Thursday, 8 October 2009

Henry T Packman and the monster Christmas pudding

This newspaper feature from the Daily Mirror, 3 December 1909, tells of a charity football match to be played between 'The Church and The Stage' - ie. 'eleven athletic clerics who are all really good players' versus 'eleven actors' - in aid of 'The Daily Mirror Fund for providing hungry London children with Christmas Pudding on Christmas Day.' The match was to be played on Monday 13 December at the Stamford Bridge ground, 'very kindly lent by the Chelsea Football Club'.
About 5000 puddings were to be produced by a legion of cooks at the 'Palace of Pudding', 41a Quaker Street, Spitalfields, in London's East End. In addition, 'A monster Christmas pudding is promised by Mr H T Packman, proprietor of the Dr Butler's Head (a pub in Moorgate owned by Henry T, which has a great medical history!), and a well-known salesman in the Central Meat Markets.'

The pudding recipe was supplied by Messrs Alfred Bird & Sons (Bird's Custard) so if you fancy making an Edwardian Christmas pudding 100 years after the original recipe was published, here it is (makes six puddings):

Ingredients: 3lb breadcrumbs, 1.5lb flour, 6lb raisins, 3lb currants, 4.5 lbs suet (finely chopped), 4.5 lb moist sugar, 0.75lb mixed peel (sliced), whole nutmeg (grated), powdered cinnamon (saltspoonful), salt (teaspoonful), 2.5 pints milk, egg power (6 heaped teaspoonfuls).

Mix together with wooden spoon. Moisten gradually with milk, pour into well-buttered basins. Tie on pudding-cloths, buttered and sprinkled with flour. Boil for 8 hours.