Karen Wright: Mince pies and all things nice

Karen Wright: Mince pies and all things nice 2023.This week I have been freezing once again! I don’t mean literally although it is quite parky now.

What I mean is that I have been making some mince pies to freeze now and take out when needed over the festive period.

However, I needed to make room for them, so I’ve also been working on my

I go through all the meals I’ve frozen in the last few months, so I don’t cook much from scratch while doing this, I just thaw and ping!

Mince pies have been a part of our Christmas traditions for centuries.

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In the Middle Ages, when the crusaders set out for the Middle East, they brought back all kinds of spices, fruits, and nuts from their travels. Mince pies originally contained meat, hence the name “mince”, but this died out and we were left with just tallow. Now, with the advent of vegetarian suet, we can all enjoy a mince pie regardless of our dietary choices, even vegan if you make a pie with vegan butter.

I also hosted a ‘Zoom’ workshop making my frangipane topped mince pies last week.

Most of my bakers joined me from the US, and they don’t have a mince pie tradition there.

In fact, some had a hard time finding the nuts to make the hash, something we take for granted here.

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I am very satisfied with the results of the class. We had 100 percent

success rate and this was repeated a few days later when I held another festive bake and made a glorious meringue wreath, which was topped with candied orange slices, clementines, orange curd and chocolate leaves.

Another commitment last week was to present a decorated Christmas cake to the organizers of Wakefield Pride. They held a fundraiser to collect toys for children in our area who may be suffering from the economic bite. The cake was a raffle prize and he had decorated it with a rather unusual figure of Santa Claus.

I need to do some ‘spring’ cleaning before putting up the Christmas tree and make our house look bright and welcoming as both our daughters and grandchildren will be in Yorkshire this year. I am beyond excited!

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