Friday, 9 December 2011

Mincemeat for mince pie haters.

I'm sick of people telling me they don't like mince pies. What they actually mean is they don't like cheap, dry pastry cases filled with bitter chunks of candied peel, cheap harsh brandy and currants with pips that get stuck between your teeth. If people were offered REAL mince pies, with short, buttery pastry and rich, juicy fruit NO-ONE would claim to dislike one of the season's greatest traditions.

So  here we are, folks,  my recipe for the most delicious mincemeat you're ever likely to taste.

500g sultanas
350g dates, stoned and chopped
200g dried cranberries
2 apples,  peeled and coursely grated
75g soft brown sugar
200g  beef or vegetable  suet
2 tbs ground cinnamon
1tbs mixed spice
100ml  orange juice
100ml spiced rum
zest of 3 clementines or a large orange

Start by putting the dried fruits in a bowl or container and pour over the juice  and rum. Add the sugar, spices and zest and give it a good ol' mix. Leave to steep for a day or two, until the liquid is absorbed and the fruit looks plump and juicy. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir well. You can either keep  it in the fridge for a few weeks, or stick it in sterilized jars, with  another teaspoon of rum on top and save it for next christmas (if  you have that much  willpower)

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

A starting point...

I, like most, tend to fail miserably at New Year's Resolutions. Sometimes I out and out break them, mostly I just forget all about them by mid-April. This year has been no exception, I'm  fairly sure I made at least five, but I can only remember three of them. One is  complete; visit two countries I've never  been to  before.  A  summer break to Madrid and an Autumn jaunt to Cologne has seen to that nicely. I've failed the second; stop buying avocados then letting them go mushy and brown before throwing them away. There's one in the fridge right now that's been decomposing for several weeks. I love avocados, I just never seem to have anything for them to go with.

My third resolution (that  I can remember) was to start writing a food blog. It shouldn't 've been  difficult; I love food, I cook both for a living and pleasure, and when I'm not cooking I'm usually thinking  about it  or yabbering  on to  someone about it or  shopping for it or reading  about  it (you get the  picture) yet here I  am, two  months of  twenty eleven left and I've still not got round to it.

That's me. Useless as ever.

So in my attempt to suceed at not just  one but TWO of my New Year's resolutions, here it is. My blog. Recipes,  photos and  general kitchen-based witterings to come.