Exhibit a. 


Ladies and gentlemen I give you exhibit a.  It may well look harmless and innocuous with it’s recycled jam jar plumage – but it’s not.  Herein lies the tale of this year’s Christmas mincemeat.    Let me set the scene………..it all started well – currants, raisins, sultanas, candied peel, apricots, muscavado sugar, honey, spices etc. all sittting comfortably overnight in the pantry, with a dash or ten of Somerset cider apple brandy (the last in the bottle).  The jars were scrubbed and sterilised and I ahem ‘checked’ the brandy was ok.  The potion was then cooked slowly in the oven for three hours, I checked the brandy was still ok, the mixture was then stirred every 15 minutes whilst cooling to prevent coagulation (I actually used the kitchen timer so I didn’t forget to do this regularly – no one is enticed by jars of mincemeat that look like fat balls for birds).  More brandy was added (after carefully checking it again) along with some white port for excitement.  This was then put into jars ready for use.  

Sounds ok doesn’t it? It was definitely not ok!  I’d put vegetarian suet and cooking apples on the shopping list, I found the suet in the pantry but thought it funny that Andrew hadn’t picked up any apples.  Off I went in the dark and the wind and the rain and the knee high grass to find the last few apples.  As I opened the suet I thought ‘phew, that smells a little plasticy – must be because it’s veg suet’.  As the operation progressed the smell increased; ‘dam those children and their vegeterianismsmsmsm’.  I continued to add more booze, more spices, more honey but still couldn’t shift the smell.  I was then ready to send a strongly worded missive to Mr Atora.    I went to bed and I swear I the smell followed me.  

Whilst at work today I asked Andrew to fish the packet out of the bin, to check the date.  Seems I do not need to post a missive to Atora brothers …….  Andrew hadn’t picked up any suet and the stuff I used should have been gracefully retired two years ago.

Here’s a picture of something I got right this week.


I keep thinking about the apple brandy – it was the last in the bottle.