Tag Archives: Mrs Beeton

11 Pie-ers Pieing

Oh, It’s PIPES?


Magritte – This is not a pipe – at least not the sort the song means


Imagine 10 more piping…

Why aren’t there more PIES in the Twelve Days of Christmas?????

Christmas is not just the retail season leading up to Xmas day…it’s also the twelve days following.Christmas Pies used to reign where there is now Christmas Pudding  and Christmas Cookies…Christmas Pie also went by Shred Pie or Mincemeat Pie…..but now the meat is mostly missing, and sometimes they’re known as Mince Pie.

If you eat a mince pie on each of the 12 days of Christmas, you’ll have good luck in each of the 12 months ahead. It’s even better luck if you eat one mince pie in each of  12 different houses -at least that way you won’t wear out your welcome.

We did not have mince pie at  Christmas this year. But the Christmas season isn’t over YET, so there’s time…..

Sometimes Mincemeat Pies were big, raised pies.

pie spanish pieA Pereda 1678

detail of a raised pie, Antonio de. Pereda, 1678

To make minced Pies or Chewits of a Leg of Veal, Neats-Tongue, Turkey, or Capon.

Take to a good leg of veal six pound of beef-suet, then take the leg of veal, bone it, parboil it, and mince it very fine when it is hot; mince the suet by it self very fine also, then when they are cold mingle them together, then season the meat with a pound of sliced dates, a pound of sugar, an ounce of nutmegs, an ounce of pepper, an ounce of cinamon, half an ounce of ginger, half a pint of verjuyce, a pint of rose-water, a preserved orange, or any peel fine minced, an ounce of caraway-comfits, and six pound of currans; put all these into a large tray with half a handful of salt, stir them up all together, and fill your pies, close them up, bake them, and being baked, ice them with double refined sugar, rose-water, and butter.

Make the paste with a peck of flour, and two pound of butter boil’d in fair water or liquor, make it up boiling hot.

Robert May. The Accomplist Cook. 1674



Somewhere along the way in the 18th century Brandy and Other Spirits found their way into mincemeat. Often, quite a bit of spirits, ostensibly for ‘preservation’. Truth be told, much of the newly Industrialized World was in quite a pickle through the mid-17oo’s and the 1800’s. Prohibition was  not for naught, as it were.

To make mince-pies the best way.

Take three pounds of suet shred very fine, and chopped as small as possible; two pounds of raisins stoned, and chopped as fine as possible; two pounds of currants nicely picked, washed, rubbed, and dried at the fire; half a hundred of fine pipins, pared, cored and chopped small; half a pound of sugar pounded fine; a quarter an ounce, of mace, a quarter of an ounce of cloves, two large nutmegs, all beat fine; put all together into a great pan, and mix it well together with half a pint of brandy, and half a pint of sack ; put it down close in a stone pot, and it will keep good for four months.

1740. Hannah Glasse. The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy.


and one more historic recipe…

MINCEMEAT (Mrs. Brotherton’s Recipe).

INGREDIENTS – 6 lemons, ½ lb. of apples, 1 lb. of raisins, weighed after being stoned,1 lb. of currants, 1 lb. of sugar, ½ lb. of fresh butter, 4 ozs. each of candied orange and citron.

Mode. – Grate the yellow rind, cut the lemons in two, and squeeze out the juice. Boil the rinds in spring water till tender, but not soft, changing the water 4 or 5 times to take out the bitterness, and putting a large tablespoon of salt in the water in which they are boiled. When done, drain the water from them, and take out the seeds and the skins, then chop them with the raisins in a wooden bowl. When finely chopped, add the currants, sugar, the apples, previously prepared as for sauce, the grated rind of the lemons, the juice, ½ a tablespoonful of cayenne pepper, a small teaspoonful of mace, another of powdered cinnamon, 15 drops almond flavor, the candied orange and citron, cut in thin slices, and lastly the butter, melted, and poured in.

This mincemeat may have brandy or other spirits added to it the same as ordinary mincemeat, and it keeps fresh longer; but, as teetotalism and vegetarianism so often go hand in hand, we have not put it amongst the ingredients.*

The pastry recipe may be used for the mince pies or ordinary puff-paste.

Average cost, for this quantity, 3s.

Seasonable at Christmas.

-1903. Mrs. Beeton’s Cookery Book : A Household Guide. J.S. Doige, Blackpool (fasc. Rigby Pub. Ltd, 1981.) p. 185, section: Vegetarianism. * bold mine kmw

Mrs Beetons pb

This is one of the Mrs Beeton’s that I own. I got this on my first trip to London in the early ’80’s on a shop on Charring Cross Road.


Modern day Mince Pie are often small pies

Tuesday January 5th is the 11th day of Christmas, so get mincing!


Filed under Books, Christmas, Pie, Recipe, Wicked Wayback

Hot Dog!

July is National Hot Dog Month!

bogie dog steakA hot dog at the ball park is better than steak at the Ritz. – Humphrey Bogart

UNLESS…he said…

bogie dog rbI, for one, am sticking by the HOT DOG…


because this is sooo about the hot dog – not the steak or roast beef or even the Ritz

Saturday night is traditionally Franks and Beans night  ’round these parts. (’round these parts? Have I been listening to too much country music??)

beans BM

Beans. Boston Baked. OK, they come in cans,too, but the jar is shaped like a bean pot. A deep breath away from twee.

This a 2 gallon bean pot from the Pot Shop in Boston - this makes 5 pounds of beans...thats a lotta bean!

This a 2 gallon bean pot from the Pot Shop in Boston – this makes 5 pounds of beans…that’s a lotta bean! But it’s hot dog month, so the beans will have to keep. Is there a National Baked Bean Month – or even a Day? Later.

We are having Franks and Beans (ok – and some leftover potato salad) because I found some Maple Leaf Franks….

Just like Uncle Al used to make.

Except this batch all the dogs were pretty much the same….not that that’s a bad thing.

maple-leaf-top-dogs-original-wieners_483And I also found the turn of the last century recipe for the Frankfort Sausages that I made in a workshop that was TEN years ago, where does the time fly?


Time flies, Pigs fly…need some pigs for making hot dogs.


Ingredients. – 2 lbs. of tender, lean pork, 1 lb. of fat, mace, coriander seeds, sauce, claret, sausage skins.

Mode. – Chop both the lean and the fat very fine, add the other ingredients to taste, mix to the consistency of sausage meat with the claret, and fill the skins. Boil them gently in mild beer or water, enough to cover them, for ¾ of an hour, then fry for 15 minutes in butter. In Germany they are often served with well sweetened applesauce flavoured with cinnamon.

Time, 1 hour. Average cost, 2s. 9d.

Seasonable from September to March.

  • Beeton, I. Beeton’s Cookery Book.J.S. Doige: West Street, Blackpool. 1902. Reprinted by Rigby Publishers Lt. London, 1981. p. 126.

NOTES: Sausages: Links to the Past ALHFAM 2004 THF

  • Coriander is the essential HD flavor
  • Put the chopped meat into a food processor to make it into a meat paste (meat mousse)before filling the casings makes the sausage extra good
  • Make them a day or two ahead before serving to really meld the flavor
  • Besides the applesauce suggestion, also good in buns with yellow mustard or sauerkraut
  • ‘Skins’ is Victorian speak for guts – aka casings. KMW
Hot dog in NE style Bun, King Arthur Flour makes the bun pan

Hot dog in NE style Bun, King Arthur Flour makes the bun pan

Why are frankfurters considered fickle sports fans?

They always root for the wieners

(click to find out how wieners are made for you)


Filed under New England, Summer, Supper