Mom made bourbon balls just for Daddy. They sat in a beautiful covered candy dish on the coffee table. I WANTED to like them. After all, it was CHOCOLATE!!! But every time I lifted the lid on that candy dish, and the aroma of that bourbon wafted into the air, I slammed the lid down. I have not had bourbon balls in years, I bet I would like them now!
The best, best Christmas thing Mama made was real mincemeat pie. She and Grandma would get together and make the pies before Christmas. I loved those times. In later years, I watched and wrote down the recipe, because mincemeat pies were one of those things that they had no recipe for, they just made them. When they were all still on the farm, Grandma made up metal dishpans full of mincemeat. They canned whatever they did not use at the time. The only thing they needed to buy was flour, sugar, and oranges. Everything else they grew on the farm. Plenty of beef, an orchard of apples, and a vineyard. Grandpa made homemade wine, a sweet concord wine. Grandpa was first generation English, and Grandma first generation German. I don't know whose family had the tradition of mincemeat pies, probably the English side.
This year Mama and I made mincemeat pies again. We have customized the origional recipe over the last 20 years, because we don't make the mincemeat from scratch anymore. Here are a few pictures and the recipe.
Makes 1 deep dish pie and 1 regular pie
3 cups of beef roast, cooked and chopped finely ( I do a chuck roast in the crockpot)
Peel from 1 and 1/2 oranges
1/2 orange, diced
1/2 orange, diced
2 cups raisins
1 apple, diced finely
2 cups of Mogan David concord wine ( no fancy wine, you need Mad Dog, the sweet, cheap stuff)
1 jar (1 lb) of mincemeat
crusts for 2 pies
Add all ingredients together in a large bowl, and combine. Fill pie crusts with this mixture. Make sure you have steam holes in the top crust. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned.