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Showing posts from November 7, 2010


Plum pudding or Christmas pudding, as it is more popularly known, has its origins in England.  It is often served about Christmas time, or usually around Advent time.  It has been a family tradition in many homes to have a "stir up Sunday", when each child is allowed to stir the pudding and make a wish.

What is Plum Pudding?

   It's almost black color comes from the heavy dried fruits that are used to make it.  Traditionally, plum puddings are boiled or steamed using a pudding cloth and would sometimes have charms mixed inside them.  The charms may either be a silver coin, a silver thimble, anchor or ring which all stand for good things in life such as good luck, wealth, a happy marriage and a safe trip.
   A plum pudding does not really have plums in it, but it is full of dried fruits and nuts,mixed with beef suet and citrus fruit juices or alcohol such as beer, rum or brandy.  It is often dried out before it is served, as the longer it is allowed to dry, the stronge…


Most of us know that with winter creeping up on us, there are holiday's coming up, too.  here in the United States, that typically means Christmas and New year's Eve.  But what about the rest of the world?  There are many holidays that are observed this time of  year from all over the globe, whether by different religions, cultures or countries.

Chanukah (Hanukkah)-

   Chanukah or Hanukkah literally means "rededication"; the Jewish "Festival of Lights", celebrating the Jewish victory at the temple and the 8 days the lamp oil lasted when there was only enough for one day during the rededication of the temple.  It begins at sundown on the 25th day of the month, Kislev, on the Jewish calendar (in Nov/Dec).  Some common things seen during this celebration are the menorah, which has nine candles, one lit for each day and one to light with; latkes, or potato pancakes; dreidals, which are spinning tops used for a game of betting; sufganiyot, unshaped jelly donu…


In 1891, Salvation Army Captain Joseph Mcfee was distraught because so many poor individuals in San Francisco were going hungry.  During the holiday season, he resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner for the destitute and poverty stricken.  He only had one major hurdle to overcome---funding the project.
   Where would the money come from, he wondered.  he lay awake nights, worrying and praying about how he could find the funds to fulfill his commitment of feeding 1,000 of the city's poorest individuals on Christmas Day.  As he pondered the issue, his thoughts drifted back to his sailor days in Liverpool, England.  He remembered how at the Stage Landing, where the boats came in, there was a large, iron kettle called "Simpson's Pot" into which passers by tossed a coin or two to help the poor.

   The next day Captain McFee placed a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing at the foot of Market Street.  Beside the pot, he placed a sign that read, "Keep the P…