Stir-up Sunday

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
  1. put all dry ingredients and lemon into a large bowl and mix well
  2. beat in the eggs
  3. add brandy, or milk
  4. leave overnight, mix again and put into  well-buttered pudding basins, covered with pleated grease-proof paper, secure and steam for seven hours
  5. on Christmas Day steam for another 2 hours

I’m sure everyone has their own variation, but as a basic, this sounds pretty good!

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