Tuesday, 5 December 2006

My Naughty Little Sister makes Christmas puddings

Have you met My Naughty Little Sister? If not, then I recommend her for small girls, from around age four upwards. She gets up to lots of mischief, but of a gentle, old-fashioned kind. And "big sister" who tells the stories is always suitable shocked. In one book little sister actually manages to be good, and one of the things she does while being good is help her Grannie to make Christmas puddings to take her mind of the firework bangs on Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes night, November 5th) ...
Grannie's big kitchen table looked just like a shop, there were so many things on it. There were jars and bottles and packets, full of currants and sultanas and raisins and ginger and candied eel and a big heap of suet on a board, and a big heap of brown sugar on a plate. There were apples and oranges and lemons, and even some big clean carrots!

There was a big brown bowl standing on a chair that had a big, big, wooden spoon in it. And on the draining board were lots of white basins.

Can you guess? My sister couldn't. She didn't know what all this stuff was for, so Grannie said, 'We are going to make the Family Christmas Puddings. I always make one for every one of my children every year. And I always make them on Bonfire night. It takes my mind of the bangs.'

My sister was very surprised to hear this, and to know that all these lovely things to eat were going to be made into Christmas Puddings.

Grannie said, 'You can help me, and it will take your mind off the bangs, too.' ...

... When all the things had been put into the brown bowl, Grannie began to mix and mix with the big spoon. She gave my sister a little wooden spoon so that she could mix too.

Then, Grannie said, 'Now you must shut your eyes and stir, and make wish. You always wish on a Christmas pudding mixture.'

And my sister did. She shut her eyes and turned her spoon round and round. Then Grannie shut her eyes and wished.

My sister said, 'I wished I could come and help you next Bonfire night, Grannie'

And Grannie said, 'Well, Missy, that was just what I wished too!'

Then my sister sat quietly by the fire while our grandmother put the pudding mixture into all the basins, and covered them with paper and tied them with cloth.
[From When My Naughty Little Sister Was Good by Dorothy Edwards]

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