Mince Pies

This morning a friend and I finished up the last of the mince pies I was given at Christmas. Here’s a picture of the very same prior to their consumption with a rather nice cup of instant coffee.

mince pies

Mince pies are shortcrust or puff pastry filled with a minced mixture of dried fruits, sugar, spices and brandy. Although, this rich and sticky mixture of fruit contains no meat it is called mince meat – and jars of ready-made mince pie filling sold in shop is labelled mincemeat. Mince pies have been eaten as part of a traditional Christmas in Great Britain and Ireland since the 16th century.

Here’s a link to a delicious, easy to make recipe, if you’d like to try making your own mince pies. I though recommend you serve them hot with cream rather than the brandy butter described.

Christmas Crackers

Christmas crackers are an important part of Christmas celebrations in many English-speaking countries, especially in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa. A cracker consists of a cardboard tube wrapped in coloured paper with a gift, a crown-like paper hat, and a motto or joke on a small piece of paper inside the central chamber. One person pulling one end of the cracker, another person the other end. When the cracker splits a snapping sound, similar to the sound produced by a cap gun, can be heard. This is due to the presence of a card strip impregnated with a special chemical inside the cracker. Christmas crackers are commonly pulled at the Christmas dinner table. The joke or riddle is told and the hat worn during the meal. The tradition of pulling crackers at Christmas dates back to at least the mid 19th century.