Christmas countdown - week 1

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 ...

annjenny x


  1. Hello! I've been so completely rushed off my feet lately, I've fallen behind with all my favourite blogs and have just read back through your posts.
    Your photographs are lovely; the food ones in particular are wonderful to look at and (at 16.43 as I type this) make me feel very hungry! I can almost smell the festive spices you've been using.
    S x

    1. Thank you Sarah :) Very kind comments. Hoping that you are all settling into your new home x

  2. Thanks for sharing that recipe - perfect for even the vegans and vegetarians in the family.

    1. Thank you. I had to guess the amount of coconut oil to use, but 4 tblsps seems to be ok .

  3. It must be scrumptious! Thanks for sharing! Beautiful photos as well!
    Happy new week!

  4. I love this time of year, with all its scrummy Christmassy makes and bakes in the kitchen. The smells are wonderful, I can only imagine the beautiful aroma from the mincemeat. It certainly looks delicious.

  5. Stamford looks lovely, just the sort of place I like to wander round. And your mincemeat looks absolutely delicious, what a genius idea to use coconut oil instead of suet, I shall definitely do that this year. I'm a big fan of cranberries and cherries as well, it sounds like the perfect recipe. CJ xx

  6. Oh that mincemeat looks WONDERFUL. I confess I have never seemed to be able to conjure the time to make any. One day.....thank you so much for joining in with Making Winter again x


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