Wednesday 14 December 2016


I've ordered Christmas and Boxing Day food from Booths and it will all be delivered to my door. How deliciously bone idle of me! Now I've got plenty of time to fiddle about doing all the Chrismassy things that I enjoy.
I've photocopied some images from our trip to the Christmas market and made them into cards. They were liberally sprinkled with glitter before being put in the post.
Next task, mincemeat. I make a fat-free version using as many homegrown ingredients as possible, apples and juice, lemons and walnuts.
1lb soft dark sugar
15 fl oz apple juice
4lb chopped cooking apples
1 teaspoon each of allspice and cinnamon
2lb of dried fruit, currants, raisins. I also put in chopped apricots, cherries, whatever!
4oz chopped nuts
grated rind and juice of a lemon

Dissolve the sugar in the apple juice, add all the other ingredients, bring to the boil then simmer for half an hour until you have a soft mash. Bottle while hot.
It makes about 7lbs  (a generous 3kg) of mincemeat.
I've made a far smaller mix of Christmas gingersnaps (Julpepparkakor) than usual, the recipe is four times the amount that I've made and produces 300 biscuits. This year I'm trying to show a little restraint!
3oz soft brown sugar
2oz treacle
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2oz butter
8oz flour
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger and bicarb of soda

Boil together the sugar, treacle and water. Add the butter to melt, then cool. stir in the dry ingredients. Work the dough until smooth. Roll VERY thinly and cut out.  Gas 3-4 for approx 8 minutes.
Then comes the fun of icing the shapes to look festive!


  1. Your cards are fabulous ! So beautiful.
    The food is sounding and looking wonderful.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. The spices in the mincemeat and biscuit mix made the kitchen smell very good, but I'm trying not to 'sample' too much before the holiday starts!

  2. I like your cards! Miss Cellany, you a your presence is truly playful and joyful. I enjoy your presence a lot.

    The degree of efficiency - does this come with time? Maybe next year. :)

    PS: Wait, mincemeat does not include meat. Thank you for posting the recipe. you probably know by now: I love to learn. <3

    1. Mincepies were originally made with meat, highly spiced, probably to disguise the freshness or otherwise of the meat. Gradually fruit replaced the meat content. My recipe doesn't keep for as long as the traditional one that includes animal fats.
      'Playful' - some would say ridiculous!