It’s the last Sunday before Advent – Stir up Sunday, the day when we make the Christmas plum-pudding. Everyone in the house must have the chance to stir the mixture and make a wish. What will my wish be this year? No one will guess.
First, I stone the raisins and cut them in halves. They’ve been steeped overnight in French Brandy and are plump as a baby’s thumb. I often think about babies these days. They come to me in my dreams, pale-skinned and milky-scented, nestled between layers of sheet.
I pop one of the raisins into my mouth and, as I bite, the moisture explodes onto my tongue. Of course, the cook shouldn’t eat the ingredients, but after all this time I think I’m entitled to take a few liberties. This is my thirty-first year with the Thornes; this the thirty-first Christmas pudding. It will be the best one.
Anna Mazzola is the author of ‘Proof of the Pudding’. Anna’s short fiction has won or been placed in several competitions, as has her work-in-progress historical crime novel, The Unseeing. Anna is also a human rights/criminal justice solicitor. She lives in Camberwell with two children, two cats and one husband.
Author Q & A
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this story?
I wanted to write a piece for Christmas, and liked the idea of someone telling a story while cooking. Somehow my warped mind came up with this, helped along by Mrs Beeton’s recipe for Christmas plum-pudding.
When did you start writing?
I’ve always loved books, and I studied English, but I only began writing while I was on maternity leave, nearly four years ago. I took a beginner’s creative writing course with the fantastic Literary Kitchen, and I’ve been writing ever since.