Knitting and London life. Not necessarily in that order.
Thursday, November 22
I make no apologies for this brief diversion away from the subjects of learning to spin, knitting, curtains, and interior decor. It is That Time of Year, and if you haven't yet made your Christmas mincemeat, now is the time to do so.
What do you mean, you don't make mincemeat?! Why ever not? Why rely on that brandy-soaked, candied-peel-stuffed, over-sugared and under-fruited yuk that gets put on the supermarket shelves year after year?
In my opinion, alcohol (particularly of the spirit variety) should not be consumed via the medium of trifle, fruit cake, christmas pudding or any sort of dessert. It should be drunk, from a glass, and on occasion from the can/bottle, or if it is of the wine or beer variety, incorporated into savoury dishes.
And I feel much more strongly about the afore-mentioned candied peel. This is the devil's spawn, it should never have been invented and has no place in any kind of food intended for human consumption. Particularly teacakes and scones. I hope that is clear.
Which is why you will find neither brandy nor mixed peel in the following family recipe for mincemeat. This is my mum's recipe, which I assume is handed down from the Naylor side of the family. It's lovely, easy to make, and involves no cooking; make it now and give it time to mature before christmas. It should keep for many months without a problem (although it's not recommended to keep it too long if you use butter as the fat).
The following recipe is the full quantity; unless you have a large family or lots of people to give it away to, I suggest halving the quantities.
450g cooking apple (peeled and cored) 450g sultanas 450g raisins 700g sugar juice and rind of a lemon 1tsp mixed spice 1/2tsp nutmeg 225g-340g vegetable suet (or butter, or beef suet which is the traditional version!) one box of trifle sponges
Grate the apple into a large bowl. Add the fruit, sugar, lemon juice and rind, spice and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly. Add the suet, mix again. If using butter, soften it first. Crumble in the trifle sponges, mix thoroughly. Cover and leave overnight, then put into sterilised jars.