Stir-Up Sunday
Stir-Up Sunday

Did you know today was Stir-Up Sunday?
I did. It's when all good Christians get the whole family together to stir their Christmas puddings. I volunteered my services to the Eldorado clan but they weren't interested. Even disgusted. Apparently Christmas puddings break their No Raisins rule.
Another one for the list.

Pity - I had hoped to rope them into stirring up a rather special batch of old-fashioned mincemeat. Once upon a time mincemeat used to be made with real minced meat. And for a year now I've fancied having a go at recreating this tradition. Full of good intentions, I had already bought myself some lean venison mince from my favourite butcher (imagine how much easier that would have been with my own mincer/sausage machine? Eh family? Eh?) in anticipation of getting it on, but without the spur of sweet domestic kinship I couldn't be bothered to start what I realised was going to be quite a lengthy process given that I planned on candying my own peel too.
Ah tradition. Without you we are weak!

So I picked through my venison stripping out as much fat as I could, covered it with 1½ cups of cognac, and stuck it in the fridge to wait for me to get my arse in gear. Which eventually started on Tuesday, when I boiled up my candied fruit peel and finally used up all the egg whites left over from making ice cream to bake an oven-load of meringues just in time for Flora's scheduled Toastie Evening.

I suppose I ought to explain - Flora has a new Toastie machine, and has been wanting to show it off, so she brought it round along with half the contents of her parents' fridge and we loaded it up until we couldn't eat any more.
So we had two rounds of toasties:
Chicken Supreme
I wrapped some thawed-out chicken breasts in bacon and fried them up, whilst I softened some sliced onions together with diced mushrooms and a sliced red pepper, then made it into a sauce with cream and grainy mustard.
and Goats Cheese and Proscuttio
with sliced tomatoes.
The chicken supreme toasties were far too dry (though they were improved by a dash of Worcestershire sauce) but the goats cheese filling was rather tasty

And then we had Eton Mess. Or maybe Citrus Fruit Mess. Since I had a load of leftover citrus fruits - what with making all that candied peel. I just cut up the fruit into bite-sized pieces (already handily peeled), sugared them, whipped some double cream until it was thickening (but not stiff), and stirred it through the fruit and broken bits of meringue.

The dessert was reasonably acceptable, but I'd still go for strawberries, indeed I will shortly.
Flora really liked the candied peel and took a bunch home. Which was fine since I seem to have made about a pound of the stuff, despite needing only 1½ oz!

Come Thursday when I started preparing for a visit to Doctor Jenny the candied peels had dried out nicely so I went ahead and made up my real mincemeat (finally!) poured in an extra fl oz of cognac, covered it with cling film and left it in a tupperware container in the fridge.

So more Stir-Up Thursday really.

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