Monday, December 01, 2008

Stir-Up Sunday

If you'd asked me a few months ago "Is there a traditional day for making Christmas Pudding?" I'd have said "I expect so, there's traditional days for everything else[1]." If pushed I'd have said "Mid-October maybe?"

Turns out it's the last Sunday before advent, or, as it happens, last Sunday. And everyone knows this (even my parents, who make Christmas Puddings in mid-October to give them more time to mature, and also from when it used to be half-term and Dad could get us to help to stop us running wild for a couple of hours[6]).

Everyone else also tells me it's called Stir-Up Sunday, because you make sure that everyone gets to stir-up the pudding and make a wish. Actually it's the other way round. The Collect for the day, in The Book of Common Prayer says:

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.

It's because the words stir-up and fruit appear in the service that people began to stir-up their puddings on that Sunday.

Am I the only one entertained by this?

Those of you who stirred up on Sunday, how was it?


[1] Everything else includes such things as planting parsley[2], slaughtering animals[3], make your one bet of the year[4] and find it difficult to get a drink in Ireland[5]
[2] Good Friday
[3] Midwinter
[4] Usually the 2nd Saturday in April
[5] Good Friday
[6] Our Ancient and Traditional Christmas Pudding Recipe came from the Bon Viveur column in the Daily Telegraph in the late 60s. After researching this information I now know this means it's a Fanny Craddock Recipe. Excellent! Why don't modern TV Cooks dress like that?

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