Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Stirring Sunday

I love this little church at Ilam. There it stands, with its slightly 'higgledy-piggledy' quirkiness, the flat topped Thorpe Cloud in the background. One of my favourite views I think. We walked here this morning by the river, had coffee at the National Trust cafe and chatted, down in the village, to a local lady about the church, the school, the traffic and the weather before setting off back home via Leek and Cheddleton.

n the Church year the last Sunday before Advent is traditionally called ‘stir-up’ Sunday and it is also the day for making Christmas puddings. The term 'stir-up' is taken from the first line of a prayer said on this particular Sunday which begins “Stir up, we beseech thee, oh Lord.” I’d heard of stir-up Sunday but hadn’t realised where the name actually came from and had assumed it was used to mean stirring the puddings and making wishes.

When I was a child my mother made her Christmas pudding on November 5th
– Bonfire Night – or within a day or two after. I expect that in today's world many people, like me for the last few years, buy their Christmas puddings and there are so many tasty ones to choose from. This year though, I decided to make a pudding mainly because I found a great recipe in last Saturday’s Guardian Magazine for a 'Plum' Plum Pudding.

This pudding is rich in prunes and fresh plums as well as the usual currants, raisins and spices. Once I’d weighed out the ingredients and chopped the prunes and plums it was so easy to mix together and steamed away happily for three hours. It is now stored away in a cool place and will be steamed for three more hours on Christmas Day.


  1. Hi Rosie I see you like Fruit - I have roamn blinds at my kitchen window and door so I shall be leaving them behind but I think I might get an oilcloth when I buy a new table. If we are here for xmas we wont have a proper table becuase we have sold it to our neighbours!! Thinking that we would be sat in our lovely kitchen in the next house Alas that isnt to be so. I have deliberately packed almost all of my pots now so I cant have a proper Xmas dinner - I did it in a fit of pique this afternoon I am sooooo fed up. We went to the local garden centre at 3pm to cheer me up but it didnt work. I saw lots of lovely things but my heart isnt in it now. Sorry to be so down I know I should be glad we have buyers but this is going to take forever.

  2. Sorry about all the typo's in the last blog!

  3. Hello Catherine - sorry you feel so down - I think selling (and buying) houses is the worst thing for making you feel low. I know what you mean about buying new things - we keep saying that we'll replace things when we move and then saying 'whenever that is' :)

  4. The pudding looks good, I don't make one these days as we now eat the remains of the four desserts I make for Christmas Eve which is now our main family get together. I use prunes in my cake recipe, they make it lovely and moist.