"The greatest Indian cook in Britain"Jay Rayner "The Observer"
"Cook with love. Love your cooking" Gita Mistry

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Last Christmas - this Christmas

You can have just so much of a good thing: "Jingle Bells", "Away in a Manger",  "The Twelve Days of Christmas". So I switched to the BBC Asian network. What did I find but Tav Bains who claims to have recorded the first Indian Christmas song. Really?

Anyway you can't have too many of my mince pies.  Mmm ........ yummy!

Last Christmas I did a buy and try. I bought from ASDA, Bettys and our local baker

This Christmas I did a make and bake with an all butter, ground almond and cinnamon pastry, a filling of brandy and ginger spice mincemeat.

Brandy is my favourite liqueur.

Ginger is my favourite spice

According to Wikipedia mince pies have been around since the 13th century.  Apparently Oliver Cromwell and his less than merry men tried to ban them. Why are they called mince pies when there is no meat in them? Not everyone knows that, incidentally, because one of my guests once asked "A Halal version for me, please?" I told him that he had missed the boat. Originally mince pies did have real mince meat and the spices had to be there to preserve or more likely mask the rancid meat. Nowadays we have fridges so we can enjoy the spices for themselves.

Why spice at Christmas? it's because its expensive, scented and special for this time of year. 

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