Home made Mincemeat
It is ages since I wrote on this blog but I have been asked about my Christmas recipes and this seemed the best place to share them! Firstly I have to explain why I cook for Christmas. I was always taught as a child that anyone can walk into a store and buy food. But cooking for those you love is one of the very best gifts you can give. You give your time, and the thought behind the pleasure in the eating makes every second cooking worth while. Honestly, I have yet to taste anything from a store that tastes as good as real home made fare! And my cottage smells fabulously inviting during the weeks leading up to Christmas.
I always start by making my Christmas Pudding. This is far lighter than those bought in stores or supermarkets and the joy in making your own is that you can play with the ingredients to suit your own personal taste. Freshly ground nutmeg adds to the feeling that Christmas is around the corner. I usually ask my son or my husband to grate the nutmeg which adds to the family involvement in the preparation. And when everyone is gathered striing the pudding is pretty special.
The best Christmas recipes I have found that improve on those from my family are in the Delia Smith Christmas cook book.
I sometimes place silver charms in the pudding for luck. The history for these wonderfully traditional puddings can be found via this link.
Once my Christmas pudding is made I move on to making home made mince meat. This is something I had never done until a few years ago but once I realised how easy it was to make I was hooked because the flavour really is so much better than shop bought.
Again this recipe is from the same cook book. And is so worth trying!
I use the mince meat for home made mince pies and it is also delicious with apple dishes like pies or strudels. Try placing a layer of mince meat under the apple to give your apple deserts a lift!
My home made mince pies. Mince meat filling in short crust pastry cases.
My step mother was an amazing cook and she taught me how to make pastry. Mine is usually very light and I am so grateful to her for teaching me. She also taught me that love has to flow into each dish you cook or it won't turn out right. And I still believe her! I made my mincemeat for this Christmas this week and it is now in jars, so the spices and flavours will merge in time for me to make the little pies later on nearer to Christmas Day.
After making the mince meat I turn to my favourite thing of all. The Christmas Cake.
Again I now use Delias' recipe as it never fails!
Yesterday I made this years Christmas Cake. My husband and I spent an enjoyable evening relaxing and each time one of us walked into our cottage kitchen we came back to the other and said wow that cake smells great! It was a great feeling taking the cake out of the oven and seeing it was a wonderful success. This recipe honestly never fails if you follow all the instructions.
Now the cake is made it goes into a tin and I will feed it with a little brandy each week until I ice the cake to decorate it.
My iced home made Christmas Cake from 2011
An old photo!
So the Christmas Cake is made, The Christmas Pudding is made and the mince meat is in jars. All the fruit recipes are complete.
But I also make chutneys and pickles. I will add the links in another blog post.
But if you would like a fabulous Christmas recipe book to discover your own favourites I recommend this one. It is brilliant and I use it every single year.
Mine is an old copy. But maybe you can find a used one if you cant get your hands on a new one!