Clipping Time Pudding
And talking of summer days, June once found us celebrating Clipping Time. This was the time when sheep farmers were busy clipping the winter fleeces off their flocks. This was a big communal event in sheep rearing areas when the Clippers would come together and visit each farm in turn. Even in my lifetime I can remember seeing the sheep clipped by hand. This was an exceedingly tiring job. So how they managed to celebrate the end of the clip with a barefoot race for a fleece mounted on a pole, defeats me.
It was the job of the farmers’ wives to feed the clippers, and sometimes their families, who sometimes travelled the country with them. Clipping time suppers sound like they were rather jolly events with lots of singing and dancing. The meal would be finished off with “Clipping Time Pudding”. A variation on rice pudding with the added ingredient of bone marrow or suet. This pudding was sometimes so large it had to be baked in a local baker’s oven. Sadly Clipping Time events seemed to disappear around the time of WW2 after which hand clipping gradually died out.
I didn't think any of you would thank me for a rice pudding recipe including bone marrow or suet. So this version sticks to butter. It really is worth waiting the three hours it takes to cook this version.