Holly Christmas Decorations

The placing of a ring of Holly on doors originated in Ireland as Holly was one of the main plants that flourished at Christmas time and which

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SONY DSC

gave the poor ample means with which to decorate their dwellings.

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Traditional Irish Christmas Plum Pudding

Our traditional Irish Christmas Plum Pudding has had humble beginnings. Plum pudding was originally a porridge flavored with scraps of meat or fish, thickened with bread crumbs and bound together with eggs, fruit and spices. During the Tudor and Stuart period dried prunes were added to the pudding which became known as plum porridge.

Today it is simply known as Christmas Plum Pudding. Although Plum Pudding is not the type of food generally thought of as a pudding today by commercial standards. It is exactly what one would expect of a traditional old fashioned Irish pudding. Plum Pudding drizzled with Brandy Butter is the essence of Christmas in Ireland and is deliciously served with a fresh cream sauce or Brandy Butter.

Irish Christmas Plum Pudding Serving Ideas…

christmas pudding with custard --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
christmas pudding with custard — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Nutmeg Sauce

2/3 cup sugar*
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add boiling water and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes until ingredients are well blended.

Brandy Butter

4 tbsp softened, unsalted butter
1/2 cup superfine sugar
3 tbsp brandy
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric beater until smooth and well blended. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm. Brandy Butter may be sprinkled with nutmeg before serving.

http://www.theirishjewelrycompany.com/irish-christmas-pudding.html

Women’s Christmas in Ireland

Have you ever heard of “Women’s Christmas”?
In Ireland on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, it is when traditionally the Irish finish celebrating Christmas. It is also known as Nollaigh na mBean in Irish (Women’s Christmas).

Tradition has it that women get the day off and the men of the house get to do the housework, cooking and take down the Christmas decorations. Women meet up have a day out and treat themselves.
Are you celebrating Women’s Christmas this year?

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THE CANDLE IN THE WINDOW

The placing of a lighted candle in the window of a house on Christmas eve is still practiced today. It has a number of purposes but primarily it was an symbol of welcome to Mary and Joseph as they traveled looking for shelter.

The candle also indicchristmas-around-the-world-06ated a safe place for priests to perform mass as, during Penal Times this was not allowed.

A further element of the tradition is that the candle should be lit by the youngest member of the household and only be extinguished by a girl bearing the name ‘Mary’.