Journel page
Old English Duff
James William Nichols
(Sometimes colloquially known as Spotted Dog)
Click here to see James Nichols Journel

The Journel of James Nichols 1874-5: An Account of his Voyage to Picton New Zealand on the Ship Carnatic & some of his New Experiences in the Colony.
Edited by Joyce Neill (his granddaughter) 1975

James William Nichols was born in Castlethorpe, near Wolverton in Buckinghamshire, on Dec. 6th.1851 and was Christened in Castlethorpe Church on Jan. 25th. 1852. His mother was Ann Reason before she married Thomas Nichols on Oct. 31 1850 in Castlethorpe Church.

James Nichols, a bright and observant young man of twenty-two, set sail for New Zealand in 1874 on the full-rigged ship Carnatic. His Journel begins with a glimpse of the workingman's England of 19th. century that made him decide to seek opportunity on the other side of the world.

This young man who had never cooked before
learnt through necessity. Here is a recipe for a duff,
which will give some idea of what he was trying to do.

Plum Duff
1 cup currants
1½ cups of flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1½ tablespoons suet or dripping
1 cup boiling water

Rub the suet into the flour and sugar, dissolve the soda in the water
and pour into the flour, add fruit and mix well. Wring a cloth out of cold water, sprinkle one side with flour and pour the dough on to
this. Tie up into a Dick Whittington bundle, leaving room for it to double its size. Drop into a pot of boiling water and boil evenly, in
plenty of water, for about two and a half or three hours.