It’s Christmas Eve Eve!

So, I’ll admit: I’m a bit focused on other things besides blogging. You know: like packing and gift-buying. Mom got some Dojo Gelato egg nog gelato and macarons de Jean-Francois. So tell me: what are your favorite food gifts? Homemade? Recipes? Procrastinate here. πŸ™‚

3 thoughts on “It’s Christmas Eve Eve!”

  • Small mince pies. Tabitha & I make ours the old fashioned way with beef suet:

    1 lb Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped small (no need to peel them)
    8 oz shredded beef suet
    12 oz raisins
    8 oz sultanas
    8 oz currants
    8 oz whole mixed candied peel, finely chopped
    12 oz soft dark brown sugar
    grated zest and juice 2 oranges
    grated zest and juice 2 lemons
    2 oz whole almonds, cut into slivers
    1 level teaspoon each allspice & cloves
    Β½ level teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ΒΌ level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    6 tablespoons brandy

    Combine all the ingredients, except for the brandy, in a large mixing bowl, stirring them and mixing thoroughly together. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave the mixture in a cool place overnight or for 12 hours, so the flavours have a chance to mingle and develop.

    The next day, pre-heat the oven to 225Β°F. Cover the bowl loosely with foil and place it in the oven for 3 hours, then remove from the oven. As the mixture cools, stir it from time to time; the fat will coagulate and, instead of it being in tiny shreds, it will encase all the other ingredients. When the mincemeat is cold, stir well again, adding the brandy. Pack in sterilised jars. When filled, cover with waxed paper and seal. The mincemeat will keep for at least 3 year in a cool, dark cupboard and will become more flavourful with age. Make at least 3 months in advance before use.


    12 oz plain flour
    3 oz lard
    3 oz butter
    pinch of salt
    For the top:
    a little milk
    icing sugar

    Make up the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and rubbing the fats into it until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Then add just enough cold water to mix to a dough that leaves the bowl clean. Leave the pastry to rest in a covered bowl in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, then roll half of it out as thinly as possible and cut it into two dozen 3 inch discs, gathering up the scraps and re-rolling. Then do the same with the other half of the pastry, this time using a 2Β½ inch cutter.

    Grease a muffin pan and line it with the larger rounds. Fill these with the mincemeat to the level of the edges of the pastry. Dampen the edges of the smaller rounds of pastry with water and press them lightly into position to form lids, sealing the edges. Brush each one with milk and make three snips in the tops with a pair of scissors. Bake near the top of a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until light golden brown. Cool on a wire tray and sprinkle with icing sugar. When cool, store in an airtight container

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