Chez nous, making Christmas puddings is a three-day event.
Day One: buy brandy and fruit. Sultanas, currants, raisins, apricots, figs, ginger, peel, cherries, dates, and a handful of the prunes soaked in port I keep in the pantry. Chop and soak.
Day Two: assemble other ingredients: butter (I can't abide suet; and there are vegetarians in each family, anyway), sugar, flour, spices, eggs (free-range, collected by hand from under the chickens who laid them in the nests at the Ceres co-op), carrot, breadcrumbs, orange rind, lemon rind, almonds, beer and more brandy. Mix with fruit, and get assembled members of the family to stir and make a wish.
Day Three: pack into bowls,
Wrap with layers of foil and tie with string; then juggle various saucepans until you come across this extremely satisfactory arrangement for the two big ones.
There's a third smaller one in a saucepan bubbling away on the stove now.
Every year I make three: a big one each for Paul's family on Christmas Eve (his parents, aunt and uncle, brother and sister and their partners and children), and one for mine on Christmas Day (my parents and sister).
I have blogged about making the puddings earlier, under much more difficult circumstances. Very good, this time, to feel healthy and strong and able to stir with ease. I'll try and remember to take a photo at Christmas and update: this recipe makes a very rich and dark pudding, which we flame with hot brandy, then serve with lashings of brandy butter and fresh berries and cream. The little one we are supposed to eat mid-year, in mid-winter, but last year's is still lurking in the fridge. I checked it yesterday and it looks fine. Must find an occasion to eat Christmas pudding soon...