Patti Middlebrook generously tutored an enthusiastic group of six aspiring Christmas pudding cooks in her kitchen at Bandon Grove NSW. She taught us how to make Mabel Muddle's famous recipe using intuition and "feeling". My favourite story that Patti told was of gathering the children around when she makes her pudding each year so they each have a stir, making the process and product even more meaningful, Anne.
Lift the pudding out of the water, undo the string immediately and upturn the pudding onto a plate. Soak the calico in water straight away so bits of the pudding don't stick, it can then be washed and used again next year.