The Third Advent Candle,
Day Eleven on the Advent Calendar
Cumberland Rum Butter
Window eleven is a
History of Christmas Pudding Charms:
In Victorian times, small silver charms were placed in Christmas Puddings prior to boiling or steaming them. Each charm signified either advice, luck, romance or good fortune. Traditionally, these charms were a boot for travel, a bell for good luck, a wish bone to make your wishes come true, a thimble denoting spinsterhood, a ring for an impending marriage or engagement, a horseshoe for luck and a bachelor’s button for luck as well. Silver sixpences and threepenny bits were also placed in the pudding for good fortune. Coins continued to be placed in puddings long after the little charms went out of favour, but after World War II, coins were made of copper and brass alloys which reacted during the cooking process, so the tradition of adding charms and coins to the Christmas Puddings became rare, although I am lucky enough to have a couple of silver sixpences which I use every Christmas.
My recipe today also has a role to play with coins and Christmas; lightly spiced butter, laced with dark rum ~ this traditional old recipe originates from Cumberland in Northern England. In Cumberland, rum butter served with oatcakes or buttermilk scones were given to friends who called at the house to visit a new-born baby. In return, they would leave a silver coin and on the day of the christening, when the rum butter bowl or pot was empty, the coins were then placed in to the empty bowl. Tradition dictated that a sticky bowl with plenty of coins meant that the child would never want for anything and would be well off for the rest of their lives, hopefully!
The saying goes…….”Butter symbolises the richness of life, sugar the sweetness of life and rum, the spirit of life.” Cumberland rum butter is also traditionally served with Christmas pudding and mince pies; it also makes a wonderful gift for any new parents or to give throughout the festive season, and we all love it in our household.
Cumberland Rum Butter
- 8 ounces (225g) unsalted butter
- 6 ounces (150g) soft dark brown sugar
- 8 -10 tablespoons dark rum
- grated nutmeg or mixed spice
Put the butter in a warmed bowl and cream it, either with a wooden spoon or an electric beater or handheld mixer.
Tip in the sugar and rum and mix everything together.
Grate in nutmeg to taste, (or mixed spice) and mix again.
Place in a bowl, an earthenware bowl is traditional, then chill until required.
Serve with mince pies, Christmas pudding, sweet tarts and pies, sweet biscuits, oatcakes, scones, crumpets, muffins or on toast.
That’s all for this Advent Sunday ~ I will be back tomorrow with some chocolate treats!Karen