Anyway, Stir Up Sunday. I did some research into this earlier in the year when it looked as though I might be running a workshop for children today. Plans changed and it didn't happen, but I found my notes this morning by chance. There are many traditions associated with Christmas puddings.
The stirring itself should always be done East to West, to honour the journey made by the Magi, and each member of the family should have a turn at stirring, making a wish as they do. It also seems to be traditional for the pudding to contain 13 ingredients, symbolising Jesus and the 12 Apostles. Mine contain 11...sorry about that. And apparently Christmas puddings began life as a Christmas porridge called Frumenty, made with currants, prunes, spices and wine...and beef and mutton. It was eaten as a fasting meal in preparation for the seasonal festivities. How times have changed!
I'd also like to say how much I rate Christmas pudding charms - I was brought up with them, and we still put them in each year, along with silver coins like sixpences and threepenny bits. The charms each symbolise something for the coming year - wishbones for luck, a bell for a wedding, a button for enduring bachelorhood, a thimble for a spinster etc. They're especially great for children (even if the symbolism itself is aimed at grown ups!) and definitely encouraged me to get involved with eating Christmas pudding. If you have a set you want to use, wrap them in a small amount of grease proof paper before using a skewer to poke them into the pudding, and for Pete's sake DO NOT MICROWAVE THE PUDDING WITH METAL CHARMS INSIDE IT!!
In other news I have been working on party food and canapés this week. Tiny versions of what I do already, but some new stuff too. I am ridiculously over-excited about a new canapé brownie I will be revealing in the coming week. I am rubbish at keeping secrets, but have somehow managed not to blurt it out on Social Media yet. Anyway hopefully you'll all be very excited too. I'm just waiting for the vanilla vodka to arrive...
And finally, here's an exquisite flat-lay The Bee produced earlier, which represents the perfect tray of canapés.