Updated: Nov 17, 2021
Yes, this Sunday is the traditional day for making your Christmas Pudding. That glorious, dark, heavy stodge, wrapped up and kept in the dark to mellow and ready itself for the big day. It's the kick off to the Christmas preparations. the start line for the marathon of the festive season.
It's a sensible time for all sorts of reasons - it's the start of the citrus fruit season, and it's about the right time for any alcohol to mellow and its before all the parties start!
It's marked in the Christian calendar as the last Sunday before advent. But like many of us, my only real connection to Advent these days involves fingering small chocolates out of awkward plastic packaging. I never even made one of those tinsell-y coathanger-y things from Blue Peter. And I actively avoid the commercial seductions of Black Friday.
But this is an altogether different matter. A tradition that I like to think, makes us feel so good that it's woven through time, cultures and beliefs to arrive with us, in some form or another. Starting, I hope, from some distant pagan midwinter preparation.
However it first came about, for us here, it's the start line for the Christmas preparations. The first thing we ready for the midwinter celebrations, and whilst my grandmother would insist on silver sixpennies thrown in the mix, in the last few years we have, inspired by Heston, included a hidden orange instead. Safer on the teeth.
Using an orange keeps the cake super moist, super zesty and feels like there is less stodge on the plate! Of course some families have a traditional recipe, but if you fancy a change this year, or you are looking to try making your own for the first time, this is a great, easy recipe with step by step instructions on preparation and cooking.
Yes, you might need to purchase a pudding bowl. And yes, it might take a couple of attempts to get the foil right. But I promise it's worth it. You will want to do it every year.