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Published on November 22, 2006 By dharmagrl In Cooking

My kitchen has been a hive of activity this morning.

It started with candy. I made some mint chocolate hard candy - it's chilling in the fridge as we speak.  Once I've got the mince pies in the oven I'll take the candy out and break it into pieces, dust it with powdered sugar to stop it from sticking together and bag it.

Next, I peeled and par-boiled some potatoes - I'm making roast potatoes for tomorrow's Thanksgiving lunch and I'm trying to do most (if not all) of the prep work today.  All I'll have to do with those now is cover them lightly with hot oil and put them in a baking dish in the oven with the rump roast we're having.

Then I made some pastry for the mince pies I'm going to make next.  I don't know if any of you are familiar with minemeat; I know His Empness and Jennifer1 and probably Little Whip will be, but most Americans I've met haven't heard of it and don't know what it is.  So, I'll enlighten you:  it's a preserve.  It's traditionally made with suet (that's rendered beef fat), raisins, sultanas and currants (all dried grapes, just dried to different degrees and made from different kinds of grapes), citrus peel, brown sugar and granulated sugar, a dash of vinegar, apples and other fruits, spices and some kind of alcohol.  It's very flavorful and it's very good.  I used to make my own, but it's so difficult to get the ingredients over here that I've taken to buying the stuff than comes in jars.  The jar I'm using today is Borden's 'None Such' mincemeat and it's got both brandy AND rum AND apples in it.  I've used it before, and I can tell you that it's VERY yummy.  Mince pies are usually a Christmas treat -they can be made either in a traditional pie dish or in muffin pans as individual little pies - and are served with whipped cream. I couldn't wait until Christmas, though - I saw some in the store when I was doing my grocery shopping last week and just couldn't resist it.  I personally like to make the little pies and I like to take the little lid off the pie and put some whipped cream inside on top of the mincemeat, then replace the lid and take a big ol' bite out of it.  Man, now I'm hungry....ok, on with the cooking description.

I'm also making fruit scones today.  I LOVE scones, apart from mince pies they're my favorite baked good. Occasionally the kids and I will have ourselves a traditional British High Tea and have scones with butter, strawberry jam and clotted cream and cups of English tea out of my brown betty teapot.  If anyone's interested I'll post a recipe for scones (and for mince pies too - and the candy, come to think of it).

When I'm done with with mince pies and scones, I'm going to put the pumpkin pies in.  I cheated this year and got the ready made kind - I tried making my own last year and whilst it got eaten, the family said it just wasn't the same as the boxed kind.  So this year I'm going back to the boxed kind that everyone knows and loves.  They take over an hour to make and I've got a roast to cook tomorrow, so I'm going to make them today, refrigerate them, and then once the roast is done and out of the oven tomorrow I'll put the pies back in to warm through whilst we eat.  I'm all about prepping food, ya'll.  It makes MY Thanksgiving a lot less hassled, which is always a good thing.

I wish that you all could smell my kitchen right now.  There's still a faint aroma of chocolate from the candy, along with the fruity, spicy smell of the mincemeat - not to mention the brandy and the rum!  The pastry has a buttery aroma...it's all mingling together and it smells just wonderful.  I think that when the mince pies are done I'm going to make myself a cup of tea and enjoy a quiet half and hour with a mince pie, a nice cup of tea and my book (I'm still reading 'I, Elizabeth').

I'm grateful to have a kitchen to cook in and food to cook with, not to mention the ability to cook all of these things. 

I'm very lucky, and I know it.


Comments
on Nov 22, 2006
Mincemeat pies and scones? Good LORD, you're British sometimes.

Also, you mispelled y'all (proper contraction of "you" and "all"), which at least identifies you further North than the Mason-Dixon. How the heck can you be a Brit and a Yankee at the same time?!?
on Nov 22, 2006
I haven't had mincemeat pie in ages. It's not unknown to Americans although it isn't nearly as common as it once was. It sounds like you're preparing quite a feast.
on Nov 22, 2006

Mincemeat pies and scones? Good LORD, you're British sometimes.

Also, you mispelled y'all (proper contraction of "you" and "all"), which at least identifies you further North than the Mason-Dixon.

Yeah, that was a mistake on my part that I didn't catch before I posted.  I can't see properly out of one eye today, it's all red and swollen and hurts to blink and stuff.  I'm not going to the doctor, it would be too embarrassing to explain to him just how I came (pun intended) to have an injured eye in the first place.  I think I might be allergic to Dave, though. Anyway, my eye's sore and I can't see well and I missed that typo.

Are you blushing now, 'miah? 

It sounds like you're preparing quite a feast.

I am.  I'm very pleased and lucky to have all of my little family home this year, so I'm going to express my love in the way most mothers and wives do - I'm going to feed everyone. 

 

on Nov 22, 2006
Yes please do post recipes!! My mom is from England and LOVES mincemeat pie. I would love to get a recipe to make her for one for Christmas! I also love scones, I wouldn't mind that recipe either if you have the time

Thanks!
on Nov 22, 2006
I've seen the mincemeat pies at the grocery but have never tried it and plan to but not for tomorrow. I'm just glad someone else knows what mincemeat is! Although when we refer to mincemeat, we're talking ground beef and we just cook that as is, no fruit.

Gosh I wish I could come and have lunch with you guys. I love scones!
on Nov 22, 2006
Are you blushing now, 'miah?


No, just pleased that you two are playing nicely right now.
on Nov 22, 2006

Oh I bet your kitchen smells even better than you describe! 

It amazes me that we have the same ancestory,  yet my mum never made scones,  mincemeat pies,  and I'd never heard of clotted cream until just years ago....

It sure sounds like you love to bake!  Is a rump roast your family tradition or is that English?  My son used to always want cornish hens,  so we had them last year.  This year when I asked him,  he said turkey. 

Happy Thanksgiving Karen

on Nov 22, 2006
Also, you mispelled y'all (proper contraction of "you" and "all"), which at least identifies you further North than the Mason-Dixon


Frankly sir, I disagree. While ya'll is not as absolutely correct as y'all, it's still perfectly alright, as is you'uns, and even the occasional your mamma and them. As in, "How's yur mamma and them?" Among the common nuke-yu-lur family down 'round back home, that is.
on Nov 22, 2006
"How's yur mamma and them?"


That's "How's your mamma enem?"
on Nov 23, 2006
NBS - What is ya'll a contraction of, then? You'uns is "you ones" (yes, 'one' is pluralized in this case), and y'all is "you all." The apostrophe in these cases is not necessarily a full glottal stop, but it's pronounced much like the colloquial Arabic rendering of the 'hamza' (glottal stop).

y'all : yi-all
ya'll : yaw-il
on Nov 23, 2006
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