Anyone heard ‘the word’ yet? On TV? On the radio? Always ahead of the game where Christmas is concerned, Quattro kitchens have been buzzing with the C word for weeks. As far as we’re concerned, the day we hit November, bringing a bit of Christmas cheer to the office is far from a crime. In fact, this year we should have started celebrating around March, if you ask us.
Sadly, the global pandemic is still in full swing but luckily for us, time stops for no virus. Christmas is still coming and November 22nd is a good enough excuse for us to start preparing. What’s special about that date? It’s Stir Up Sunday – traditionally the day you start making your Christmas pudding. As we’re all planning for much smaller Covid-adapted Yuletide celebrations than usual, we encourage you not to scrimp on the most important part of the meal. For 6, 60 or 600 guests, Christmas lunch simply isn’t Christmas lunch without the star of the show. Place your puddings table-centre and let the celebrations begin!
There may be a gale howling outside but there’s nothing like the aromas and frenetic activity of a cosy kitchen to warm the soul. Pull on your pinny and come together with friends and family (as long as they’re in your bubble) and get cooking. Wishes are said to come true on this day, so they say. We know what we’re wishing for. Banish this blasted virus and let 2021 be a happier and healthier year for all the world! (Please….)
The tradition of Stir up Sunday dates back to the Victorian era when families would get together in the kitchen on the last Sunday before the season of Advent. Tradition dictates that you pump up the volume with your favourite Christmas playlist and get stirring. Whether you’re making a classic Christmas pudding with some mince pies on the side, or a Bake-Off inspired spicy variation of the dried fruit-based dish; whether you’re wrapping your mix in cloth and boiling it or dusting off the Kenwood mixer and a non-stick mould, your cake should be a lightly spiced, fruity sponge, soaked in brandy and orange liqueur, steamed in a pan or oven overnight and served with velvety vanilla custard or double cream on the big day.
Christmas pudding generally contains 13 ingredients to represent Jesus and his disciples and is traditionally stirred (while making a wish) by each member of the family to remember the wise men. Adding coins or charms to the cake is said to bring luck to the one who finds it on his plate on Christmas Day.
Bring on Stir Up Sunday. We need every excuse to come together wherever possible and to celebrate life’s happy moments. Steeped in tradition, this special day is even more significant this year when the usual celebrations are limited.
So get shopping and stock up on dried fruit, flour, sugar and plenty of butter. And what you do with the leftover brandy is entirely your business. Cheers!