The tradition of putting a silver coin in the Christmas pudding may have originted in Roman times when charms were hidden in food during Saturnailia, when the god Saturn was celebrated as the god of agriculture.
In Britain, silver threepences or silver sixpenses were added to the pudding on the last Sunday before Advent, when it was traditional for the whole family to take turns in stirring in the ingredients.
Once the pudding was served on Christmas Day, the finder of the sixpence could keep the coin, which was deemed to be a symbol of wealth for the coming year.
Other tokens used have been a tiny wishbone, to bestow good luck, a silver thimble for thrift or an anchor to symbolise safe harbour.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
A Fine and Impressive Claret Jug
Claret is a term used today when referring to red wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France.
In the Middle Ages, when South-West France was ruled by the English, claret was a wine flavoured with spices such as anise, cinnamon, fennel, caraway and cardamom.
To prevent sediment form being poured from the bottom of the bottle into the wine glass, claret was decanted into a pouring vessel, latterly refered to as a claret jug.
In Sept 2008, The Independent reported that claret was enjoying a revival in the UK, and sales were booming.
Perhaps a fine claret, served from an elegant claret jug would add that extra special something to this year's Christmas table........
A Victorian Claret Jug