This has been a Christmas of change for us. It is my mother’s last Christmas this side of heaven, and so a sense of history and eternity pervaded. It was Zane’s first Christmas knowing about presents, LOL. It was my sweet dh’s and mine first Christmas by ourselves, without the kids living at home (except for our very first Christmas long, long ago, and then I was pregnant with our oldest). The last child living at home moved out this year; so it was all a bit surreal.
Maybe that is why I have been feeling so nostalgic this year. I missed my Grandma like crazy. So I did a crazy thing, I guess: I made her mincemeat pie for Christmas day dinner.
My Grandma made mincemeat pie every year for Christmas. It was something her mother always did, too. She was famous for her mincemeat pie. My uncle waxed rapturous about it every year with much drooling anticipation. When I was a child, however, I never tried her mincemeat pie. You know how kids are with what is perceived as “weird” food.
It was many years ago when she last made a mincemeat pie at Christmas … it must have been 20 years ago. It would have been the last Christmas my Grandpa was still alive, and that was the year my son was born. When my Grandma died, I inherited her recipes. I noted right away that her mother’s mincemeat pie was in there, but never having tried mincemeat pie, and never having learned to make it, there it sat, untouched … until this year, this nostalgic Christmas.
Her recipe was simply a list of ingredients … no instructions whatsoever. It runs like this:
2 bowls meat (stew) cooked and ground
5 bowls apples (golden)
1 bowl molasses
and so on. I minced everything up very fine, and combined it all in the crockpot, and let it cook all night Christmas Eve night. I made the pie Christmas morning. Everyone over the age of 50 in my family loved the pie, and pronounced it exactly like Grandma’s had been. Yay!! Success!
I tried it for the first time yesterday … yuck! I guess I don’t like mincemeat. My sister tried a bite too, and made a face like Zane makes when you try to give him asparagus, LOL. My son, who loves my pies, asked me to never make it again, LOL.
I guess some traditions are better off dying out a quiet death, like fruitcake, and pfeffernesse. But my Mom, who hadn’t had her mother’s mincemeat pie in 20 years, got to have it again, on her last Christmas in the shadowlands. It was definitely worth it.