It’s “Stir Up Sunday”! What are your plans?


Tomorrow, 22 November, is the Last Sunday of the Church’s Liturgical Year. It is therefore…


The “stir up” comes from the first words of the traditional Collect in the Roman Rite. It also comes from the tradition of stirring up the ingredients of the Christmas Pudding!

What are your plans for Christmas Pudding?

The more important question is: What are MY plans for Christmas Pudding.

I must give this some thought.


Since I will be moving to a new dwelling in the near future, I have been going through things.

I found a Christmas Pudding from TWO YEARS AGO, tucked away for aging.

I would say that it is sufficiently seasoned.


Will it be lethal?

If not, maybe I won’t make one.

I invite input, especially from experts in Blighty.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. John UK says:

    Only two years??
    I’ve kept ( and eaten them) for far longer than that!

    I assume:
    1) it is a British make? (Don’t know much about constituents of U.S. Christmas pudding)
    2) It has something alcoholic listed amongst the ingredients.

    Cook it by the traditional method of steaming for several hours, rather than microwave.

  2. ddhue says:

    Well, I’m not an expert, but I figure if it has enough alcohol in it, and no mold, it should be pretty safe. I would try it.

    This year, I am ready to make ours tomorrow. I found a recipe online that is from a wartime (WWII) “Ministry of Food” leaflet. It is easy enough that I can adapt as necessary (ale, stout, or milk) and at the same time, also a true pudding. Most years, I am rushing around, this year I actually made sure we had the ingredients a whole 3 days early.

  3. Geoffrey says:

    Being of Portuguese heritage, I have never had traditional Christmas pudding, and I would not even attempt to make it. How would I know the way it is supposed to turn out? I love the ceremony involved with it, though, based on what I’ve seen in Downton Abbey and A Christmas Carol!

    It is worth noting that in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the Collect for the 34th and last week in Ordinary Time is: “Stir up the will of your faithful, we pray, O Lord, that, striving more eagerly to bring your divine work to fruitful completion, they may receive in greater measure the healing remedies your kindness bestows” (The Roman Missal, Third Edition, 2010).

    If the solemnity of Christ the King were not observed on this Sunday, it would be “Stir Up Sunday” in the Ordinary Form as well. Otherwise, I guess we will have to settle for “Stir Up Monday”?!

  4. aviva meriam says:

    Noticed your quip (“I will be moving to a new dwelling in the near future”)…. Prayers that it’s an easy and relatively stress-free move. Hope it’s an improvement.

  5. Marianna says:

    I mixed my Christmas pud this afternoon with plenty of rum and sherry. Now it is resting until tomorrow, when it will be steamed for eight hours, as recommended by Delia Smith, a well-known (Catholic) cook here in the UK. On Christmas morning it gets two more hours of steaming. I like my puddings a rich, dark colour, with just a little crumbliness to the texture when cut open.

    I might be just a tad wary of a two-year-old pudding, but providing it is not mouldy, it may be fine to eat.

  6. pelerin says:

    There should be a ‘Use by’ or ‘Best by’ date on the wrapping.

    I love the cartoon – it reminds me of the story my husband told me of one Sunday morning when his father decided to check on some home -made wine he had made, before attending Mass. My father in law was the organist at his little local Catholic church (and also headmaster of the primary school) and was wearing his best Sunday suit. The inevitable happened – one of the bottles exploded covering him from head to foot in alcohol. Not a good look for someone in his position!!!

  7. You are moving?!? ack. I hope its better.

    I wonder if ‘use-by’ dates mean much on canned food anyway.

  8. Marg says:

    Make the sign of the cross over it and go to it.

  9. Rich says:

    My plans for Stir Up Sunday? Three words: deep-fried tofurkey.

  10. cregduff says:

    I was just thinking to myself yesterday that I had ought to send a message about whether you would be needing Holly this year. I suppose either way unless you’re traveling?
    I being that your stowaway is your own making I am sure it’s good yet remembering the ingredients. Ed

  11. If it looks and smells okay, it’s fine.

    Prayers for your move. I hope things are looking up :)

  12. Mariana2 says:

    Is Delia Smith, my favourite, Catholic?!

    I shall have to try and find a gluten free Christmas pudding recipe.

    However, the fear that really haunts me this time of the year is my husband’s demand for stinky LUTFISK (shudder)!

  13. stuart reiss says:

    Only two years old? And you made it…so none of that preservative…microbiologically..medically..culinary…English pudding expert opinion..steam it..ignite it as you do with brandy…eat it with lots of brandy butter..drink plenty of port to wash it down…fall about happy laughing…bugs..go to hell…

  14. Marianna says:

    Mariana2, if you look at deliaonline, below her Christmas pudding recipe there are instructions for a gluten-free version. It’s good, as I know because when my son was very young he had to have a gluten-free diet. He’s grown out of the problem now.

    Delia is a convert to Catholicism.

  15. Mariana2 says:


    Thank you so much! I had taped ‘Delia Smith’s Christmas’ episodes and used to watch them over and over, but of course that was ages ago, and I have thrown away all video tapes.

  16. Rachel K says:

    We have eaten home made pudding that was two years old; it was delicious! It had plenty of brandy, beer and sugar in made to a good recipe.
    I have a few puddings (again, home made) on the top shelf which are I think four years old. I a, not sure about eating these, not because there would be any poisoning issue,minutes rather I think they would be very, very dry. (Not sure my family would eat the, though!)
    I suggest you go ahead and enjoy the pud, put plenty of brandy over it.
    By the way, I make a few extra puddings to give away and my Dad likes to keep one of these for Easter, he likes Christmas pudding so much we always feel it’s a shame to only have it once a year so we often have one for Easter lunch and it takes great!

  17. Rachel K says:

    I reheat my puddings in the microwave for two or three minutes, keeps them moist and works fine.

  18. Rachel K says:

    And apparently they are nice sliced and fried in butter…

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