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My paternal grandmother was a very stern and stubborn woman, Georgina Edith Graves by name. Every Christmas morning without fail she would rise earlier than usual in the pre-dawn hours and begin making the plum pudding for NEXT Christmas. Why she did this on such a busy day, no one knew. It drove my mother and a couple of her own daughters crazy. She routinely fed at least 40 people on that day -- her six children, a couple of dozen grandchildren, various guests and hired men.
One morning there were about a dozen of us huddled in the living room -- we were banned from the kitchen until the pudding was done -- when there was a terrific explosion. It really sounded like a small bomb had gone off. We all rushed to the kitchen and it was a mess. Plum pudding and shards of glass everywhere. And my poor grandmother (even to this day I don't dare call her by any other name and she's long dead) was standing in the middle of it shellshocked, covered in the stuff.
A horrible minute passed and then someone started to giggle. Before we knew it, adults and children were all howling in gales of laughter. My grandmother, however, was NOT laughing. With as much dignity as she could muster, she walked past us into the washing-up room, leaving us all to clean up the mess.
Needless to say we didn't have plum pudding that Christmas. But we had it the next. And the next and the next, until her eldest daughter convinced her to let her do Christmas at her big new house where plum pudding was not on the menu.