Thursday, 9 December 2021

Advent Photos 2021 December 9th and Mince Pies

According to my book "Christmas Scrapbook" the Christmas pie into which Little Jack Horner stuck his thumb was a type of mince pie. (The plum he pulled out were the deeds to several Manors that he was delivering to Henry VIII from the Abbot of Glastonbury). Back then Mince pies contained meat and Robert Herrick (1591- 1674) in a poem said 

Drink now the strong beer
Cut the white loaf here
The while the meat is a shredding
For the rare mince pie
And the plums stand by
To fill the paste that's a-kneading

My book also mentions a French visitor to England who wrote about the Christmas pie in 1699 "a most learned mixture of Neats tongue, chicken, eggs, sugar, raisins, lemon and orange peel, and various kinds of spicery that is eaten everywhere". (Neat is an old name for cattle)


https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41HPNtufyyL._SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_ML2_.jpg 

There was a tradition that a mince pie eaten on each of the twelve days of Christmas in twelve different houses would give you 12 months of good luck.
 I've not made mincemeat this year and probably won't make mince pies either, I do like them but not so much so half a dozen decent quality bought is enough.
There's certainly plenty of choice to buy all sorts of weird and wonderful mince pies nowadays. In the Aldi Christmas food catalogue  they have......
 
Flavoured Crumble
Sour Morello Cherry
Frangipane
Maple and Pecan
Almond and Sloe Gin
 
as well as normal, exquisite, mini and gluten free, but nothing with meat!
 
 I wouldn't mind trying them all just to see what they are like so it's a shame they don't do a mixed pack.

Back Tomorrow
Sue

 

35 comments:

  1. I love mince pies but I'm the only one in the family who does, so it's not worth making any. Like you, I look for nice ones from the local bakery. Mum used to make dozens as dad also liked them...mind you he's been dead for 40 years so that's a long time ago! Doesn't food sometimes evoke lovely memories?

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    1. I always made my own mincemeat and 2or 3 dozen mince pies for all visitors before and after Christmas but now I'm on my own there's no need for that many

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  2. I believe that in Tudor times, they made them oval shaped to represent the manger, and no pastry top. And there was a piece of meat nestling in the sweet fruits to represent baby Jesus in the hay. Not sure I could manage to eat that - as a child I used to be concerned that eating jelly babies was akin to cannibalism.

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    1. I can sympathise with your dilemma over the jelly babies - I too used to leave the heads till last!!

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    2. Yes the crib shaped pies was mentioned in another book and I forgot to include it - silly me.

      It's been a while since I ate a jelly baby - I think all at once would be the way

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    3. Oooh, I used to bite their heads off first to put them out of their misery ... how little minds think eh!!

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  3. I never used to like mince pies but I can't get enough of them now, so I have to try and limit myself :)

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    1. Hope you are able to have enough for good luck all year!

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  4. This will be the first year of my married life where I haven't made my own mincemeat. I found myself buying a jar of mincemeat with brandy from Lidl this week. I always used to start it off in August, with the first windfall apples from the garden. No apples from the tiny trees here yet.

    I think I will make some for Keith today, as he loves them. I like the sound of some of the Lidl ones - esp. the Frangipane, and the Almond and Sloe Gin. (And that's another thing I've not made this year either).

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    1. I'm going to Aldi later so might try one box of the unusual if they have any left

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  5. Mince pies don't have meat in them.

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    Replies
    1. They chopped up mutton finely, mushed it, for the fat to hold the fruit together. Always fruit.

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  6. Mince pies do have meat in them Rachel. When I was a child we had mince for dinner every Monday and my mother made me little mince pieas to eat when I got home from school on a Tuesday as she always worked on a Tuesday.It was my favourite day of the week

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    1. A happy memory.
      Begs the question...........when is a Mince Pie Not a Mince Pie!?

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  7. Not long after moving here, a neighbour invited us for mince pie and a sherry. We both bit into them and they were minced, spiced beef. I asked why and she, being from Lancashire said, that’s what mince pies are! I only had one as didn’t like the spices with them. Plain meat would have been better for me, or the modern spiced fruit version of today.

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  8. I read somewhere that the plums in plum pudding are really vine fruit - they used to be called plums in the olden days
    (I might even have read this in here, thinking about it!)
    I am making mince pies but it will only be a construction job with bought pastry and bought mincemeat, probably with a few slugs of Cointreau added on the quiet.
    xx

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    1. Aldi only had the almond and sloe left today so I got a box and popped in the freezer to try at Christmas

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  9. I can vouch for Tesco's gluten-free mince pies!

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    1. It's good you have found some that are GF and tasty

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  10. Interesting post m’dear, along with everyone’s comments I now understand the term mincemeat a tad better now (well I am considered a tad slow by most, probably because it takes me awhile to get to accept and talk to folk)
    I do love a mince pie, but just the thought of them adds a couple of inches to my waistline...

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    1. Yes I know what you mean about the inches - even worse when living alone - have to eat everything up!

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  11. Just when I'm developing a taste for them, the dairy free version seem hard to find in our little town, and there's none of the Aldi ones that I've looked at that are vegan.

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    1. In theory it ought to be easy - pastry using dairy free fat to make it and only fruit and booze in the filling!

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  12. Thank you for reeminding me to put them on my list to buy in Christmas week.

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    1. Aldi had already sold out of all the different flavours so don't wait too long!

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  13. Loving mince pies as I do, I am blessed to have a daughter who loves them as I do. When she and her girls make them, they also make for me. Does life get better .. I think not! :)

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  14. I hate to say this Sue,but the only time I tried Aldi special mince pies I found them overpoweringly sweet.

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  15. I have never had a mince pie. I don't know if I would enjoy one.

    I did enjoy your lovely history of mince pies.

    God bless.

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  16. Here in Maine mincemeat pies are a very old school rural thing only and they are always made with deer meat, which I guess la-di-da people from other parts of the world call venison. I remember distinctly not liking them as a child but having to eat them to be polite when visiting neighbors. I haven't seen one in years.

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  17. A savory meat pie with a crust on the bottom and a hearty filling is always delicious.

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  18. I vote for you trying the mince pies and letting us know the verdict! I shan't be making any this year. They aren't a big thing here in America (sadly). I can sometimes pick some up at the import store but they are quite expensive. My MIL was trying to be helpful one year and made a mince pie (as in the size of an apple pie) but it wasn't quite the same!

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