Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thursday Teacups, Stir Up Sunday, Plum Pudding

Welcome to Thursday Teacups and Tea Things with Antiques And Teacups, Vintage Thingie Thursday with Coloradolady and Teacup Thursday with Miss Spenser.

I am covering a few fun things today...all in one! The first, is my teacup selection which is a homey (if your a Yank) or homely (for the Brits) Johnson Brothers, England Friendly Village cup and saucer from the 1950s.

Friendly Village is one of the most popular of Johnson Brothers' patterns in the USA. It appeals to our collective memories of rural village scenes of the east coast or colonial days. I think it is perfect for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. I love that there are so many different scenes in the set including the schoolhouse, the old well, apple orchard, ice house and may others. The design is hand colored on brown transferware so it is perfect for many fall table options. I love it!

For more Friendly Village pieces including the cup and saucer at Time Was Antiques, click on the photos and go to the Johnson Brothers category.

In Victorian England, this weekend would be Stir Up Sunday...when the plum puddings and Christmas cakes would be made up to be drenched in spirits and then stored to age and marinate! In the lore of the puddings, varoius silver charms and a sixpence would be stirred in as well, to be used to tell fortunes on Christmas day when the cake was cut and eaten. 

 I even have a plum pudding teapot made by Price Kensington, England in the 1930-1940s.

Wishes were also made as each family member took their turn with the required stir of the pudding. The person stirring would close their eyes and wish, but don't tell!! Or the wish wouldn't come true! I loved these customs as a child, but especially loved licking the bowl!

 Here is a plum pudding recipe from the famous Victorian cook, Mrs. Beeton:


Mrs Beeton's Traditional Christmas Plum Pudding 1

Recipe 1 (Page 494) - 1923 Edition
Makes 2 Christmas puddings

Check recipe for shopping/store cupboard purposes and grease 2 basins.
8 oz moist sugar (use soft brown )
8 oz chopped suet or modern day equivalent
8 oz sultanas cleaned
8 oz raisins halved and stoned (see footnote*)
4 oz currants washed and dried
4 oz shredded mixed candied peel - Cut your own or use ready cut
4 oz of plain flour
4 oz breadcrumbs
2 oz almonds blanched and shredded
the grated rind of a 1 lemon
3 eggs
a salt spoonful of  nutmeg grated
half a teaspoon of salt
quarter pint of milk
1 small wineglassful of brandy (optional)

Mix all the dry ingredients together, stir in the well beaten eggs, milk and brandy (if used).
Turn the mixture into 2 well greased basins, and steam from 5 to 6 hours.
Time 5 to 6 hours.
Sufficient for 8 or 9 persons.
N.B. Please note that no raising agent is mentioned in this recipe, but the flour must be plain flour, as elsewhere self raising flour is mentioned by type when used.

I also found this Chocolate Plum Pudding recipe which is a bit different from

 Chocolate Plum Pudding Cake

Prep Time:
25 Min
Cook Time:
1 Hr 20 Min
Ready In:
1 Hr 45 Min

Original Recipe Yield 1 - 9 inch tube cake


  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place raisins in a small saucepan, and cover with boiling water. Soak for 5 minutes, then drain. Grease and flour a 9 inch tube pan.
  2. Sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in the eggs, then the applesauce. Beat in the flour mixture. Stir in raisins and walnuts. Spread batter evenly into prepared tube pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 80 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely; chill.

This is an 1805 caricature or political carton by J. S. Gillray showing William Pitt and Napoleon carving a plum pudding which represented the world. This was the era of the Napoleonic Wars and the Regency in England. Plum pudding was a well understood thing in every household!

Have a great Thursday visiting the other blog parties. And don't forget to make a wish! And don't tell!



Coloradolady said...

OH, what a fantastic tea pot! I have never seen one like this. Interesting post and loved the recipes! Happy VTT!

Sarah said...

Ruth, your pudding looks delicious. Never made one here, but should give it a try. Sweet little teapot and the cartoon is fabulous. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. ~ Sarah

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