Residents at the new Hartismere Place care home in Eye have got their mixing bowls and wooden spoons at the ready for a festive ‘stir-up’ ahead of the traditional day for making Christmas puddings, Stir-up Sunday.
The Care UK team has joined forces with former Great British Bake Off finalist, Brendan Lynch, ahead of the big day on Sunday 22nd November, with Brendan creating a Christmas pudding recipe especially for Hartismere Place care home on Castleton Way.
Head chef Francisco Acosta will be working with residents to mix together ingredients such as mixed peel, raisins and glace cherries, and everyone will have a chance to stir as they make the festive dessert.
Members at the adjacent Hartismere Club, which provides flexible day care for older people living locally, will also be mixing their own pudding together on Tuesday 17th November as part of their open day events where they are welcoming the local community to pop in, meet Club manager Alan Woods and find out more about the range of activities and support available at the Club. The Hartismere Club will be opening its doors to the public on 17th and 18th November, from 2pm-4pm and 5pm-7pm on both days.
Stir-up Sunday, which traditionally takes place on the last Sunday before advent, is the day when families and friends gather together to ‘stir-up’ their Christmas pudding and make a wish, leaving plenty of time for the pudding to mature before Christmas Day.
Cathryn Weed, home manager at Hartismere Place, said: “Stir-up Sunday provides the Care UK team and residents with a wonderful opportunity to take part in a tradition which also encompasses all the benefits of baking. Reminiscence activities such as baking are so important for older people, especially for those living with dementia, as the familiar scents and tastes can evoke happy memories from the past.
“We are also hoping these Christmas scents will welcome those who want to pop in and take a look around the new Hartismere Club. Activities such as baking are very popular in the Club, so visitors on this special baking day will really see what the Club is all about.”
Commenting on his passion for baking and inspiring older people to take up the hobby, Brendan Lynch said: “I am a strong believer in the therapeutic benefits of baking for older people and combining this with a traditional occasion such as Stir-up Sunday can create a calm and comforting environment for all involved.
“The process of mixing certain ingredients and the smells associated with baking a Christmas pudding can trigger memories and nostalgic feelings from Stir-Up Sunday’s of the past, conjuring up happy times spent with family and friends.
“Since my youth baking has been an important part of my life. In times of stress and worry I would often use baking as a way to relax. Now I hope to give older people the inspiration to give it a try and see the benefits for themselves.”
Francisco Acosta, head chef at Hartismere Place, concluded: “Christmas pudding is a firm favourite with the residents and we are all very excited to test out our baking skills creating our own festive inspired treats ready to be revealed nearer Christmas.”
Hartismere Place, on Castleton Way in Eye, was officially opened at a community event on 4th November. The Hartismere Place development is the penultimate new care home and day club to open as part of Care UK’s county-wide development project in partnership with Suffolk County Council.
Care UK’s Christmas pudding recipe can be downloaded at careuk.com/stirupsunday