Stir-Up Sunday and my MW Christmas Pud recipe

As it happens, I was taking a service at our local church today. Today being the last Sunday before Advent, known as Christ the King but also known, for longer, as Stir-Up Sunday (after the collect for the day which begins ‘Stir-Up, O Lord’) It also became the traditional day to Stir-Up the Christmas Pudding or, for some, the cake.

Taking a service??  No, I’ve not become a vicar overnight – but I have been a Worship Leader for almost a year – well – eleven months – ish.

wp_20181125_005

Anyway – back to the story … my idea was to get the congregation to bring up the ingredients and stir each one in – and to (here’s the difference to hundreds of other stir-up sundays) COOK the pudding to be eaten at the end of the service.

Those of you who have followed my blog for a long time know that I end up sharing my recipes with you – some of these are really popular – especially the microwave jam. You already have the Christmas – very rich fruit cake adaptable to any size or shape tin – cake) here  so today, after the response from those who ate the Christmas Pudding after the service – I’m going to share my recipe for a Microwave Christmas Pudding.

This is so quick to cook I have been known to stir-it-up on Christmas morning – though I prefer to make it the day before and just heat it up on Christmas day – as it takes longer to weigh the ingredients than it does to cook it! It is a light and fruity pudding – which is how we like it.

This recipe is adapted from one I found in a microwave cooking magazine many, many years ago (probably about 3o years ago!) but I have changed it so much to suit our family tastes it isn’t the same recipe any more – so I will call it ‘mine’. Note: Step 1 needs to be done the day before.

Ann’s Microwave Christmas Pud

This amount makes a One pint (550ml) Christmas pud

Ingredients in order of addition:

48g         Plain Flour
1/2 tsp    Mixed Spice
1/4 tsp    Cinnamon
1/4 tsp    Ground Ginger
pinch of  Salt
48g          Real Breadcrumbs (I prefer to use wheat-meal bread to make my breadcrumbs)
48g          Soft Dark Brown Sugar
48g          Butter (cut small)
90g          Sultanas (soaked – see step 1)
90g          Raisins (soaked – see step 1)
1/2           Apple (chopped finely)
24g          Dried Apricots (chopped finely) if you like mixed peel you could add this instead – I don’t.
24g          Honey (or you can use golden syrup)
Juice and grated rind of half a Lemon
1               Egg
1 – 2         tablespoons Milk – as required.

Step 1     THE DAY BEFORE – Wash the Sultanas and Raisins under hot water until the oil floats off – drain well, even pat dry with paper-towels. Then put in large shallow bowl, pour in about a teacup of wine or ale – or fruit juice if you don’t want alcohol (juice not flavoured drink – preferably not orange – cranberry could work well for this) Cover – but stir whenever you are passing – so the fruit all plumps up 🙂
I am assuming you will make your breadcrumbs – it’s easy enough, just make sure the loaf is not too fresh, remove crusts, cut into chunks and whizz in a food-processor.

Step 2     In a bowl mix all the ingredients in the list down to the butter.
Step 3     Add the butter – and rub in, until the mixture all looks like breadcrumbs again and the butter is evenly distributed.
Step 4    Add the soaked fruit, the chopped apples and apricots, the honey and the lemon. Stir in well together.
Step 5    Add the egg, mix really well – stirring until the egg completely coats everything.
Step 6   The mixture needs to be soft, so that the ingredients blend together. This is so hard to describe – but the gradual addition of a little milk, well mixed in, should see the texture change from a rough, lumpy texture to a smoother texture – but not wet!

Grease a 1 pint / 550 ml pyrex type pudding bowl

Fill the bowl with the mixture, pushing down to fill any air pockets
Make a slight dip in the centre of the pudding
Cover with a plate or a microwave plate cover with a steam vent is best (I do not recommend cling film)

Place in Microwave. A 900-1000 w MW will only need 6 mins – and 6 mins standing time.
therefore a 700-800 w MW will need about 7 mins – and 6 mins standing time.
The standing time is important as the centre of the top will go from looking a little sticky to dry and cooked looking in this time.
They will keep well overnight in the fridge (or outside it in a cool room)
If you are reheating from cold it will need about 3 – 4 mins (cover again to do this)

Loosen with a pliable spatula, place a plate on the top, invert, and the pudding should come out nicely.
ENJOY – with Cornish Clotted Cream – of course!!

How do you like your Christmas pudding?

Do share – you know I love to hear from you

X  Ann

ps If you are reading this on email and would like to comment just click onto the title and it will take you to the actual blog – so you can comment there 🙂
If it is the first time you have written a comment don’t worry if it doesn’t appear immediately, your first comment has to be verified (to keep the spam-bots out) and I do this personally – so I am sure to see your comment – thanks for reading – Ann

pps – if you are reading on the email and can’t see a video when it says there is one – again , please go to the actual blog by clicking the title – then it should appear 🙂

Remember – reviews of books are a great way to say ‘thank you’ to an author if you like what they write  🙂 Thank You

Sharing:

Armistice Day 100 years remembrance – poems

wp_20181111_002There’s red poppies EVERYWHERE!
Towns and villages have sprouted them, made of glass, or yarn, pottery or wood – they flow down walls, dot verges, surround memorials.

Four years ago, marking the century-old start of what became to be known as World War One, or The Great War, or (unquestionably wrongly) The War to End All Wars, we, as a poetry group wrote a number of works on this theme.

So, today I’ll share some of mine: The first reminds me that we (our WI) used to ‘sell’ poppies door to door – until the year members were upset so much by reactions that it stopped. Partly because of this, I had researched the ‘peace poppy’ thinking it a recent innovation – only to find it was as old as the war – and much misunderstood. Now red-poppies are back in vogue I think it continues to be.

By any other colour   (the peace poppy)

Perhaps they should have picked another colour
to that of the shame-filled feather;
those war widows and war weary veterans
who would have agreed with Owen’s poem
‘Dulce et decorum est’ if they’d understood Latin,

Perhaps then they’d not have been spat upon
sacked and shunned, just for wanting
peace over everything and wearing it,
a sign they wanted it to really be the end
with no disrespect intended.

Perhaps they should just have paused
eighty-odd years, by which time selling poppies
meant slammed doors, even in rural villages
and indifference meant few came
when the Remembrance bugle called.

Perhaps poppies, white or red, or even
remembering the dead, does nothing, for
a hundred-years on from ‘the one to end all’
governments still wave the patriotic flag
and world-wide, still make war.

 

The next I’m going to share with you is short and, possibly, the one most people liked when it was first performed.

How to Grow Poppies

For flowers in abundance
row after row, whole
landscapes turned crimson, first
turn the soil.
Digging trenches works well.
Poppies thrive in open spaces,
the removal of trees and other shade
is recommended.
Fertilize well, blood and bone is best.
Water in, a long winter of rain at least,
and leave … nature will do the rest.

 

I’ll leave you with a final Peace Poppy poem, mainly because I believe that the World needs Peace more now than ever. Wars and conflict are driving poverty and migration across continents, which is driving further right-wing and extremist movements. The Map of War and Conflicts LINK HERE   is frightening – and the refugees and the human misery these are creating affects us all.

 

Peace Poppies

They are white,
white like the feather
dished out to any man
deemed to be fit
but not fighting

They are white,
like the bones
of the sixteen
thousand conchies
who died at the front

They are white,
like the rain-washed faces
of the dead and injured
they rescued from
no-mans land

They are white
a bloom to remember
peace and the peaceful
who’d not kill
but not shirk

They are white
when all others are red
misunderstood today
as much as when
they came to be

They are white
or they are red to
remember and honour
not the war, not the glory
only the sacrifice.

 

Off to the Remembrance service now  🙂 with my red poppy on – and a lovely Cornish badge made locally and sold for the RBL complete with poppy and dove of peace – as in the picture above.

Any thoughts – all welcome

Best Ann

Sharing:

Enjoyed this blog? Please share :)