Posts Tagged: Christmas

My Christmas Prayer

My Christmas Prayer www.monahodgson.com

Lord Jesus, with “O Come All Ye Faithful” playing in the background, I pause  to be still. Reset my spirit to remember that you are God. The Beginning and the End. The life-giving Light who came to earth all those years ago.

Father, may the lavish love that compelled Christ to come as a babe swaddled in a feed trough, then to walk the way of the cross for my transgressions stir me, move me to lay my life at Your feet anew–a sacrifice of praise and an offering much too small.

Holy Spirit, guide me to breathe in and live out the grace Jesus came to give.

In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy Jesus Day, friends! May the peace He came to give us starting with that first Christmas pour over you afresh as you remember and celebrate His unfailing, enduring love.

 

Christmas: Simple Beginnings

One week from today, we’ll gather with family, friends, or neighbors to celebrate Christmas with merry decorations, gift-gifting, and a festive feast.

As I reflect upon God’s provision of a Christmas baby, who would grow to become our Easter Savior, I find myself contemplating the simplicity of His plan. Not an easy plan, but a modest one.

Jesus would come to earth as both God and man to simple folk: a teenager and a carpenter. Not to be birthed in a pristine palace, but on a gritty road trip instead. (more…)

8 Sinclair Sisters Gift Ideas

checkers

 “Reading gives us a place to go when we have to stay where we are.” Unknown

We all know books make great gifts.

What makes an even better present?

A themed gift package centered around a book. In case you might like to “gift” my Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek books this Christmas, I decided to add to the fun and put together eight package gift ideas that would compliment the series. (more…)

Christmas Light: A Quilted Heart Devotional

Candle Lantern

In Dandelions on the Wind, Maren Jensen has immigrated to America, her heart full of plans to send for her family and give them a better life. When her failing eyesight narrows her own prospects for a new life, darkness begins to swallow her hope, along with her vision.

Candle Lantern

As Maren lifts a glowing match to the wick of an Advent candle to commemorate the coming of the Light of the world, she surrenders her darkness to God, looking to Jesus to be her Light.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the light of life.’”
John 8:12, KJV

In what ways has Jesus been Light in your life this past year?

© 2012 Mona Hodgson, Author and Speaker

Research, Cookbooks, and Christmas Plum Pudding

PlumPudding[1]

Research can be many things: Fascinating, engaging, time-consuming, surprising, delightful. Even yummy.

If you’ve been reading The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek novels, you know Miss Hattie attends First Congregational Church in Cripple Creek, Colorado. In Two Brides Too Many, the Sinclair sisters began attending the church. By the end of Too Rich for a Bride, Ida’s husband Tucker Raines served as the church’s new pastor.

Photo Credit: Zarbo Delicatessen & Cafe

Photo Credit: Zarbo Delicatessen & Cafe

As part of my research for a series, I like to visit museums in my setting.

In those museums, I peruse any local books offered in the gift shop.

The Cripple Creek District Museum is one of my favorite hangouts when I’m in Cripple Creek.

Imagine my delight when I came across a red book titled:

Church History Cook Book
First Congregational Church
Cripple Creek, Colo.

The small, thin cook booklet actually lists the names and addresses of the cooks offering the recipes. But there’s more—the year(s) of the cook’s residence in Cripple Creek. The First Congregational Church of Cripple Creek existed for twenty years, spanning the late 1890’s, the time in which the Sinclair Sisters series is set. And now I have a collection of recipes used by women in that time and place. One of the reasons I enjoy researching a time period and setting, its culture and its people.

Since it is December and Christmas is upon us, I thought it would be fun to share three Christmas Plum Pudding recipes from the First Congregational Church cookbook published by the Cripple Creek District Museum.

Christmas pudding is a pudding that was traditionally served on Christmas Day (December 25). It originated in medieval England, and was best know as plum pudding in our Victorian era. Many families had a recipe handed down generation to generation. The early English Christmas pudding was boiled in a pudding cloth, and often presented as a rounded mound of pudding. Victorian tradition involved putting the batter into a basin and steaming it.

Christmas Plum Pudding

One cup currants
1 cup suet, chopped fine
2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup sugar
1 cup seeded raisins
1 cup sour milk
1 level teaspoon soda
½ cup candied citron, sliced
1 teaspoons cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt.

Roll fruit in flour and add flour enough to make a stiff batter. Steam or boil four hours. Serve with a sauce.

Mrs. Philbrick, 1899

Christmas Plum Pudding

3 cups bread crumbs
2 ½ cups suet
2 cups sugar
1 lb raisins
3 cups currants
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmegs
1 teaspoon soda
3 cups buttermilk
Flour to thicken quite stiff
Boil four hours.

Dr. B. Murray, 1895

Christmas Plum Pudding

1 cup beef suit, chopped
2 cups bread crumbs
½ cup citron
1 cup English walnuts
1 cup seeded raisins
1 cup currants
1 pint of flour
4 eggs, well beaten
1 heaping cup sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 level teaspoon soda, dissolved in a little warm water

Mix fruit with some of the flour. Put eggs, sugar and salt into the milk and spices, add fruit bread crumbs and suet, then add soda and the rest of the flour. Mix thoroughly. Steam four hours.

Mrs. T. P. Connor, 1895

We’ll want a sauce to go with our pudding.  Favorites include cream, hard sauce, brandy butter, and golden sauce. I’ll share Miss Ella’s recipe for the latter.

Golden Sauce

½ cup butter and 1 cup sugar beaten to a cream. Add 3 egg yolks beaten light, then add the bell beaten whites. Lemon extract to taste. Place in a double boiler, stir till it thickens. Serve hot.  Miss Ella Hummer, 1894-1909

 

Have you ever eaten or made Plum Pudding?

What Family recipe are you most looking forward to this Christmas?

 

© 2012 Mona Hodgson, Author and Speaker

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