My family’s always had a tradition of making Cornish pasties for Christmas lunch, stuffing them with shredded potatoes and onion and ground beef, leaving out carrot slices in lieu of rutabaga or turnip. (My uncle grouses about the carrot.)
But here’s a real English Christmas tradition: Christmas pudding.
Christmas pudding is a heavy, cakey pudding filled with spices, dried fruits, and suet. When doused in brandy and rum, the pudding rehydrates. Oftentimes, it’s set aflame.
Christmas pudding is usually made way, way, way before Christmas rolls around. Many families usually hide trinkets inside the pudding, with the person who finds the token receiving good luck or good tidings for the year to come. Tokens include wishbones, thimbles, tiny anchors, and silver coins.
In making the pudding, it’s common for everyone in the house to have at least one stir of suet-fruit mixture. The annual stir accounts for one Christmas wish.
“Now bring us some figgy pudding…”