver platter giving out mini Christmas puddings. For a long while Glenda stood immobile by the door. She stared icily as Chandra dressed and fled, and she didn’t speak as Eveline Boswell-Jones twittered repeatedly that it must have been a bungled robbery attempt. Eventually, she pushed through the crowd and went down to the kitchen where she poured herself a large slug of Brandy and ate the remaining Christmas puddings (about 12). You see, even in that moment of emotional turmoil, her good judgement didn’t leave her; she knows a fine gluten free, egg free and dairy free Christmas pudding when she sees one.

This Christmas take a tip from Glenda; no matter what the party season throws at you, make sure you take time to make (and eat) this tasty pud. You’ll be so glad you did.

Coming in 2010, ‘Glenda & Roger Part 3; Beyond the Party’

Christmas Pudding
To date I've only made this egg free, dairy free and gluten free.  My strong hunch would be that if you replace the egg replacer mix with 2 eggs and use gluten free flour, you won't have any problems.  I'm 90% sure you can replace the gluten free flours with wheat flour if you need to. I will update the recipe when I can, but it's one of those lovely recipes that appears to love gluten-free flour, how marvellous.   

I didn't plan to make mini Christmas puddings, but I came across some mini stainless steel moulds, and I had to have them.  On balance though, I think it's far easier to make one large pudding, so you should do that.  These puddings turned out really well, and have kept for a couple of weeks now in an airtight container.  I've even been feeding them with Brandy from time to time; I'm sure Glenda would approve.  Dear me, I hope she has some better luck next year.
100g dried cranberries
75g grated carrot
75g prunes
350g mix of currants and raisins
zest and juice of 1 lemon
zest and juice of 1 orange
Brandy, approximately 100ml
150ml port (or substitute with apple juice if you'd rather)
50g ground sunflower seeds
150g dairy free spread
150g dark soft brown sugar
2 heaped tsps Orgran 'no egg' Egg Replacer
20g dairy free spread
1 tbsp ground linseeds
¼ tsp xanthan gum
5 tbsps rice milk
3 tbsps black treacle
1 tbsp Golden Syrup
50g gluten free breadcrumbs (any kind of GF bread will do, bake it on a low heat until hard and then blend)
1½ tsps  gluten free baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsps mixed spice
1 tsp xanthan gum
150g Doves Farm Gluten Free White Bread Flour
(or you could use 100g brown rice flour and 50g chick pea flour)
  • Put the cranberries, carrot, currants and raisins into a large bowl.  Finely chop the prunes and add them too.  Add the zest of the lemon and orange.  Juice the lemon and orange into a measuring jug.  If need be, top up the juice with brandy (or apple juice) to 200ml, then add the liquid to the dried fruit and mix.  If possible, leave overnight
  • You can either make mini Christmas puddings, or one big bad boy.  For the latter you'll need a 1.5-2 litre pudding basin.  Using dairy free spread, grease either the mini pudding basins, or the large one, and cut a small circle of greaseproof paper to line the base.  I have to say that making one large pudding is much less labour intensive
  • To make the egg replacing mix, put the egg replacing powder, 20g dairy free spread, ground linseeds, ¼ tsp xanthan gum and rice milk into a bowl and mix with a mini whisk to remove lumps.  If using real eggs, ignore this bit
  • In a large mixing bowl, put the 150g of dairy free spread and brown sugar.  Beat together until well mixed.  Add the egg replacing mix (or real eggs) and beat well.  Add the soaked dried fruit and mix well.  Add all the remaining ingredients and mix until combined.  Put the mix into your greased pudding bowl(s).  Cover the top of the bowl in greased greaseproof paper and tie it on with string.  Trim off any excess paper
  • Place your bowl(s) into a steamer and steam for 1½ -2 hours until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Check frequently that the steamer doesn't boil dry
  • When your pudding is cooked, remove it from the steamer and allow to cool in the bowl.  When cold, remove it from the bowl and wrap it up securely.  I wrapped mine in kitchen paper, covered them in tinfoil and then placed them in airtight containers
  • Not long now until the big day, I do hope you'll have more festive cheer than poor, wronged Glenda

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