A week late, as always, we stirred the pudding.
750g mixed dried fruit, bought at the market in Urgup, Capadocia, including currents (i.e. 'Corinthian' grapes) Sultanas (or 'Smyrna', i.e. 'Izmir grapes'), black and white raisins, that had to be seeded, prunes, soaked in Jameson so they're soft enough to stone (yes, not because I want to up the alcohol content. No, not at all), figs, dates, black apricots. Then there's the usual: sugar, bread crumbs, a bit of flour. Some butter (I'll be f****d if I use beef fat or margerine), eggs, black beer, our own limoncello imbibed candied peel, some white grapes pekmez (molasses) bought in Urgup. And spices: allspice, cinnamon, and, my favourite, mango armchoor powder. Don't ask.
So now it's boiling. It needs to be in for ten hours. We'll do five tonight and another five tomorrow. Then it sits on a shelf till Christmas day when it has to be boiled again (only three hours, though).
But before wrapping it (greaseproof paper over the bowl, tied with string, foil covering it), it had to be stirred, by all the family.
Starting with the youngest: our very own (very literal) Jamie Oliver:
And of course you have to have a sixpence in the pudding. They're not that easy to come by here, so we use a nazar boncuk: a bead for chasing away the evil eye.
So now, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. But the nice thing about traditions is that you do the same thing over and over again - so we're not overly concerned about how it will come out. Now all we need is for our friends from Istanbul to get going with the brandy butter!