Saturday, 16 August 2008

Crochet project and Making Mincemeat

I indulged myself this week and had a wander round Amazon. Here is what I bought . . . Super book, and I can actually understand the patterns now! Whoopee!

So I began another little lap throw last night. The white is just going to be a near-the-border stripe I think.

Rather poor close-up of the stitch - "No. 15" in the book. Basically three double chains and three singles.

Mincemeat is something I made every year without fail until I was nursing mum, and lost heart a bit. Now I am making it again, and it has its very own always-used brown crock too. Do give it a try - it's just the right time of year to start making it, and it smells absolutely DELICIOUS and tastes even better.


"For mincemeat I choose a large brown crock and into it put all sweet dessert apples - windfalls or faulty - chopped up with spices and usually Demerara sugar; but this year it has had to be honey (I presume she was writing in the war). I add to it more apples, currants, sultanas or raisins, or any nice things available, including finely-chopped orange and lemon peel and the kernels of stone fruits I have saved. A little later on a few quinces improve it, also a little home-made wine, and I continue adding to it until the whole jar is full.

This proves a good winter standby, usually lasting until Easter, by which time it has acquired a nice winey taste. It if gets rather thin at the bottom of the jar, a few cake crumbs, breadcrumbs or a little flour can be added, like Banbury cakes. If this winey flavour is not liked, when all the ingredients are mixed, the mincemeat can be put in Kilner jars, sterilized, and sealed. From Miss Elsie G Cook, Oxfordshire." (Farmhouse Fare again).

I have made this year in, year out, and never had any problem with the lack of any suet in it.

This is my "crock" for mincemeat making, though I may move to a larger one if I have lots of windfalls from the apple trees. I have a number of these which I use for storing dry goods in, such as beans, rice, pasta, sugar etc.

For the base for my Country Mincemeat, I took a kilo of dried fruit . . .

Four Granny Smith apples which had been languishing a while in the fruit bowl . . .

Some Demerara sugar . . .

Some spices - cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg . . .

After chopping up the apples, I mixed it all together with a generous shaking of the spices.

Then I spooned it into the crock and put the lid on. After a week or so it will smell absolutely divine, and the juice from the apples (preserved by the sugar), will make it moist. I am about to add some chopped dried apricots, if my husband has remembered to get them whilst he was out.



H said...

Ah, I have some of those jars - but no lids or cork bungs. Could I use cling film or similar, do you think? Or do you know if you can get replacement cork bungs?

Bovey Belle said...

I got mine from a wine-making shop up the steep little hill from the marketplace in Blandford in Dorset - don't know if the shop is still there (or still selling corks) - this was over 20 years ago, before we moved to Wales. You could try looking on the internet. I have Sara Paston-Williams' book "Country Kitchen Storecupboard" on the desk in front of me and it shows some jars just like mine with a gingham square tied down over the top - not sure if it's over greaseproof paper or anything? My corks are put too tightly in so not entirely airtight anyway. I'm sure clingfilm would be fine too. Let me know how you get on.

H said...

Thanks BB, I'll have a look around. I have that Sara P-W book as well. I'll have a go at making the mincemeat when my book arrives.