Holiday Delicacies

Winter is upon the northern hemisphere. Joe and Petal offer some recipes to help ward off the chill. A traditional English standby is the famous meal: Bangers and Mash. The recipe here has a nice Australian twist to it. We again offer the famous Plum Pudding recipe; it was so popular last year we thought we would repeat it. And to fill in all the unfilled corners after a good holiday feast, we present an easy and tasty recipe for Scottish Shortbread Cookies. This time we feature a YouTube video instead of a print recipe. Bon Apetit!


Bangers and Mash

Bangers and mash


  • 4 medium potatoes, washed, peeled and chopped.
  • Some fat sausages. Joe suggests low fat pork, ginger and shallot sausages.
  • Vegetables of your choice. In the summer, a tossed green salad is perfect!

For the Sauce:

  • One cup good quality beef stock (or chicken stock if you prefer).
  • Good lacing of freshly ground black pepper.
  • 2 tbsp flour or cornstarch for thickener.


For the potatoes:

  • Cover with water and a 1/4 tsp salt. Boil until very soft. Drain.
  • Put in a good dollop of butter and a bit of milk.
  • Mash using a hand held masher, or use a mixer. Work until the potatoes are creamy.

For the sausages

  • Be sure NOT to prick the skins of the sausages.
  • Pre heat the oven to about 160C (320F).
  • Sausages are tastiest when cooked slowly. Turn over once. Once nicely browned, they are ready to eat.

The Sauce

  • Put the stock and the ground pepper into a small saucepan and slowly bring to the boil./li>
  • Once boiling, pour in the thickener while stirring all the while.
  • As soon as the sauce reaches the desired consistency, remove from the heat.

Hint: You can also microwave the potatoes and once soft, just remove the skins and mash 'em up with the same ingredients.

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Traditional Plum Pudding

plum pudding

Christmas pudding, also known as plum pudding. It is traditionally made five weeks before Christmas, on or after the Sunday before Advent. That day was often deemed "Stir-up Sunday," and each family member in the household gave the pudding a stir and made a wish.

Irish plum pudding accompanied by brandy butter is part and parcel of a traditional Irish Christmas food feast although it is doubtful that the dessert we eat today would be immediately recognizable to our ancestors who lived through the 18th century. Their version was lighter - in both weight and color.

Over the years, as more exotic ingredients have become available, the Irish plum pudding we know and love today has evolved.

The following recipes are guaranteed to finish off Christmas Dinner in fine form.


  • 3oz/90g/ white breadcrumbs
  • 1½oz/45g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 4oz/115g demerara sugar (a rich golden sugar with a hint of molasses 100% pure cane sugar).
    Regular white sugar will work.
  • 4oz/115g prepared suet
  • 4oz/115g diced plum/prunes
  • 4oz/115g raisins
  • 4oz/115g currants
  • 2oz/55g sliced almonds
  • 1oz/30g chopped cherries
  • 2oz/55g peel
  • 1/2 lemon, rind and juice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp mixed spice
  • Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • Salt


Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, and then add lemon rind, juice and eggs. Mix really well. Place the mixture in a well-greased 1½ pint/850ml bowl and cover the bowl with two well-greased pieces of greaseproof paper. Steam the mixture for six hours and then remove the paper.

Ignore any fat lying on the top of the pudding as it will be absorbed. Once the pudding is cold, recover it, still in its bowl, with fresh paper and store it for up to three months. You can douse it in rum or brandy occasionally if you like a pudding with a kick.

On Christmas morning, steam it for three hours.

A traditional Irish plum pudding is brought to the table aflame. Obviously you need to take extra care doing this. Before serving, pour brandy or any other alcohol over the pudding and set it alight.

Brandy Butter

This is a very simple brandy butter recipe... Because you get to taste it as you go, you'll find it puts you rather nicely in the Christmas spirit! You can freeze it if you wish, but it keeps well enough in the fridge without being frozen.


  • 6 tablespoons brandy
  • 6oz/175g unsalted butter
  • 6oz/175g soft dark brown sugar.

Method: Using either a food processor or a hand whisk, blend the room temperature butter with the sugar until it is soft and creamy. Once it is smooth, add in a small quantity of brandy. Mix well. Repeat until all the brandy is used up. Taste, and add more brandy if you think it needs it.

Put the mixture into a sealed container and wait for Christmas Day. Serve, as cold as possible, with plum pudding.

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Scottish Shortbread Cookies

By Vahchef @

Scottish Shortbread
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Joe and Petal are looking for new recipes. Do you have a recipe you would like to share with our readers? Just mail your recipe to the Yellow Gazette, care of Joe. If you have a nice picture of the finished recipe, send us that too.