How to make the perfect Christmas pudding
For many people, the food is the best part of Christmas. But on every Christmas menu there’s one item that divides like no other: the Christmas Pudding.
Christmas Pudding has the Vegemite factor: you either love it or you hate it. Saying that, the Christmas Pudding of today has evolved significantly from its predecessor, and in this day and age the original pudding would not have won many fans.
The original Christmas puddings
In fact, in the 15th century, the Christmas Pudding contained meat and was used an elaborate method for preserving it. In 1420 fodder was sparse and excess cattle had to be slaughtered in autumn. In order for the meat to last through winter it was preserved in pastry with dried fruit… In other words, the original mince pies really did have mince in them!
Things started looking better – or at least more appetizing – for Christmas Pudding in the 18th century. By then, preservation techniques had improved and meat was gradually phased out of the recipe. It was often referred to as plum pudding and was eaten around the Harvest Festival.
But the spherical dessert that we know as Christmas Pudding didn’t really come into being until the 1830s. Its recipe was proliferated by the Nigella Lawson of the 19th Century, British poet and cook, Eliza Acton.
The modern Christmas pud
So what defines a Christmas Pudding today? Now it’s a dessert consisting of a combination of dried fruits, zest and nuts. The mixture is held together by eggs, breadcrumbs and suet (beef or mutton fat). And it’s pressed into a bowl, covered and steamed in a pot for several hours.
Some cooks like to add a coin to the mixture, and the person who eats the piece containing the coin is said to enjoy prosperity in the year to come.
The pudding is then hung up to dry for at least a month – sometimes a year – and is served on Christmas Day with lit brandy, brandied butter, custard or hard sauce. It’s often also decorated with a sprig of holly.
When to make Christmas pudding
According to British Bake Off star Mary Berry, Christmas Pudding should be made on ‘Stir-up Sunday’: a day roughly six weeks before Christmas, she does give you a week’s leeway but really, even with that, it’s already too late.
Not to fear, some of the best Christmas Puddings can be purchased at Sydney’s markets throughout the season. Here’s our picks:
These prize-winning puddings are handmade in Newcastle, by one of Australia’s finest traditional pudding producers.
They have eight different puddings on offer including a gluten-free option and are available at:
The Central Coast Christmas Fair at Kariong on the 6th of December 2015
The Avoca Twilight Christmas Market on the 12th of December 2015
This Sydney family-owned company specialise in Christmas and dessert puddings. Their signature pudding the Royal Plum pudding, is a family recipe that has been passed down through generations.
You can purchase the Royal Plum pudding here
If you are keen on instagramming your food before eating it, then definitely consider adding one of Birgitta’s photogenic deluxe mince pies or dense Christmas cakes to your shopping list.
These pies taste as good as they look and can be bought at:
Kings Cross Organic Food Markets until the 19th of December 2015
The Great Market East Lindfield on the 20th of December 2015
Shepherd’s traditional Fruit Mince Tarts are made with 100% gluten free shortbread pastry filled with apples, sultanas, mixed spices and citrus peel. Available from the end of November at farmers markets and their bakery cafes throughout NSW.
For those who are brave enough to refute the advice of the great Mary Berry you can purchase your Christmas Pudding and Christmas Mince Tart ingredients at your local farmers market.
But assemble them at your own risk. 🙂
Berowra Fine Food, Wine and Handcraft Market is gearing up for summer & the festive season with 2 not to be missed December farmers’ market days.
Sunday the 6th of December is their ‘Welcome to Sumer Festival’ & the last market for 2015 will be Sunday December 20th ‘Christmas Shopping Festival’.
As always both upcoming markets will feature the finest of sustainable & handmade produce, with a variety of products that are the envy of markets across the region.
For those looking for a true Australian Christmas feast Kevin will be taking fresh seafood orders to be delivered on Wednesday 23th of December, Katerina will have your order for traditional handmade Xmas cakes on market day the 20th of December & Mick will have succulent fresh organic lamb, perfect for that Christmas roast, available on the same day. Dos Juans Fine Food porta-a-deli trailer will be loaded with mouth-watering trout, Spanish chorizo, salami and a full range of vintage & farmhouse cheddar and sheep & goat gourmet cheese.
Just 40 minutes from the centre of Sydney & an easy walk from the Berowra train station, the Berowra Fine Food, Wine & Handcraft Market is the perfect place to stock up on all your Christmas goodies, kick back with friends & enjoy a meal. You just never know what you might find!
The Berowra Fine Food, Wine & Handcraft Market is open from 9am to 2pm & is located near the corner of The Gully Road and Berowra Waters Road, Berowra.
Berowra Fine Food, Wine & Handcraft Market are the proud winners of the 2015 Local Business Award.
Sunday 20th December for the “Christmas Festival Market”
Christmas shopping is supposed to be fun and we know just the places to go..
Tell your friends to come along, help support local Sydney markets, artisans and producers and enjoy the festivities. Make this year a market Christmas!
Take a Step back in time…
If you fancy a weekend outing and a little history too, then you will love the annual Christmas markets held at some of Sydney’s most historic homes and gardens.
Lindesay Christmas Gift Fair – Thurs 19th to Sat 21st Nov.
The National Trust home, built in 1834 features Georgian interiors and fine Australian and English furniture. Over 80 stalls are set up both inside the house and the garden, with spectacular views of Sydney harbour. Enjoy morning tea or lunch for a true experience.
Eryldene Christmas Fair – Sat 28th to Sun 29th Nov.
Enjoy shopping in the beautiful house and gardens at Eryldene in Gordon. Eryldene is an early 20th century historic house, built by Professor Waterhouse who created its internationally acclaimed camellia garden. The garden is regarded as the spiritual home of the camellia in Australia. Eryldrene Christmas Fair is a great opportunity to find one off gifts from fashion and homewares to gourmet food and jewellery.
There is nothing better than enjoying the warm Summer nights ambling through a market. Why not meet a friend and make a night of it.
The Rocks Village Bizarre – Every Friday night from mid-Nov to 18th Dec.
The Rocks comes alive with a world of mystery, magic, music, and markets. There are so many wonderful things to do, but if it’s markets your after then don’t miss the Workshopped curated markets from 27th November – 18th December. Workshopped specialise in supporting young Australian designers and makers.
Croydon Twilight Christmas Market – Fri 27th Nov
Held at the local public school, kids will delight in the activities and entertainment whilst you enjoy shopping from over 70 stalls. You can even treat yourself to a wine!
Brewery Yard Christmas Markets – Thurs 3rd to Fri 4th Dec
Time for some festive fun! Join Santa’s merry elves, hip-hop carollers as well as 60 stallholders, live music, art demonstrations and workshops. Levels 1 and 3, Central Park, Broadway.Avoca Beach Christmas Twilight Market – Sat 12th Dec
There’s plenty happening if your up on the coast too! Music, stalls and food under the stars.
We love new markets! They bring new talent and inspiration, not to mention some amazing finds too.
The Makers Nest – Sat 28th Nov
An indoor market in the funky Thrive360 event space, located above the beautiful Grounds cafe in Alexandria. Find local and independent artists and designers.
Cambridge Christmas Markets – Sun 29th Nov
Perfect for the whole family, held in the leafy grounds of Vaucluse Public School. Over 80 gift stalls as well as Xmas trees, gift wrapping, kids activities and plenty of food for a picnic lunch.
Last Chance for Christmas FOOD!!
The Beaches Market – Sat 19th and Wed 23rd Dec
The popular Warriewood market is renowned for its country style atmosphere and dedication to supporting only local producers and growers. Offering everything you need for the best festive feast, they will opening for 2 additional days prior to Xmas (normally every Friday).
Sydney Fish Market 36hr Marathon – 23rd Dec 5am to 24th Dec 5pm
This year marks the 20th year of extended Xmas trade for all your celebrations. Beat the crowds and visit late at night or super early in the morning!
There are so many wonderful events in the coming weeks. Get you Christmas shoes on, check our calendar for details and have fun finding something different and chatting with local designers and makers. It makes all the difference to your shopping experience!
French Affair is a Sydney based market and online business, offering the best in quality and unique handcrafted gifts. Elegant and sophisticated products sit alongside the artistic, all of which have been carefully sourced from makers and artisans in France.
Local Market Guide talks with French Affair about their product range and what you can expect to find this Christmas. Put the market dates in your diary, there’s not long to go!
Tell us about French Affair and your products?
French Affair is a celebration of everything French and I love to share my passion for this intriguing country. I have a diverse range of products – all with a French heritage – tablecloths from Provence, typical French market baskets, whimsical stationery from Grenoble at the foot of the French alps and the iconic Savon de Marseille range of French soaps and body care products from the south of France and some lovely shopping bags from Paris.
Do you travel regularly to France to source your products?
I love France and try to travel there every year to explore quaint French villages, get lost in the ancient cobblestone streets and wander around the local markets. I also visit the people who make the products I sell and I’m always on the lookout for unique new products with that certain “je ne sais quoi” that my customers will love. And I try to eat as much cheese as possible!
What is the inspiration for your product ranges?
Everything French! I love authentic French products that are created by French artisans using French ingredients and traditional French methods. I try to avoid products that are simply “French inspired” which usually means they’re mass produced in a sweat shop in Asia. There are so many fascinating stories behind the products I sell. The iconic Provencale tablecloths were originally produced in France in the early 17th century and my range has been made by the same family company in Nice since 1933. Savon de Marseille soaps have been crafted in the same traditional way since the middle ages. It’s a pleasure to be surrounded with products that have been lovingly made and have such a rich history.
What are this season’s best gift ideas?
No matter what your budget, we have something unique and chic for you to wrap up for Christmas.
Here are some suggestions:
Pocket Mirrors – Ideal for teacher’s presents, secret Santa and easy to post to faraway friends. Featuring designs by talented French artists and created in Grenoble at the foot of the French Alps. The hardest part is trying to choose your favourite: $17
French Soaps – Looking to add a little something to a gift? These sweet smelling soaps from Provence in the south of France are the answer. Choose a single soap or a beautifully presented ready-made gift pack. With prices starting from just $2.50, there’s something for all budgets.
Market Baskets – Designed in France and entirely hand made in Madagascar, these are the baskets the French ladies use to do their shopping in Provence. The colours are simply superb. Priced from $30.
French Tablecloths – The intense sun-drenched colours of these vibrant, bright fabrics are an iconic symbol of Provence. From $55.
Gift Boxes – A huge selection of gift boxes brimming with gorgeous French soaps and body care products. The ultimate pamper packs. From $36.
Which markets can we find you at?
Leading up to Christmas, you’ll find French Affair at these markets:
Saturday 14th – French Country Market
Sunday 15th – That Great Market
Saturday 21st – Orange Grove Markets
Sunday 22nd – Coledale Markets
Friday 27th – Croydon School Twilight Market
Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th – Eryldene Historic House Christmas Markets
Saturday 5th – Lycee Condorce, Maroubra (International French School)
Saturday 12th – Warringah Community Market
French Affair are also available online.
Often I have dreamed of having a Christmas tree that is colour co-ordinated and styled, picture perfect, straight from a magazine shoot. If you are anything like me however, you will have collected bits and bobs over the years, making for your very own unique Christmas artwork. Each decoration telling a story..
Here are a few unique Christmas decorations and card suppliers found at Sydney Christmas markets this season. A Christmas decoration can give you years of enjoyment and they make a great gift too.
Fox and Beau
Quirky and fun with a vintage flair. Amy’s cards are locally designed & printed & made on 100% recycled stock. 8 pack Christmas cards (Special $9.00) / 4 pack Christmas cards (Special $5.00)
Oscar and Mabel
More like an artwork, each of the cards are handmade using the finest quality imported and local papers. Blank inside for personal messages.
That Great Market – 15th Nov & 20th Dec 2015
Not just a card! You can colour it in too. Handmade and available individually or in packs of 5 @ $12/pk
Wilton Markets – 15th Nov & 20th Dec 2015
Marian Mills Phoenix Trading
Gingerbread House Advent Calendar. Pop out the windows as you count down the days to Christmas. Behind each window is a cute image. Cards, wraps, tags and more also available. $15 + postage & handling
Unique handcrafted ribbon-wrapped wreaths with a Christmas themed bouquet (45cm). Various designs ranging from rustic hessian covered to glitter sensations! Orders welcome.
Simply gorgeous..Bruce makes the reindeer from fallen wood of local trees such as Camphor Laurel, Blue Gum and Brush Box. Each reindeer is unique and of course they look better with a friend!
North Sydney Market on Miller – 14th Nov & 12th Dec 2015
Hamptons in the Hills
Who said Christmas had to be about Winter! Add a coastal flavor to your decorations this year with life rings, horn starfish, shell sphere’s and mini buckets with sand & shells. From $2.50 each.
Sydney Boutique Markets – 6th Dec 2015
Forever Always designs and creates with a vintage flair. From new and reclaimed materials, they offer a wide range of products. Love the hand-knitted reindeers, Christmas star decorations and handmade cards!
Narrabeen Lakes Festival – 28th & 29th Dec 2015
The Beaches – 18th Dec 2015
Christmas wreaths and silk flower arrangements. Handmade using silk flowers, berries, greenery, hession and ribbons. Various sizes available.
That Great Market – 15th Nov & 20th Dec 2015
Local Market Guide talks with The Possibility Project; two inspiring Sydney ladies who are working with youths and women in Jaipur, giving them opportunity through training and creativity. The result is a beautiful range of unique handmade products which are sold at markets and events in Sydney. The money from sales contributes to the improvements and wellbeing of local communities.
Tell us about The Possibility Project and why you started it?
The Possibility Project is a social enterprise created by Kath Davis and Kim Pearce – we collaborate with a NGO in Jaipur and help to build vocational training programs for youths and women who live below poverty line. We design beautiful products – under the name slumwear108 – which are hand made by the communities and we sell them through a variety of social justice engagements back home. We love being regular stallholders at That Great Market and The Beaches Market.
Tell us about the products you sell and the women who make them?
Our products are ‘possibility materialised’ – our purpose is to demonstrate the immense beauty that lies within some of our greatest obstacles. We work with the most creative and resilient people on earth and our products reflect the spirit of using ‘what we have’. We are always looking at ways to develop both the traditional and modern work skills that slum communities are separated from, such as woodblock printing, kantha stitching, jewellery making, indigo dyeing. One of our favourite products is to upcycle old silk saris into simple jackets and dresses.The youths and women have opened us to the most profound mindset of ‘possibility’ and we love to share their stories through our products.
What will any monies raised help to achieve?
Our model for social development is only possible because of the inspiring work done by the NGO I-India. Together we identify projects that need development and growth. We are tremendously proud to have helped establish Sparrow Sanitation – men and women are making low cost compostable sanitary pads and we are extending water and sanitation services for very marginalised communities. Sales of slumwear108 directly support this project. We need to add that although the money is imperative, having the opportunity to spread awareness and goodwill amongst the markets we attend is the most valuable part of our work.
Have there been challenges in starting the project?
In truth, everyday feels like a privilege to be doing what we do. Kath and I have busy husbands and seven gorgeous children between us, we are both very aligned in our desire to be of ‘service’ to community – we do not have a business plan, an agenda nor even a set of goals – we simply allow things to unfold – and this ‘alignment’ has removed the two biggest challenges most projects may face – limited time and money.. we simply do what we can do..it just happens to be quite alot..
What is the most inspiring outcome of your work so far?
We are both deeply grateful for the love and respect that our kids have shown for our work. To have your teenage kids truly proud of what you are doing and for the family to get a sense that there is much more to life than simply themselves – is wonderful. Of course the social impact in Jaipur is incredible, getting food, water, education and work to so many is wonderful – yet we can truly say that they have given us much more than we have given them.. the wellbeing of our own families from having very joyful mums and wives is immeasurable!
What does the future hold for The Possibility Project?
We love that we do not know! The only thing we are certain about is that we will still be having a lot of laughs wherever we are.
Where can we find you?
We have a regular stall at That Great Market – East Lindfield.And we often attend The Beaches Market. We are currently updating our website to include our regular events – but readers can check out our Facebook and Instagram for updates too. We do all sorts of engagements and would certainly welcome attending markets that support our social justice work.
Bathurst Christmas Markets is an annual event that has been running for over 20 years.
Held over 2 days on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd November 2015, the market is a popular destination for handmade and crafted Christmas Gifts.
Currently seeking a variety of stalls including handcrafted arts, fashion, lifestyle products, gourmet food and children’s gift.
Interested stallholders, please complete our expression of interest form.Find out more [email protected]
The great news for berry lovers is that they’re in season. Spring and summer is their time to shine.
But if you’re left asking ‘what can I do with all these fresh berries?’, don’t despair. There are so many ways to eat fresh berries. Which is great, because of all the so-called superfoods, we think berries are easily the most palatable. You don’t have to disguise their flavour like kale, they aren’t monotonous like nuts, and they aren’t reminiscent of high-end bird food like quinoa or chia seeds.
And best of all, berries also happen to be incredibly good for you.
That’s because berries have nutrients and vitamins and are packed with natural compounds including phenols, tannins, flavonoids, antioxidants, vitamin C and resveratrol. Some of these compounds are believed to slow cancer growth, reduce memory loss, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
So if you see berries at one of our farmers markets here are just some of the mouthwatering things you could do with them.
1. Use berries in a salad
Stick your berries in a salad – not just a fruit salad, a proper one. Berries can lift savoury salads with their unique flavour and give your greens a touch of colour and acidity. This strawberry, spinach and rice salad might be a good place to start.
2. Make a berry smoothie
Putting blueberries in a smoothie is hardly original, but one of the most rewarding aspects of berries is that their flavour is powerful enough to disguise the other less appealing – but healthy – ingredients, like kale.
3. Frost some berry ice cubes
Why not add a few berries to your ice-cube tray. This will lend some bright colour to a jug of water at a dinner party. Alternatively, you could place some berry ice cubes in a humble glass of water to inspire the kids to keep hydrated.
4. Bake your berries
Berries are fantastic in warm desserts. Think summer berry puddings, berry muffins, berry tarts and berry crumbles.
5. Drink your berries
So berries are pretty healthy, but they can also be a bit naughty. They can especially pack a punch in cocktails. Why not try to make a strawberry cooler, or blueberry capriosca, or just let the berries free float in a homemade punch.
6. Make a berry jam
Berries are the perfect jam ingredient, which is perfect given that berry jam really isn’t hard to make. Buy your berries in bulk towards the end of the season and follow one of the many simple jam recipes available online. If you’re feeling particularly productive, you can always divide your berry jam up into jars and place them into a Christmas hamper with other homemade goodies.
7. Liquify a berry sauce
Berries are fantastic in liquid form, cook them with lemon juice and sugar and they transform into a coulis – a great addition to any dessert. Or mix strawberries or raspberries with vinegar, olive oil and salt for a tangy salad dressing.
8. Freeze your berries
In the unlikely scenario you have too many berries and not enough time, you can always freeze some in a resealable bag. Keep your berries frozen and then add them to smoothies or heat them up to make jams and baked goods.
9. Add your berries to a savoury dish
10. Eat your berries
You don’t have to overcomplicate things. A punnet of fresh, seasonal raspberries has a short lifespan in most households. Sprinkle berries on cereal, mix them with sugar or cram a handful in your mouth.
And, if you need any inspiration, just watch the glee on any toddler’s face while they are handling a punnet of blueberries.
Find out where you can buy seasonal berries at your local markets.
Workshopped will host a curated space at The Rocks Village Bizarre which runs every Friday night from 27th November – 18th December. and is calling for entries from makers wishing to participate.
This is a great opportunity for new makers and designers to showcase their work in an exciting busy market environment. With over 100,000 people attending last year this is an opportunity not to be missed.
Show your work amongst some of Australia’s top designers. Applications will be accepted for product made by designers including; jewellery, furniture, fashion, lighting, textiles, ceramic and glass.”
WORKSHOPPED CURATED VILLAGE BIZARRE MARKET
Designers are hand chosen upon receipt of applications to ensure a balance of categories and to ensure design standards are maintained.
What: Workshopped @ The Rocks Village Bizarre
When: Every Friday from the 27th Nov – 18th Dec
Where: The Rocks
For more information or an application form please contact Raymond Scott at [email protected] or 02 9146 4353