We came, we saw, we went bonkers, but we did it. Four dedicated mums and one determined dad (me), mixed and steamed 50 Christmas Puddings for sale at our primary school's Christmas Fair.
The ingredients and wrapping paper cost around £100 – paid for by myself and parents from my youngest son's Reception class. By selling them at a fiver a time, they have the potential to raise £280.
Fancy doing it yourself and raising some funds for your school? Here's how...
2.5 lb self-raising flour
4 lb shredded suet (vegetarian)
5 lb white breadcrumbs
6 lb demerara sugar
1.25 lb blanched chopped almonds
5 lb raisins
5 lb currants
5 lb sultanas
2 lb mixed peel
2 lb pitted prunes
3 tins black treacle
1 litre white rum
30 medium eggs
5 pints Guinness
Juice of 10 lemons
5 tsp salt
5 tsp mixed spice
5 tsp cinnamon powder
5 tsp nutmeg
1. Buy the ingredients. Try to unsmack your gob when you realise how many there are.
2. Turn 6 loaves of bread into two carrier bags-worth of breadcrumbs.
3. Beg school kitchen staff for two massive – and I mean gi-normous – bowls to mix the ingredients in.
4. Use a couple of bowls for the dry ingredients, and a couple for the wet.
5. Mix the dry ingredients together. There is only one way to do this – sleeves up, forearms in, and heave.
6. Mix the wet stuff.
6. Split the dry ingredients into two separate bowls. Ditto for the wet mixes. Now mix the dry and wet together – again, sleeves up, forearms in. This will resemble thick sludge, but the smell is wonderfully intoxicating: pure Christmas.
7. Arrange 56 silver foil pudding bowls and fill each one with exactly 1 lb of pudding mixture.
8. Cover with greaseproof rounds.
9. Load onto trolleys and then beg the school kitchen staff to help you out. Steam the puddings on special trays for five hours. Remove from the oven and store for a week. Yes, at least a week.
10. Wrap them in cellophane and bows. Relax.