Lavenham: Charity worker has right ingredients for Christmas fundraiser

Carol Keohane in her Lavenham kitchen making Christmas puddings

Carol Keohane in her Lavenham kitchen making Christmas puddings - Credit: Archant

For charity volunteer Carol Keohane, the old ways are the best.


- Credit: Archant

Her grandmother’s traditional Christmas pudding recipe which dates back to the 1920s has been tried and tested by family members for almost a century.

And now Minnie Elliott’s mouth-watering seasonal dessert is set to be made by up to 60 amateur cooks at a festive fund-raising workshop.

Money generated by the event will go to the children’s charity NSPCC, of which Mrs Keohane from Lavenham, is a divisional vice president.

She told the EADT: “Minnie was a wonderful grandmother and a brilliant cook, who worked in the kitchen of a large London house between the First and Second World Wars.

“Later as an army wife, she moved around the country with her husband and five children, and she spent most of the Second World War in Portsmouth refusing to let her children be evacuated because she knew the value of keeping them with her.

“Her cooking skills are legendary among family and friends and she taught me to make Christmas puddings. I still have one of her cookery books which I treasure.

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“I believe she would have been delighted to know that her recipes live on, and she certainly would have been proud to raise funds for the NSPCC and assist them with their campaign to end cruelty to children.”

Mrs Keohane has been busily stocking her High Street home with bulk portions of traditional ingredients including sultanas, raisins and a dash of brandy alongside a few secret extras in preparation for the workshop on October 23.

She continued: “I always use the same recipe – it’s the cherries, ground walnuts and very little flour that make it so rich and dark.

“People attending the class work six to a table and they can make one big pudding or two small ones. When they have finished, the puddings are covered in muslin and taken home to cook the next day before being stored away in time for Christmas.”

Mrs Keohane said she hoped to raise more than £1,000 for the NSPCC and highlight the charity’s current campaign.

She added: “These days, children are facing so many new dangers via the internet and from things like ‘sexting’. This are issues the NPSCC are tackling at the moment via our ‘PANTS’ campaign.

“It has been developed as an easy way to teach children that their body belongs to them and to encourage them to talk to a trusted adult if they ever feel scared or upset.

“The message is ‘Privates are private, Always remember your body belongs to you, No means no and Talk about secrets that upset you’.”

Minnie Elliott’s Christmas Pudding Workshop is at Lavenham Village Hall and tickets are £26 including all ingredients and a glass of wine. Call Carol on 01787 247402 for details. Visit for information about the charity.