Virginia Barton

10 November 2017: Take a large mixing bowl…

10 November 2017


Is everyone ready for Stir Up Sunday? It falls on November 26th this year, the last Sunday before Advent. If you know where the name comes from, picture me doffing my hat to you. If like me you don’t know, it’s a line from the psalm that is recited on that particular Sunday in the Anglican church:

“Stir up we beseech thee oh Lord, the wills of thy faithful people”.

From “the wills” to the “puddings” is but a short step.


Tradition has it that this is the day on which to make your Christmas puddings. (They need at least four weeks to mature, apparently.) Pity the poor cooks who forgot, and suddenly turn a whiter shade of pale when reciting the psalm at Matins, and realise they don’t have the ammo!

No less than a kilo of raisins! Lashings of brandy, a whole nutmeg, large chunks of candied peel etc. etc.

Did you ever see the Joyce Grenfell sketch where she thinks (in church of course) that she has left the oven on “high” and by now the house will have burned down? We’ve all done it.


Personally, Stir Up Sunday has passed me by. Probably because none of us much like Christmas Pudding – that’s the excuse I make when I can’t be bothered. In the Good Old Days a friend used to make one for us; a superb 2 pint bowl creation, liberally sprinkled with silver charms and lucky sixpences. I doubt even Fortnums can do as well.

I’m told one can buy very tasty Christmas Pudding ice-cream. It sounds a happy substitution.






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