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Donna Flood
Sylvia Flood, Aunty Pud

Sylvia, "Aunty Pud" was an administrator over a hospital for the elderly mentally disabled. She was a psychiatric nurse. In 1960 we stayed in her home for a short time there on the old converted military base. This was only until we were settled in our own home.

The house where she lived had been built for the ranking officer who was over the base and it was beautifully arranged. There were wide over hanging eves making it possible to leave windows open even if it was raining. Though it did have a military severeness to it as far as not being ornately decorated the house was still very adequate for easy living. The screened in back porch off the master bedroom was a pleasant room. We were able to enjoy this. If the rooms were not overly decorated they made up for this in size. There was plenty of room and there was no skimping along these lines. The great room with the fireplace was probably to enable entertaining by the officer and his wife at one time.

Aunty Pud gave me the privilege of using her library while we were there, and this is where I was able to do research with the many books written by doctors on the patterns and problems of disabled children. With the knowledge gleaned I was able to deal with my child's birth injury and resulting Cerebral Palsy. There were other conditions discussed also of children who were in various situations as to their injuries with whom we came into association later. The study made it easier to understand and deal with their problems also.

Aunty Pud was a highly intelligent woman. Somehow, whatever forces to govern us were kind to me and brought me under her direction for just long enough for me to benefit and to be able to cope. The books I poured over gave me an understanding and respect for the learned doctors who recorded the many different children's problems and with that child's particular involvement. It was there I was given the revelation that doctors like all people come in many different hats. If I did not have this knowledge, it would have been an even greater handicap we were up against. As it was, I memorized the doctor's names, although I can't remember them now, and what they wrote. Later I was able to draw from their knowledge, calling it up when I needed it.

We have Aunty's picture on her birthday with her brother's and sisters honoring a loved sister, one who cared for them after their own mother passed away. She was fun loving in taking the role of "the queen." In this picture.

Aunty Pud was a wonderful cook and this was how she relaxed. I remember her being able to use herbs and spices with skill. She had a recipe that had been passed down from the English side of the family. It was called "English Pudding" and was traditionally served at Christmas time. Here is the recipe:

Gramma's English Pudding


Finely grated rind of one lemon
cup chopped mixed citron
pound each raisens, dried currents, and yellow raisens
pound beef suet or unsalted butter
pound fresh bread crumbs
pound firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2/3 cup brandy, dark rum, or medium dry sherry
cup milk


1. Butter well a 2-quart steamed pudding mold or heat-proof bowl.

2. In a bowl, combinethe lemon rind, chopped citron, raisens, currants, yellow raisens, suet, bread crumbs, brown sugar, flour allspice, and salt. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, cup of the brandy, rum, or sherry, and the milk. Stir the egg mixture with the fruit mixture until well combined. Transfer to the mold, press the mixture down, cover with wax paper and foil, and secure with string.

3. Transfer the mold to a large pan fitted with a rack. Pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the mold and bring water to a boil, covered, on side of the mold and bring water to a boil, covered, on the stove. Lower heat to a low simmer and cook for 5 hours, adding more boiling water as necessary.

4. Transfer the mold to a rack to cook. Recover with wax paper and foil and secure with string. Store for at least six weeks in a cool, dark place.

To reheat, follow step 3, but allow the pudding to simmer for only 2 hours. Transfer to a rack, remove covering, run a thin knife around the inside of the mold and invert the pudding onto a warm serving plate. Warm the remaining brandy, rum, or sherry in a pan or ladle and ignite it. While it is still flaming, pour it over the Christmas pudding and serve with Brandy Butter.

Note: You can use beef or vegetarian suet. If you're concerned about the calorie count or want to make a lighter pudding, use half the quality of suet.

Some people who do not care for the alcohol taste make a lemon sauce to pour over instead without the flaming of the dessert.

Auntie Pud had no children and without the saving of this recipe the tradition in this branch of the Flood family would be lost.

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