Stamford ( a few miles north of here) is a beautiful town full of lovely independent shops. We visited a few days ago for some seasonal shopping.
I loved these Christmas lights hanging in the entrance to the famous George Hotel and in surrounding trees: they reminded me of balls of mistletoe.
Back home there have been more festive preparations in the form of some chopping, mixing and stirring.
Making mincemeat is one of the tasks I really enjoy at this time of year.
It fills the kitchen with delicious Christmassy smells.
This time, I tried out a new recipe, adapted from this recipe in the latest Waitrose Food magazine.
I made a few changes, substituting sultanas and cherries for currants and mixed peel and using 4 tblsp melted coconut oil instead of suet.
( The 150ml brandy seems rather a lot at first glance, but after standing for 24 hours or so, the fruit had absorbed a lot of the liquid and the resulting mixture is deliciously boozy!)
When all the ingredients are assembled, it's simply a case of mixing everything together and then spooning into sterilised jars. It will keep for up to a week in the fridge or can be frozen for 3 months.
Makes approx 3 x 500ml jars.
I'm resisting the temptation to eat huge spoonfuls ( maybe just one or two little tastes!) - better make the mince pies soon before it all disappears ...