Friday, December 25, 2009


How much snow do you need to call it a white Christmas? Right now it's kind of a rainy, slushy, windy Christmas, but earlier in the week, our terrace looked like this. Snow and lots of it! So pretty.

On Christmas Eve afternoon we met the mother-in-law at father-in-law's care facility for a short visit before coming home for a nice meal of Raclette and the opening of the presents. The latter just for the kids, mind you, because the adults already have Too Much Stuff, you know? We've decided to spread our gift giving throughout the year.

Lately I had been feeling all nostalgic for days gone by and had a craving for mincemeat tarts and Christmas pudding, desserts I enjoyed as a child and that my mother made year after year. My grandmother was English so I guess it's in the genes. The Germans around here won't touch the stuff. All the more for me.

For the tarts I had two options - it was either trek downtown to the British store to buy a jar of overpriced mincemeat that I'd never use up, or make my own.

Guess what? Making your own mincemeat is really easy. Lynda kindly directed me to Nigella's recipe. Yes, that Nigella really knows her stuff. I halved the recipe, making a smallish jar, and varied the ingredients a bit, using what I had on hand and it still turned out wonderfully.

The pastry, a pâte brisée from the Joy of Baking site, was so simple to put together and very easy to work with. I'll be using it again and again for all sorts of things.

I made twelve regular size tarts...

...and twelve wee ones, just one bite each.

Can you guess how many are left?

For the pudding I chose a steamed carrot pudding with hard sauce, my mother's favourite. She always made a large one but I reduced this recipe and used four custard cups to make individual servings (which I will be eating all by myself, thank you very much!).

I also got to try out my brand new snowflake cookie cutter. You can never have too many cookie cutters. Ask me how I know.

This evening we enjoyed roast turkey with herbed bread stuffing, green beans and bacon, red cabbage and cheesy mashed potatoes. We are all so full we can hardly move, but there may still be room for dessert, an English trifle, by the time Die Hard 2 starts. Bruce Willis and his dirty undershirt are (unfortunately) a Christmas tradition at our house.

So from our house to yours, a very Merry Christmas!


At December 26, 2009 9:57 a.m., Blogger deedeeinfrance said...

Merry Christmas!I guess there are zero mincemeat pies left :)

At December 26, 2009 10:29 a.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Had I known about the mincemeat pies, I would have helped to "make them disappear". :)

At December 26, 2009 1:21 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

delicious food and lovely decorations - as always!

is it sad that i just want to eat the dough from the pies??

At December 26, 2009 3:38 p.m., Blogger Blogging Mama Andrea said...

Marry Christmas! Everything looks delicious like always :)

At December 26, 2009 6:57 p.m., Blogger Di Mackey said...

My mouth watered and, as always, I wished I lived over at your house.

Merry Christmas to you and yours too xx

At December 26, 2009 8:37 p.m., Blogger Thimbleanna said...

Oh Yipee! I was so hoping you'd have a post with some of your Christmas treats and you did not disappoint! Your little mincemeat pies are adorable -- I love them with the stars on them. That's one thing I want to start making for Chrimtmas. We have a steamed cranberry pudding every year for dessert on Christmas Day night -- it's a family tradition!

At December 26, 2009 8:57 p.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

The food looks so wonderful. Now that I have given away so many things, I am completely lacking in the cookie cutter area and want to find some!!!

By the way, that cabbage sounds amazing. I must go search for some soon! :)

At December 27, 2009 4:37 p.m., Blogger Silvia said...

As I see, you guys had a wonderful holiday! In my mind it still is Christmas, since we are all off! LOL

Cute little sweets you baked, which I have never seen in my life, but would love to try, too bad that I don't live anywhere near your area! LOL I am imagining that this pudding tastes something like a carrot cake??? Enjoy-I am all for it!

At December 28, 2009 2:32 p.m., Blogger essie said...

beautiful photos mausi,
thank you for sharing your hols with the rest of your blog-i-verse!

my mum is scottish, i have memories of mincemeat, HARD sugar cakes sent from Harrod's to Alaska where we lived, and chocolate oranges in our stockings...

may the new year fill your home and your heart with lovely Mausi-Memories!!


At December 28, 2009 7:29 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

You are just the cat's meow, Christina, when it comes to holidays. I declare, Woman!

At December 29, 2009 4:07 p.m., Blogger honeypiehorse said...

Oh, I love little yummy pies! Yours look so professional.

At December 29, 2009 7:05 p.m., Blogger Tinsie said...

Merry Christmas! Those mince pies look amazing!!!


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