Stir Up Sunday – A New Tradition for My Girls

I’m not a big fan of Christmas Pudding.  But I am a big fan of traditions.  Whether it’s keeping them going or starting a new like we did with advent last year, I think it’s important to remember the past as we step into the new.

So this year we visited Grandma Sue to make our Christmas Pudding.

The pudding originates in England and was also called Plum Pudding according to this old book.  This is because of the prunes that were key ingredients.  It’s made five weeks before Christmas to let all the flavours mellow and ripen.

Stir Up Sunday, xmas pudding, christmas pudding

Grandma’s old cookery book

Preparing our bowls 

Strong, steam proof bowls are essential and Grandma suggested a bit of greaseproof paper to line the base.

Stir Up Sunday 2012

Lining the base

Stir Up Sunday 2012

Buttering the sides

Measuring all the ingredients

My girls love measuring and have inherited by accuracy on the scales so this took rather a long time because they wanted it exactly right.   traditional the pudding has thirteen ingredients to represent Jesus Christ and his disciples

Stir Up Sunday 2012

Measure everything out under a watchful eye

Stir Up Sunday 2012

The girls replaced prunes with glacé cherries

A welcome distraction

There was a lot of ingredients to measure – sultanas, raisins, currants, sugar, butter, flour….they got a bit side tracked making flies with Granddad for next year’s fishing trip!

Stir Up Sunday 2012

Concentrating on the pretty fly

On to the very important stirring

Families would come home from church on Stir Up Sunday and stir the pudding from East to West in honour of the three wise men who travelled to meet Baby Jesus.  As they stirred, they prayed:

“Stir Up, we beseech thee. Oh Lord the wills of thy people.  That they plenteously bring forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be pleanteously rewarded, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

Stir Up Sunday 2012

Amber makes a wish

I’m pretty sure Amber was singing her own mixing song.  Maybe one day she’ll share it with us all.

Stir Up Sunday 2012

She rather enjoyed the mixing

Stir Up Sunday 2012

Amy makes a wish

Placement of the silver coin for wealth

Many households used to stir silver coins into the mixture for wealth or even an array of other objects with different meanings.  Tiny wishbones for good luck, a silver thimble for thrift, a ring for marriage, or an anchor for safe harbor.  When the pudding is served at Christmas, whoever got the lucky serving, would be able to keep the charm.  I think my girls were hinting at the idea of getting pocket money!

Stir Up Sunday 2012

A silver coin (wrapped in foil) to wish for wealth

And that was that.  We steamed the pudding for a couple of hours and now it’s sitting in a secret dark and cool place until Christmas Day.  We’ll steam it again to warm it through and add a little sprig of holly before digging it.

This is the simplest cooking the children have ever done and even I amlooking forward to trying this pudding.  There’s something special about making your own.

Do you make your own Christmas Pudding? What are your family traditions on Stir Up Sunday? 

21 responses to “Stir Up Sunday – A New Tradition for My Girls

  1. Beautiful to read.

    I’m going to do this too with my children when they are born and start to grow up in the future.


  2. Lovely little tradition to keep going. I think next year they should make mini ones and then pop a charm into each. xxx


  3. ! started making my own puds with my child when she was very young and she loved it…. still do it now even tho she is 24 and left home… just because i like tradition and they taste so very delicious, and i can ensure that veggy suet is used!


  4. Lovely to hear that you and your girls are starting a new tradition, hopefully one they will pass on themselves.They look to be concentrating very hard, listening to their Gran and Mum. I trust they didn’t decorate the cake with fishing flies! For our Christmas, Grandma does the pudding (and splendid it is too, although I am not a huge lover of dried fruit) and I do the cake (marzipan but no icing), a tweak on a St Delia recipe


    • I’m thinking about doing a Xmas cake this year but I don’t know if I can deal with two fruit cakey things! Perhaps we’ll make a choc and cranberry cake and start another new tradition!


  5. Lovely post Urvashi! It’s so lovely to have traditions, so lovely for your children to have these memories when they grow up! I remember a Christmas pudding been made in my Aunts house and everyone in the house has to have a stir for luck.


  6. LOVELY LOVELY photos Urvashi and both of your girls have such an intent expression on their faces, but, it’s wonderful to see them so engrossed in the “tradition”……I involved my daughter in cooking as soon as she was old enough to hold a wooden spoon, and it is a life skill that has served her well since she left home and university! Happy Christmas Pudding Day! Karen


    • Thanks Karen. I agree with your philosophy. I hated it that my friends went off to Greece but I had to stay home and learn to cook with my mum (teenage angst!) after my exams but very grateful now


  7. Love the look of concentration on your girls faces. It’s so lovely getting them involved in these traditions isn’t it. Made Christmas cake with my daughter this weekend but pudding next weekend as couldn’t find the pudding basin! I make Nigella’s pud with Pedro Ximenez – it’s an excuse to have this lovely sherry in the house, makes a great, easy pud with a little poured over vanilla ice-cream.


  8. I really enjoyed this post Urvashi. It’s great to be imparting / continuing these traditions to the next generation. I also learnt a few things, such as 13 ingredients which I never knew. I’ve never made my own, but have had many a stir. My mother always makes one for me. She inherited her recipe from my grandmother who used to give all of her children a pudding for Christmas. When my mother was working in Italy (many many years ago) and received her Christmas pudding, the husband of the house was so enamoured he asked my mother if she’d make one for him every day. She had to explain to him that it was a special occasion pudding only and he was somewhat disappointed.


  9. Such a sweet posts, I love the family pics and your account of the day stirring. I’m sure it will taste wonderful. I’m not sure I knew it had thirteen ingredients to represent JC and his disciples, see, there’s symbolism in everything!


  10. Jessica Chalmers

    My Mum Rocks – yes – this is my Mum in the pictures and yes she taught me the Christmas Pudding ritual that Urvashis kids are partaking in – I am so proud of my Mum for doing this and for Urvashi for passing on a small ritual:)


  11. These pics are so precious. I love the one with Grandad. Making mine tomorrow – no one but me likes dried fruit but everyone likes stirring and making a wish.


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