Christmas Pudding: really aged edition!

Once again this year I shall make a Christmas Pudding.  Stir-Up Sunday is getting close!

With that in mind, I thought I would share this interesting article from The History Blog:

112-year-old Christmas pudding found in cupboard

112-year-old Christmas plum pudding

What is probably the oldest Christmas plum pudding in the world, tinned 112 years ago in 1899, has been found at the back of a kitchen cupboard in Poole, Dorset and donated to the National Museum of the Royal Navy at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in Hampshire. It was donated by a woman who found it in her cupboard after her husband’s death. She knew nothing about it other than the date stamped on the can — 1900 — and that it had been in her husband’s family for years.


Read the rest there.

Sadly, in the article we learn that this is marked “Peek, Frean & Co’s Teetotal Plum Pudding – London, High Class Ingredients Only.”

A Teetotaler Pudding?  Really?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. WaywardSailor says:

    Soak it in brandy for a week, stick a piece of holly in the top, light it on fire and serve with lemon sauce!

  2. Genevieve says:

    Without a doubt, if it hadn’t been a teetoal pudding, it would have been eaten in its proper time.

  3. A Teetotaler Pudding? High Class? Really?

  4. yatzer says:

    Yeah, if it hadn’t been a Teetotal pudding, it would have been eaten in the first place. I’d go with keeping the tin and taking the suggestion of setting the pudding aflame.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    For Good Methodists in Dorset

  6. catholicmidwest says:

    They should’ve put more booze on it to ripen. Then it would’ve repelled the mold or whatever that black stuff is better.

  7. RichardT says:

    Yes, Dorset was a hotbed of nonconformity (except for a few small areas protected by recusant landowners).

    There are also vegetarian Christmas Puddings; I’m not sure which is worse.

  8. AnAmericanMother says:

    Looking at the lid, the tin has been breached by rust.
    That, and no preservative in the form of brandy, means that it’s a dessicated mess. Kind of like the rat I found in a snap trap in a far corner of the crawlspace LONG after his demise —

  9. Norah says:

    Kind of like the rat I found in a snap trap in a far corner of the crawlspace LONG after his demise –


  10. Fortiter Pugnem says:

    Or perhaps those baked beans left in the microwave for three days? You’d wonder which was worse.

  11. Art says:

    Or any food at the fermented/spoiled borderline – making hard to tell whether it is still edible or not.

    eg. surstromming

  12. AnAmericanMother says:

    “What is this in the refrigerator?”
    “Well . . . it’s either fresh salad . . . or very old bacon.”

    – the late, great Jeff MacNelly, in Shoe.

    The rat wasn’t all that bad – he was completely dessicated, nothing but bones and fur. Didn’t smell a bit (I have a VERY sensitive nose). Just turned a plastic bag inside out over my hand, picked up the snap trap, and dropped trap, rat and all into another plastic bag. A 3-week old rat would have been much, much worse — like the one that fell right past my nose out of the attic folding stairs, just missing me AND my daughter. But that’s another — and much yuckier — story.
    The rats seem to be all gone . . . they had migrated into our house from a group of derelict buildings up the hill that were (finally) wrecked out. I invested in an electronic Rat Zapper about the time of the Rats in the Rectory episode . . . and I never got a customer! I was sooooo disappointed, I wanted to see the Rat Zapper do its thing.

  13. Dennis Martin says:

    And what does it say about Fr. Z’s peeps that a thread on a centenarian teetotal Christmas pudding turns into a disquisition on dessicated versus undessicated rats? Can any other blog boast of form so remotely Extraordinary?

  14. Dennis Martin says:

    Sorry, the “remotely” was intended to modify “boast,” not Extraordinary. Forgot I was writing English, where word order matters.

  15. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Teetotaler Pudding. sniff. indeed. no wonder it rotted in the back of a cabinet for an eon.
    “oooh Pudding!”
    “oh. no wait. put it back. we’ve something better than that one. what is this, a joke?”
    [apologies to those struggling with staying on the Wagon, no offense intended]

    Dessicated rats? oh yeah! Did you know they are also found in the bottom of very tall cut crystal vases in the back of cupboards? More than once? And its true, past a certain point there is no smell. They are like dusty cardboard. Very flat rats they are. Like a one-dimensional cartoon.

  16. Fortiter Pugnem says:

    “Very flat rats they are.”
    I think rats have collapsible skulls…so they can fit under doorways, under baseboards, between walls, and through electrical outlets.

  17. AnAmericanMother says:

    The Back of Cupboards: where puddings and rats go to die.

    Fortiter Pugnam,
    You are correct. In fact, I was down in that crawlspace installing hardware cloth and screen behind ventilation grates to keep the rats out, as they can squeeze through the louvers.

  18. Josephus Muris Saliensis says:

    I found a Christmas pudding made by my late Mother, some 15 years after she died. It had shrunk to a hard sand-coloured ball, about the size of tennis-ball, in the bottom of its pudding-basin.

    We steamed it in the usual way (as if it were in normal condition), and it re-inflated to its proper size and colour! It was delicious, and no-one would have known it was so old (indeed they did not know until they had eaten it, as I feared the soppy-brigade might kick-in, and it seemed shame to waste it after all those years!)

  19. Charivari Rob says:

    “A Teetotaler Pudding? Really?”

    If I recall correctly – Peak, Freans are extraordinarily serious.

  20. Tony Layne says:

    “I found a Christmas pudding made by my late Mother, some 15 years after she died. It had shrunk to a hard sand-coloured ball, about the size of tennis-ball, in the bottom of its pudding-basin.”

    Now that brings up a reference to an old routine by George Carlin: “Does anyone want this fault-ridden ball of chocolate pudding skin? I’m only going to throw it away!” In thinking about it, I’m sure the Christmas fruitcake Erma Bombeck wrote about thirty-odd years ago is still being mailed from one person to another ….

  21. asperges says:

    “In late 2011 a Tinned Christmas pudding was … donated to the museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. It was a ‘Peek, Frean & Co’s Teetotal Plum Pudding – London, High Class Ingredients Only’ from 1900’s and was one of 1000 sent to the troops during the Boer war.

    It was sent by Agnes ‘Aggie’ Weston – superintendent of the Royal Naval Temperance Society hence it being teetotal.”>

    . See

    I bet they hadn’t got many members of the Royal Navy in that society!

  22. irishgirl says:

    I don’t think I’d want to taste that pudding after it’s been hidden for over a century…might have botulism!
    Had to stifle a giggle about desiccated rats in the cupboard, though….sounds nasty….

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