When Danny walked in the door Friday afternoon, he leaned on the door frame, and was completely overcome by an enormous yawn. While his mouth gaped, I laughed at him, because the yawn said it all. It was the end of a long week, a long couple of months, and the beginning of holidays!
It's Christmas vacation!! Well, for Danny, anyway. I'm still hard at work, one of the downsides of working from home. One doesn't just tidy a desk, flip the answering machine to 'away' and take off for two weeks.
I took last night off though. Once two exhausted little kiddos were asleep, Danny made lattes and I baked off a mince pie, (a total cinch, thanks to jars of homemade mincemeat in the fridge and chilled pie crust) and we retreated to our cozy loft to chill and chat about the whole two weeks ahead.
We're looking at a surprisingly relaxed holiday season, mostly because we haven't just moved (one year ago) and I'm not attempting to invite every single person we know over AND attend every event on the calendar.
Sometimes, I do the right thing.
Let's talk about this mincemeat, though.
You may recall I made a Canadian version of this traditional holiday pie filling last year, which I went rather ape over. Seriously, the homemade stuff cannot compare with store bought. Shocking, I know.
This year, I was planning on making more, but hadn't picked up all the ingredients. In fact, a few days of serious snow had me put off grocery shopping altogether and I avoided exiting the house as much as possible. (Thanks goodness for Skype and *high-five* to all work-at-home peeps!)
So here I am one recent morning, with very few groceries, entertaining a Montreal Gazette reporter and photographer in my home for an interview/photo shoot (for a future feature, not out yet) when the photog mentions that his editor wants him to shoot a cooking demo video as well.
Oh. OK. A little notice would have been nice. I scrambled together ingredients for mincemeat and we shot the clip below in one take. A few hours later it was up on the Gazette website, and my mincemeat was stashed in the refrigerator for the holidays. Not a bad morning!
A few notes from the impromptu cooking demo:
- 1/2 cup maple syrup is too much. I should have said 1/4. But then again, I like my mince on the tart side and not too sweet.
- I listed cognac as an option for the alcoholic ingredient. I meant brandy. Please don't use cognac! Rum, whiskey or port are also great options.
- I prefer currants to raisins, but didn't have any in the house.
- You can grate the apple if you like a finer mincemeat.
Do give the recipe a go, then tuck it between two flaky layers of pastry and enjoy the best pie of the season.