My Grandmother always used to buy hamper coupons from the Unigate milkman, I don’t know if she received any special discount as my Grandfather had worked for them up until he retired, but she always had the coupons and then exchanged them a week or so before Christmas for a hamper. There was always lovely boxes of chocolates, biscuits, tins of ham and deserts and a shop made Christmas pudding. I am sure that there may have been a bottle of Sherry in the hamper, even though my Grandmother was not able to drink alcohol. There was also some lemonade and dilatable juices – like Robinsons, and some fruit.
Even though we had the hamper there was also other bits bought or made. The Christmas cake, and Christmas Puddings were both homemade, a delicious joint of gammon that was cooked on the stove on Christmas Eve to be consumed for Christmas Day tea time, a tin of Victoria biscuits made by McVitie’s. The biscuits no longer sold in a tin but are still available. I still buy a box each year and as I put them in the supermarket trolley I have a festive flashback to years past.
We always had Turkey for Christmas Day along with the trimmings. On Boxing Day the usual lunch meal was bubble and Squeak with either the Turkey cold or made into Rissoles. I still have the mincer that my Grandmother used and I still do some of the things that we did when I was a child, and those special moments live on for another generation.
Mum used to make the most lovely rum truffles, with the proper stuff, not the cheap essence. Since Mum is longer here we no longer have the truffles. I have the original recipe and lots of happy memories.
Every year, this rather tatty extract from a Woman’s Realm Mag would appear. I had chance to have a proper glance at it. The recipe is from The Archer’s Country Cookbook by Martha Woodford published in 1977.
I can certainly vouch for the truffles!
4oz dark cooking chocolate
4oz icing sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons ground almonds
2 tablespoons double cream
2 tablespoons rum
Melt the chocolate over a basin of hot water. Beat in the icing sugar, egg yolk, almonds, cream and rum and pound altogether until mixture is smooth, and form into little balls. Roll each truffle in a little vermicelli and coat it.