For the uninitiated, Stir Up Sunday is the day on which you’re meant to make your Christmas puddings. These are made in advance and then stored and allowed to mature until you eat them at Christmas.
Traditionally it’s the last Sunday before advent begins which this year would be next Sunday – the 22nd November. We loved making Christmas puddings when we little. We helped Mum shop for the ingredients and then weighed and measured everything carefully. The best bit was the mixing and stirring and the all important wish! Everyone queued up and took their turn the mix the pudding, asking a wish as they stirred. I never did get the Jason Donovan board game I wished for in 1988, but I’m not bitter. I plan to make puddings when I have wee ones and was quite sad to read a survey recently that said over two thirds of people had never partaken in this ritual.
Another tradition, one that we didn’t follow, was the addition of a silver sixpence to the mix. Legend has it that whoever got the portion with the coin would have good luck all year.. I think we skipped this one for fear that Granddad’s false teeth weren’t up to that surprise! If it’s a tradition you fancy upholding you might be interested in this: www.royalmint.com/features/stir-up-sunday/claim-your-sixpence
The Royal Mint are offering a free reproduction sixpence to anyone who has an Instagram or Twitter account. They also have a Christmas Pudding recipe on their website – all you need for a traditional festive dessert! Just fill in the online form and when your sixpence arrives, add a photo of your pudding to your Instagram or Twitter feed. Be quick! You have until midnight on the 18th! It’s recommended you don’t bake it into your pudding, but pop it into a serving and warn your guests! I wasn’t going to make puddings this year, but I think might be persuaded if I have a lovely shiny sixpence. Just need to make sure everyone is looking for their sixpence – rather feel it might take the edge off Christmas Day if we end it with a trip to A&E…
I’m sitting in the kitchen typing this, bathing in the delicious aromas from my oven. My Christmas cake is in there – the first one I’ve made as a grown up! I used a Mary Berry recipe ( www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/celebration_cake_61952 ) – who else? The Goddess Berry suggested soaking the fruit in Brandy overnight before I made the cake. Turns out buying the cheapest bottle of Brandy in Sainsburys made me feel a little bit like a lush – I do hope the parents in my class didn’t spot me stumbling out of Sainsburys on a Friday night with a bottle of ‘Basics’ brandy. Not a good look!
Anyway it it smells fab and I can’t wait to spend the next few weeks feeding it brandy and tending to it carefully. I just need to decide how to decorate it now!
It is with visions of plastic reindeer dancing through my head I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it…