Another blog post ( because Jenny Crwys Williams made me !)

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to be on a local radio program. The presenter is well known in South Africa, and it was such a privilege to chat and engage with her on air about food, Christmas and interesting foods around the world. Off air she asked about my blog and I confessed that I don’t write as often as I should and I seriously need to commit more time and energy to this wonderful platform.
Welllll the next thing we were back on air and she was airing my sad secret ! Yes you all know that I’m a lazy writer, it’s one thing to know something in your own little world. It’s quiet another to have it told to your whole city on radio.
The pressure is on.
I can take it. *squares shoulders and resolutely taps away at ipad*

One of the things discussed on the radio program was the origin of Christmas mince pies.
I love mince pies. And after doing a bit of research I discovered a whole lot of great trivia that makes me love them even more. I’m a total info junkie, usually of the useless facts and nobody cares variety. If you are like me you might enjoy the following.
If not just skip down the the recipe below
• Only stir the mincemeat mixture clockwise because stirring it counterclockwise is bad luck for the upcoming year.
• While eating the first mince pie of the season, it’s traditional to make a wish.
• Always eat mince pies in silence.
• Eating a mince pie each day of the 12 days of Christmas is good luck for the upcoming year. – this will be my excuse from now on.
• Mince pies should have a star on top, depicting the Christmas star that led the Magi and Shepherds to baby Jesus.
( www.englishteastore.com)


Homemade Mincemeat with Apple & Cranberry

I adapted this recipe a few years ago and now hardly follow the recipe at all, adding extra bits each time I make it. This year I added crystallized ginger and replaced the apples with dried pears, it has been a huge success.

2 large Golden Delicious apples, peeled and grated
1 1/2 cups Apple Juice
1 cup (85 grams) dried apples, chopped
1 ½ cups ( 330g) mixed rains, sultanas and currants
3/4 cup (105 grams) dried cranberries
1 cup (200g) mixed candied peel
1/2 cup (105 grams) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) sherry
1/2 cup (120 ml) brandy or cognac
4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter
Zest and juice of 1 large orange
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.
2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the mincemeat, stirring often, for about 25-30 minutes, or until the liquid is almost evaporated.
3. Transfer the mincemeat to a large bowl and let it cool completely.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator, at least overnight, or up to a month.
5. Note: If storing longer than a week, stir in a little rum or brandy (about 1/4 cup (60 ml)) every week.
Makes about 6 cups of Mincemeat.

Original recipe from Joy of Baking,
Read more: http://www.joyofbaking.com/HomemadeMincemeat.html#ixzz18f48CMHB

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Pictures from my Christmas table of homemade fruit mince pies with sour cream pastry.
Thank you to Vanessa Lewis for the pictures