Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What in the World is Bullet Pudding?

by Shirley Raye Redmond

If you are fond of Regency novels, as I am, then you know that the English who lived during this time period certainly enjoyed their amusements. Dancing and card playing were common past times. Party games like Blind Man’s Bluff were played even by grown ups and Shuttlecock—similar to our game of badminton—was a popular summer game. But have you ever heard of Bullet Pudding? No, you don’t eat it. It’s a game too, and it reminds me a bit of bobbing for apples—only messier.

I first learned about Bullet Pudding while researching historical tidbits for my historical novel, PRUDENCE PURSUED. In her book, Jane Austen’s Town and Country Style, author Susan Watkins quotes a letter written by Fanny Austen Knight (Jane Austen’s niece), describing the Christmas Day amusements her family had enjoyed. These included Snap Dragon, Bullet Pudding, and various card games.

Fanny describes Bullet Pudding like this: “You must have a large pewter dish filled with flour which you must pile up into a sort of pudding with a peak at the top, you must then lay a Bullet at top & everybody cuts a slice of it & and the person that is cutting it when the Bullet falls must poke about with their nose and chin until they find it & then take it out with their mouth which makes them strange figures all covered with flour but the worst is that you must not laugh for fear of getting flour up your nose & mouth & choking you. You must not use your hands to take the Bullet out.”

Sounds hilarious—and messy! Can you imagine a scene with someone like the proper Mr. Darcy playing such a messy, rowdy game? I confess, I am tempted to serve up a dish of Bullet Pudding to my family this Christmas—or maybe for the 4th of July, when we can play outside on the picnic table, which will make for easier clean-up. What do you think?


Shirley Raye Redmond

P.S. Remember to leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for Sins of the Mothers by Stitches author Caryl McAdoo! Check the Weekly Windup on June 1 to see if you're the winner.


  1. I have never heard of Bullet Pudding before. It's a wonder they had the flour to waste.

  2. Oh, my goodness! What a game. 4th of July has my vote, Shirley! Lol

  3. Hmm, not sure if I have an extra bullet around :) Fun post, Shirley!

  4. Would you believe......I played a form of this game when I was a young girl in Girl Scouts. Our game didn't have a name and we used a coin instead if a bullet but we gently laid the coin in the peak of flour and began taking our turns to slice. I had a mouth and face full of flour on more than one occasion!!!

  5. Not a very enjoyable game. I can see the flour on a person's face looking funny. Is this where the saying "biting the bullet" comes from? :)

  6. Sounds messy. I'd go for the picnic table and hope it wasn't a windy day!