Today is Stir Up Sunday, the day traditionally when Christmas puddings were made, giving them time to mature ready for the big day.
In our house today it was “stirred-up Sunday”. You know those kinds of days when everyone is out of sorts and irritable? That was us today. It came to a head when oldest child, who fancies his chances at becoming some kind of You Tube movie mogul, flounced into the kitchen, as youngest child and I were battling with the pudding, and shouted “you said you would clean and tidy the kitchen so I can film in here and you haven’t done anything”
To put this in context, I have had one of those weeks where I have spent most of my time trailing around the house tidying and cleaning, only to retrace my steps each time and find something akin to a Tasmanian Devil has been following me and undoing everything I’ve done.
You know that Katie Perry song “Roar”?
That was me that was.
It is a wonder oldest child’s face didn’t melt in the blast.
So we were in a good place to do the happy family “stirring and making a wish” bit that is supposed to go hand in hand with making a Christmas Pudding.
Which is why we didn’t actually start steaming it until 2pm when we’d all calmed down a bit.
Which is why the darned thing is still steaming now, 7 hours later.
And it doesn’t look any different to when it was first put in
What is a Figgy Pudding supposed to look like anyway? I know what supermarket Christmas puddings look like but I’ve never seen a traditional Figgy pudding in the flesh before.
And having recently read Agatha Raisin and the Christmas Crumble I’m a bit scared to stop steaming it in case it poisons someone.
If any of you are curious to try making Figgy Pudding, like all recipes there are numerous variations out there.
The version I’ve gone for involves soaking 175g chopped dried figs, 225g chopped, dried and pitted dates and 90g raisins/currants in 100ml of brandy (though I used Grand Marnier) overnight, then adding 50g self raising flour, 100g suet, 175g breadcrumbs, 2 eggs, 1tsp nutmeg, juice and zest of 1 orange, 1/2 tsp ginger, 2tsp mixed spice and 1 eating apple, grated.
Add charms, or sixpences if you like (though don’t forget to warn potential guinea pigs of possible choking/dental hazards). Pour into a greased pudding basin and wrap pudding and basin in a double layer of grease proof paper, then a single layer of tin foil. Tie it into submission with a piece of string.
Find a large pan with a tightly fitting lid, put a small saucer upside down in the bottom, put your pudding basin on top of the saucer and pour boiling water into the pan so it comes halfway up the outside of the basin. Put the lid on.
Of course, the slow cooker I was planning on using as it was just the right size for the pudding basin, became just that bit too small once the basin was encased in its winter coats. None of my pans or casserole dishes were big enough for the job. So I am now steaming the pudding in a wok.
Hey, it’s fusion Ok?
Times for steaming vary. Some books suggest 4 hours, others say 6. As I said, we’re over the 7 hour mark and it looks as blithely uncooked as it did at 2pm.
So perhaps you’d be better of not following the recipe after all. Look on it more as one of those experiments you read about in science textbooks.
Or possibly one of those experiments you see in a Science Fiction B movie.