As the season gathers momentum, and there does not seem to be enough minutes remaining for last-minute shopping and cooking, I give you a couple of random recipes which you might find interesting.
Firstly, because they don’t make mincemeat like this anymore:
Superfine Christmas Mince-pies.
After a large bullock's tongue has lain twenty-four hours in salt, take it up, wash it clean, and give it a boil three quarters of an hour: let it stand till it is cold, then cut it down, and mince it: take three pounds of beef suet, three pounds of stoned raisins, the same of cleaned currants, a dozen of pared apples, and mince them separately; take also half a pound of orange-peel, and one pound of almonds cut small, an ounce of cinnamon, and half an ounce of cloves beat; two nutmegs grated, the grate of two large lemons, the juice of three, and a bottle of white wine: mix the whole well together, and press it down into a can, the mouth of which must be tied up with paper, to keep out the air. When you have occasion to use it, line some patty cans with puff-paste, and fill them with the meat, nicking the upper crust with a knife. If the meat is intended to be kept long, leave out the apples and suet, as they are apt to spoil, and put them in fresh when there is occasion to use the meat.
The Practice of Cookery, Pastry, and Confectionary by Mrs Frazer (1820)
And secondly, because they sound like fun – even if they are just common or garden chocolate truffles - I give you:
3 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
3 ½ tablespoons cocoa
1 cup chopped nuts
3 tablespoons Karo
3 tablespoons each rum and sherry
1. Sift sugar and cocoa together and add nuts, crumbs, and Karo
2. Add liquid and mix well
3. Shape into balls and dust with powdered sugar.
4. Store in tin container at least 48 hours.
These cookies may be kept almost endlessly, if stored in covered container. Wonderful with a cup of tea.
Yuletide Favorites, a booklet published by the United Fuel Gas Company [1950’s?]
And finally, for those of you who do not have kitchen scales, but do have a teacup:
Teacup Plum Pudding.
Ingredients: One teacup each of raisins, currants, sugar, flour, suet, and breadcrumbs. A pinch of sal, and 2 eggs (well beaten), a little milk to make the pudding of the right consistency.
Method: Stone the raisins, wash and dry the currants, chop the suet quite fin, mix all the dry ingredients well together, and boil with the eggs and milk. Flavor with lemon, nutmeg, or brandy to taste. Boil for three hours. Serve with wine sauce, if liked.
Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW), December 14, 1934