December 10th Why is it that the whole year drags until September and then these four months fly by? I am really getting busy with only two weeks left until Christmas.
Lydia. Lydia is a prosperous woman from a region in Greece that is famous for its purple dyes. She has been very impressed by the teachings of a visiting missionary named Paul, and has hosted him and his followers in her home. Recently she was baptized into the new Christian religion. Lydia's presence at the nativity symbolizes the early acceptance of Christ's message by people from every class of society.
* I need feedback on the nativity. Are you enjoying it or is it too religious? No one has mentioned anything about it and I am not sure if I should keep posting it? Help me out here! I don't want to become boring!
Santa carrying a decorated tree.
This vintage Santa twirls and plays Silent Night.
Remember that pile of ingredients I showed you a while back? I asked what you thought I might be making with it. Most of you guessed fruit cake. Ewwww...I don't like fruit cake too much! I made mincemeat. Maybe you all are saying ewwwww to this. Mincemeat is quite yummy when made properly. In this pic I am using a vintage grinder to grind fresh lemon. You really don't get the right consistency using a food processor. The key to good mincemeat is using as many fresh ingredients as possible. Using candied peal makes the mincemeat too sweet.
Here I have ground apples, lemons and oranges.
You want the mincemeat to be a uniform consistency so I grind dried cherries, cranberries, figs, golden raisins and regular raisins so none of them will be whole.
I also don't like an extremely boozy mincemeat so I add port instead of hard liquor.
The meat part of mincemeat is suet. You need to find a butcher that buys whole sides of beef (think of the scene in Rocky). This is where the suet comes from. Have him grind it for you. You mix the suet in with the other ingredients (forgot to take that pic) and put it in a 225 degree oven for about 3 hours. Stir it occasionally. The house begins to smell wonderful! The suet liquefies and coats all of the fruit. You can substitute butter or crisco but it does not have the wonderful deep earthy flavor the suet adds.
After you remove it from the oven, place it in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It should be made at least 3 weeks before using but could be made much farther ahead of time.
See those small dark dots. Those are currents. They are the only ingredient which is not ground before adding because they are the size of the other ingredients after they are ground. Though it takes much more work, I am making these into small tarts. I don't like the ratio of crust to filling in a standard mincemeat pie. They are much tastier and prettier when they are small. I will show you pictures of the tarts when I make them closer to Christmas.
* Someone commented the other day that they wished they knew how to turn the music off on my blog. I thought I should mention that all you have to do is turn of the volume on your computer.
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