Tag Archives: recipe

Sunday comforts

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Saturday was a work day, with an incredible amount of rain. It was so dark outside the store, it felt like a really long day, because it felt later than it actually was.

Today it looked like it was going to be another wet and windy day, but the sun came out and it ended up being bright most of the day, which was lovely. I had a bit of a lie in, and called my mum and sister on Facetime. Tai Chi Man and I went out for a cuppa at our favourite tea shop, and of course I took some knitting.

This afternoon, we did some shopping at our favourite health food store (oops, some special Christmassy chocolate jumped into my basket, Zazubean’s Dasher (white vegan chocolate with cranberries and cocoa nibs OMG) and also I found an essential oil diffuser on clearance. I’ve been wanting one of those for ages so I snatched it up. I have it going right now with orange and lemon oils in it. Smells divine!

Before the sun set and we got too relaxed, we went off to the gym for a 45 minute workout. I did treadmill and legs today. I’m being carefulĀ  not to overdo things with the left shoulder, for which I’m getting physio, and for which I have special daily exercises.

Once we’d had dinner, it was time to make mincemeat. Mince pies, aaaaah, one of my favourite things about December. Whether we’re celebrating the Solstice, Christmas or whatever, it’s just not the same without mince pies. I like to make my own, which means it’s vegan and fat-free. No need for suet. I can’t remember where I found this recipe, but I’ve been using it for years.

I’ll give you the recipe too in case you want to try it out. It’s supposed to sit in airtight jars in the fridge for 4 – 6 weeks. When you fancy a nice mince pie, you can whip up a batch of pastry (or buy it frozen if that’s what you prefer) and make little tarts, with or without lids, or large ones.

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I like to use a mixture of dried fruit. This is a combination of raisins, golden raisins, cranberries and currants.

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Then you add in your sugar and spices (I used a combination of organic sugar and coconut sugar, plus cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice).

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And then you add your wet ingredients – lemon juice, apples and apple juice. If you have organic lemons with no icky coating, you can put in the zest as well. Give it a good stir, leave it covered in the fridge overnight, stir it up again, and then put it into airtight jars. I use mason jars with the two part lids, but you don’t can it, you just put the jars into the fridge and forget about them until Christmas.

This quantity makes about four medium mason jars full. But this year I doubled the quantity as I may give some away to friends.

Let me know if you try it out.

Vegan Mincemeat Recipe

6 cups mixed dried fruit (eg currants, raisins, golden raisins, sultanas, cranberries)

1lb (about 4, depending on size) chopped apples

2.5 cups sugar (ideally not bleached white sugar)

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

juice of 2 lemons

Ā¾ cup fruit juice

Mix all in large bowl, leave covered overnight in fridge. The next day, mix it again, pack into sterilised jars with airtight lids. Leave in fridge 4 – 6 weeks.

 

Getting in the mood for…

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…Christmas/Yule/Solstice or whatever you like to celebrate in December!

Woke up to this this morning…

  We have seen snow at higher elevations before now, but last night it snowed on us!

I am not good at planning far ahead for December festivities as we don’t make a huge deal of them, but one of the things I do like to eat around Christmas is mince pies. The last couple of years, I haven’t bothered to make mincemeat, but this year I decided it was time to make the effort again. You may be aware that a lot of commercial mincemeat is made with added suet (animal fat) unless you buy a specifically vegetarian brand, and even then, it’s so easy to make one’s own, why not just do that? Then you know what went into it.

  
The recipe I have says to make it four to six weeks ahead, and I’m just squeaking in on time, what with Christmas being only a month away. 

I don’t remember where I found the recipe as it was years ago, but it’s vegan, fat-free, and divine. 

Mincemeat recipe

3 cups currants 

1.5 cups golden raisins or sultanas 

1.5 cups Thompson raisins

(I think you can use any combination of your favourite dried fruits; I usually use dried cranberries in the mix too)

1lb chopped apples (say 3 good-sized ones or 4 small)

2.5 cups sugar (it’s tempting to cut back on the sugar but it is probably there for preservation properties)

1 teaspoon allspice 

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Juice of 2 lemons (and zest if organic)

0.75 cup fruit juice (please, not from concentrate)

Mix all together in a large bowl, cover and leave in fridge overnight. Pack into sterilized  jars with lids (no need to heat or vacuum seal), refrigerate for 4 – 6 weeks. 

This is really delicious used in tarts (small or large) for a traditional taste of a British Christmas.