Of all the things that make us nostalgic for home, food, particularly at Christmas, has the power to transport us to a time and place we love or miss. The smell of roast turkey, stuffing or mince pies can switch on all the festive feelings and ‘To Be Irish At Christmas’ has collated a host of nostalgic Christmas recipes from Irish chefs near and far revealing them on ToBeIrish.ie/feastivities over the coming weeks beginning with Eunice Power’s family pudding recipe.
Curated by Ali Dunworth, it is the ultimate nostalgic Irish Christmas recipe ‘book’ (online) full of classic dishes and some more modern twists including Mark Moriarty’s kitsch prawn cocktail, Clodagh McKenna’s fool-proof roast turkey, Anna Haugh’s favourite seasonal starter, Graham Herterich show-stopping chocolate orange pavlova and many more.
In Ireland, we still love the traditional pudding, booze-soaked dried fruits, with almonds and citrus, and warm spices like nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon. All packed tightly together in a pudding bowl, then steamed low and slow before leaving it aside to mature ahead of Christmas day when it is set alight, with a brandy flame and drizzled with brandy butter. There are many associated traditions, for some it’s a family event taking turns to stir the pudding for good luck and making a wish and it’s a wonderful way to teach children how to bake and to ensure recipes are passed down from generation to generation. According to Eunice , ‘This recipe was given to me by my Auntie Joan. She has been making pudding for 40 years. The recipe has been handed down by her mother before her, and her mother before that.’ See Eunice’s recipe below.
‘To Be Irish At Christmas’ celebrates what it means to be Irish and creates meaningful connections with our Irish diaspora around the world. TobeIrish.ie features seasonal traditions, community initiatives, Irish crafts and gift ideas, and more and will run from December 8th – 23rd this year. It was derived from the Government’s new Diaspora Strategy as launched by the Minister of State for the Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D., in November 2020. Targeting the 70M diaspora around the world, last year’s initiative generated engagement of people from over 50 countries across the world, from Australia to The Netherlands, from Colombia to Singapore. The reopening of international travel brings renewed hope for those who have endured long and painful separations from families and friends, but there are still many who will not be able to travel. ‘To Be Irish’ wants to bring the very best of Ireland to them through this virtual portal.