Xmas fruit mince 2010

All that remained in the back of the pantry was one jar from the 2008 batch and even though probably well preserved in brandy it looked a little dry so we set about getting the ingredients for a new batch yesterday and we’re now the proud owners of 5 new jars, just sealed up now.

We had a massive day cooking yesterday and that’s when we did all the mincing after a trip to the supermarket for the ingredients. I worry that traditions are going out the door in our mile-a-minute lives … I think we’re in the 3rd phase of my Christmas Baking Lifecycle …

Phase 1: The early years

Many years ago, whether shopping for dried fruit for a Christmas cake or fruit mince for pies, I’ve not been alone in the dried fruit isle at Labour Weekend before. These first few years it was always a bun fight of housewives for bags, pens and lots of eying up each others concoctions in the Alison Holst scoop-your-own-fruit section – much weighing out a colourful array of sultanas, currants, dried cherries, apricots, peel and nuts. I always appreciated the scales – very smart thinking I thought, especially for someone like me who never bakes with dried fruit except at Labour Weekend.

Phase 2: The convenient years

Last time I stocked up for Christmas fruit mince in 2008 I noticed that there were significantly less housewives and many of them had picked up the handy pre-packaged supermarket bags of Christmas Fruit for their cakes or pies. No more hand-me-down family recipes calling for carefully measured this and that. And no more carefully measuring either – the help-yourself scales had disappeared by this time as well, and those of us left sticking to our worn reeipe from the Australian Woman’s Weekly New Cookbook (with inscription from Mother inside from 1987) eye-rolled each other as we traipsed back and forward to the spotty teen-aged boy who was getting increasingly annoyed by us popping bags on his scales and then whipping them off again to go away and take out or put in to get just the right amount.

Phase 3: The token years

So now we’re in the token years, the just in time years, the self-deprecating years, where I was alone with Alison’s bins of dried fruit and nuts (and a spotty teen-aged boy at the scales) – this year there will be cries of surprise from housewives when they realise it’s Christmas again and tear into the supermarket after work one night to grab extremely overpriced yet very trendy packets of  mini fruit mince pies from Aro Bake because they should have some Christmas baking on hand for neighbours and family who might call around for a bit of Christmas cheer. And anyway, Aro Bake make much nicer ones than anyone could at home themselves anyway.

Like martyrs we embraced the Christmas spirit – minced our fruit, ‘whoopsied’ in a measure of brandy, stirred it up with a kiss and a wish, sterilized jars, made labels and ferretted the hoard away in the back of the pantry.

Roll on Christmas!

Mince in the jars

Xmas fruit mince 2010


#1 Have you made your cake? — OrangeBlog on 10.31.10 at 3:15 pm

[…] at Labour Weekend. I still have the book out with my cake recipe in it from last weekend when I went off on a rant about tradition dying away (another sign of middle age (EYEROLL)) and even though I think writing […]

#2 Xmas pies 2011 — OrangeBlog on 12.24.11 at 11:45 am

[…] whiz here so if I attempted it, it would be totally by hand. I had brought the one remaining jar of 2010 Xmas fruit mince with us and really wanted to do some Christmas baking. With The Mister not being a fan of […]

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