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Sunday, 22 November 2015

Stir up Sunday (again)

It's That Time of Year Again

I can hardly believe where this year has gone.
I always remember my Nana telling me 
the years go by faster as you get older, 
and I never really understood 
what on earth she was talking about.

Sadly she is no longer around to tell me that any more,
but I now know exactly what she meant.

Time is so precious, 
and it's not until we have a bit of
life experience under our belts 
that we can truly appreciate
how taking the time to make 
special memories is so important.

I look at my two children and wonder what they think of some of the things I tell them?
Do they think I am a wise and knowledgeable parent?
Or someone who talks utter rubbish at times, 
but makes them laugh?

I hope it is the former, 
but suspect it is the latter.

Either way I love them, 
and hope in years to come they will look back 
at all the things we do at this time of year,
and remember fondly the laughter and fun
(and amazing smells) 
that fill our kitchen and house.

Christmas was never that special to me 
in my late teens and twenties.
It was a good excuse for a few days off work 
and to eat and drink far more 
than my poor tummy could cope with.
It is only now that I really enjoy it all
(and that includes the stress of having 
everything ready for one special day).

Today is fondly known as 
'Stir Up Sunday' 
in the baking world.

A day to bake, 
and make a serious attempt at 
the mountains of Christmas 
preparations that need to be done. 

I have already baked the 
Christmas cakes and they are maturing nicely,
with a regular 'feed' of brandy, 
before icing in a week or two.
There was just the Christmas pudding that I needed to get done today.

I have already written about the recipe I like to use here.
I have tweaked it a little over the years 
and I have replaced the
currants in the recipe for dates.

(Currants are one of my least favourite dried fruits. 
They look like dead flies 
and taste pretty much like them too.)

The dates give it a more rich and slightly toffee taste 
which all the family seem to enjoy.

I have found using my slow cooker 
to cook the pudding by far and away the easiest
and convenient way.

You pop it in there 
and basically that's it for about 8-10 hrs depending
on the size of the pudding you are cooking.
It's all nicely tucked up in some 
greaseproof paper and foil now 
until the big day.

Next on the agenda is my sweet mince prep 
but that will have to wait until next weekend now.

What are some of your Christmas traditions?
I would love to hear about them.

Until next time,
enjoy your Christmas preparations.

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