In my foodie month I’ve arrived at a day very special to me, my mum’s birthday. She died a long time ago but she is still very close to me… so today is her birthday, and it’s also stir-up Sunday – as a great cook she would have been there busily stirring up the mixture for the Christmas puddings!
Here’s something I wrote about this traditional day for making the traditional pud:
Traditionally Christmas puddings should be made on ‘stir-up Sunday’, which originates from the opening words of the collect for the day in the Book of Common Prayer and is for the last Sunday before Advent – well, that is actually this coming Sunday, 20th, but as it is also my son’s birthday I think we will be busy celebrating that. The actual verse is ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded’… rewarded with Christmas pudding I guess!
Here is a 1930’s recipe from the National Mark and its little book the Calendar of Cooking:
- ½lb flour
- 5 eggs
- ½ lb beef suet (use vegetable suet if you don’t like beef, or just butter!)
- ¼ lb breadcrumbs
- 1½ lb raisins
- ½ lb currants
- ¾ lb sultanas
- 2 oz almonds, roughly chopped
- ¼ lb mixed peel
- ½ dark brown sugar
- ½ tsp nutmeg (I would use much more!)
- ½ tsp mixed spice ( I would use at least four times that)
- rind and juice of one lemon
- brandy or milk
- put all dry ingredients and lemon into a large bowl and mix well
- beat in the eggs
- add brandy, or milk
- leave overnight, mix again and put into well-buttered pudding basins, covered with pleated grease-proof paper, secure and steam for seven hours
- on Christmas Day steam for another 2 hours
I’m sure everyone has their own variation, but as a basic, this sounds pretty good!