It's Stir Up Sunday! Time to make the Christmas pudding, and NOT to go around winding up people for the hell of it, although judging by some of the blogs I've had a read of this morning there are a lot of antsy folk out there scrambling around on their personal soap boxes and giving it large, as they say in the teen vernacular. It is also St Edmund's Day. St Edmund was King of East Anglia back in the days before centuries progressed to 4 digits, i.e a VERY LONG time ago. He met his end, according to a chronicler of the time, looking like 'a thistle, or a hedgehog', having been shot full of arrows by some Viking invaders. Bloody Vikings, eh? Anyway, somewhere along the line, St Edmund's head became separated from his body, and was later found, still chatting away, between the paws of a grey wolf. The head was reunited with the body (I do not know how the wolf felt about having its luncheon removed - pretty miffed, probably) and the two miraculously stuck themselves together. Anyway, once Edmund had stopped wittering on, he was duly interred and the town that grew around his burial place became known, unimaginatively, as Bury St Edmunds.
In keeping with the pudding theme of the day, it became a tradition to give school children a specially baked St Edmund's Bun on 20th November, presumably to start fattening them up for Christmas, this being in the days when people couldn't afford to have a turkey for Christmas dinner (or goose, if you like to be more traditional. Or Stilton, squash and cranberry pie if you are, like me, a holier than thou vegetarian). It is also National Tree Week. And supposedly the best day of the year to plant your broad beans and garlic - 'Set garlic and beans on St Edmund the King, the moon in the wane thereof hangeth a thing.' Nope, me neither. Although the moon IS currently in the wane. Not sure what 'thing hangeth' though. A bun in a tree?
So, I am up with the lark, gathering my ingredients for the pudding stir up...
I use the recipe from my maternal great-grandmother - vegetable suet, though, and a couple of our home grown eating apples in lieu of the Bramley apple. Eggs supplied by Nellie. I also chuck in a little more mixed spice than suggested because I love nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. And I use my paternal grandmother's wooden spoon and pudding bowl.
I also have a bit of a taste before adding the brandy, because brandy tastes yuck but I appreciate it is needed for its preservatory properties.
And then I discovered an 'issue.' Normally, I would put the mix in the biggest of Gran's pudding bowls. However, at some point between last Stir Up Sunday and this, I have purchased a new steamer. And although the new steamer has 3 levels, none of them are quite tall enough to accommodate the biggest pudding bowl. I blame metrication. Gran's pudding bowls are imperial. The steamer is metric. And ne'er the twain shall fit together properly. So this is what I did...(it wasn't rocket science, to be honest)...
Stand back Big Pudding, step forward Medium Pudding and Baby Pudding! And then another reason to be glad of our move to Damson Cottage became apparent. Assorted outbuildings means that instead of filling the house with 5 hours' worth of steam, I can install the steamer in the garage where it is filling that with steam instead. Actually, I have propped the door open, and it does mean I have to pop in and out every three quarters of an hour or so to top up the water and check for potential pudding explosion issues. But so far, so good!
Mission Stir Up Sunday accomplished! Hope you aren't being buffeted too much by the wind. It's not too bad here, although Andy did decide that this morning would be an excellent time to climb a ladder and pick the remaining apples with a shrimping net. Sigh...🙄
Rantings, ravings, observations and musings, useful stuff, silly stuff, funny, sad and thoughtful guff!