Stir it up Sunday - A Christmas Tradition 21/11/10
13th November 2010
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Christmas Tradition sees Stir it up Sunday falling on November 21st this year. The day is named after the first lines of the prayer for the day in the common book of prayers.

"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; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

So what is the tradition?

There are many traditions associated with the Christmas Pudding and how it is made and served. However, this particular Sunday tradition dates back to when the family would come together a month before Christmas to make the Christmas Pudding. Thus allowed the Pudding plenty of time for the flavour to develop.

The mixture was put together and the family would attend church, on their return they would all take a turn to 'stir it up' always stiring from east to west, (the direction the three wise men travelled to visit the baby Jesus)

On the way home sometimes the children could be heard singing

 Stir up, we beseech thee, the pudding in the pot;
And when we get home we'll eat the lot.

Of course this was a version of the prayer from church that related to the mixing of the Pudding.


Why not have a go at making your own Christmas Pudding? I have included a recipe below.

Traditionally there were only 13 ingredients to represent the 13 disciples of Jesus.

Don't forget like a Christmas cake ou can 'feed' the Chrsitmas pudding with Brandy until it is time to eat it!

225g/8oz golden caster sugar
225g/8oz vegetarian suet
340g/12oz sultanas
340g/12oz raisins
225g/8oz currants
120g/4oz chopped candied peel
120g/4oz plain flour
120g/4oz fresh white breadcrumbs
60g/2oz flaked almonds
Zest of 1 lemon
5 eggs, beaten
1level tsp ground cinnamon
1level tsp mixed spice
1 level tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
150ml/5fl oz brandy or rum

  • Mix together all the dry ingredients.
  • Stir in the eggs and brandy and mix through well.
  • Turn the mix into 4x1pint or 2x2 pint lightly-greased pudding basins.
  • Put a circle of baking parchment and foil over the top of each basin and tie securely with string.
  • Make a string handle from one side of the basin to the other so it's easier to pick the basin out of the pan after cooking.
  • Put the basins in a large steamer of boiling water and cover with a lid.
  • Boil for 5-6 hours, topping the boiling water up from time to time if necessary.

If you don't have a steamer, put the basins in a large pan on inverted saucers on the base. Pour in boiling water to come a third of the way up the sides of the pudding bowls. Cover and steam as before.

  • Cool.
  • Change the baking parchment and foil covers for fresh ones and tie up as before. Store in a cool cupboard until Christmas Day.

To serve the pudding on Christmas Day, steam for 2 hours and serve with brandy butter, rum sauce, cream or home-made custard.


One final thing make sure you serve the Pudding from east to west around your Chrsitmas dinner table! Those wise men again!

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