Our friends from the Crusty Bun Bakery (whom you will find often on this blog) gave the kids a book about Christmas in Durham. From that book we learned that Father Christmas likes to have a plate of Mince Pies and a carrot out on Christmas Eve. Who knew? We are assuming that the man himself prefers the pies and feeds the carrot to the livestock. No word on which one of the eight got the snack.
So just what is a Mince Pie, anyway? Well, a mince pie contains mincemeat, which doesn’t contain any meat. Don’t confuse mincemeat with minced meat. Minced meat is what an American would call “ground beef.” (This is why it is said that we are two nations divided by a common language.) Mincemeat, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is: “The mixture of currants, raisins, sugar, suet, apples, almonds, candied peel, spices, etc., and originally meat chopped small, typically baked in pastry, as in mince pies and other traditional Christmas dishes.” Did you catch that? Originally there was meat there, but not anymore. Think of mincemeat now as fruity, sorta sugary stuff.
It is customary to have Mince Pies at Christmas time. They are often small; one will easily fit in the palm of your hand. The crust is a butter pie crust. They are served at parties, tea time, or just about any other time one can find an excuse to have some mince pies. Maybe that is where the jolly man in the red suit got his penchant for the pies.
So why not give it a go? Here a link to the BBC’s recipe for “Unbelievably easy mince pies.” http://bit.ly/19ulhYc. With a little practice, you could be ready for next year’s festivities…and a plate full for Christmas Eve. We’ll let you decide who gets the carrot.