Having recently exhibited our puddings at; International Food Exhibition London and Fine Food Australia, the Food Industry “buzz” words were Food Miles and Carbon Foot-Prints! In Australia we talk about “paddock to plate” (We like to think “paddock to pudding”), but the meaning is the same, no matter where in the world you are, our customers want to know what we at Pudding Lane are proactively doing to take responsibility for our impact on our natural Environment.
We always tell people that we are accidental-environmental enthusiasts – that’s the truth ! But it does all come back to our unique handmade method and a strict provenance of our ingredients. The traditional method that we use to make the puddings with is really unchanged for more than 100 years and we like it that way!
As many of you know we have based our reputation for quality on the “boiled-in-the-cloth” method. That is, we select the finest fruit (100% Australian vine fruits) & ingredients, mostly local, combine these ingredients by hand, including fresh bread (from a local bakery that we hand-crumb) add the “wet-mix” of butter, fresh local Free Range eggs (hand cracked) (Yes – our egg shells are collected for organic waste recycling), matured Brandy and then hand-stir the mixture. This pudding mixture is then hand-weighed into lined cotton cloths. The cloths are actually “squares” of natural calico and are reused over and over to make many hundreds of puddings. If the calico square develops a small hole, then we cut it down in size to make another (smaller) size of pudding cloth and so the process continues. The puddings are hand-tied with twine, then cooked (boiled) in (gas fired – less carbon footprint than electricity and in January 2009 we installed the latest gas efficient technology) “Coppers” before being hung, again by hand, individually on a line to air dry, age and
mature naturally in advance for Christmas.
When the puddings have been hung and dried we then take them off the line, hand cut them out of the boiling cloth, dress them in plain cotton fabric to sell (with pudding labels attached made from Australian post consumer waste recycled material, printed with Vegetable based inks). Even the short piece of twine that we tie around the pudding cloth for cooking is now carefully sorted and allocated for recycling collection. The puddings are carefully packaged in cartons made locally from 100% recycled (Australian waste) material and dispatched. We also recycle (or re-use) 100% of all cardboard, paper, plastic & packaging (flour & sugar bags, fruit boxes & egg cartons) created in making our puddings.
With our traditional method of making puddings, we do not use any automated processes, No production lines, No electric steam ovens, our water is solar heated, grey water is captured for staff facilities and gardens and our kitchen lighting is the latest energy efficient technology. We do not use plastic basins, plastic bowls or moulds to shape the puddings, each and every pudding is different, only the supreme moist taste is the same and each and every pudding is unique! Many people who know our method and also who visit our pudding kitchen are amazed at the level of detail, at the hand-made method, the hard work, how we can create such little waste. From July 2011, we have been able to further reduce our waste by 97% per annum, resulting in us recycling or reusing 99.6% of all our waste per year. Think of it like this, it equates to an average suburban household putting out for collection only 2 standard bins per Year ! !
Today, we are less accidental in our commitment to the environment. We maintain a practical commitment to local community involvement in our business and we continue to ensure that our ingredients are; fresh and local, that our hand made method is maintained by strict HACCP certification controls and that we just make
traditional Christmas puddings in the old-fashioned (& environmentally responsible) way.
We just hand-make puddings, so please enjoy ! !
Kim & Chris