Christmas Preparations

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Thread Topic: Christmas Preparations
Topic Originator: Editor
Post Date December 23, 2005 @ 9:09 AM
 Christmas Preparations

December 23, 2005 @ 9:09 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I can remember near to Christmas when my mother used to get the mincer out to mince the dried fruit for the mincemeat (for the mincepies).  I got the job of chief operator of the mincer and loved to feed the material in and watch it come out in wriggly lengths.  Sometimes it had to go through again if she decided it wasn't fine enough or we had to change the set of holes we were using.  First of all, she used to wash all the fruit, currants, sultanas raisins (those nice large ones which had to be stoned before use).  She then laid it all out to dry in trays. She had several bowls on the table and measured out the fruit and other ingredients, some for the Christmas cake, some for the puddings and some for the mincemeat.  There was a lot of stirring to be done.  The mix for the puddings allowed you to have a wish if you stirred - so we were all keen to have a stir of that one.  Also, Mum put in some silver threpenny bits into the pudding mixture and if you were lucky you would find one of these when you were eating the pudding.  While all this preparation was going on there were some delicious smells, the lemons and oranges being grated, pudding spice, nutmeg etc.
We didn't have a turkey in those days, it was a chicken and that was a treat.  Again, the smells were the best part, cloves in the onion for the breadsauce, parsley and thyme for the stuffing.
When the baker made his last delivery before Christmas my Dad used to offer him a glass of beer and a mincepie which he readily accepted.  He had tried my Mum's mincepies before!  Many of the delivery men were staggering a bit by the time they ended their rounds.
Icing the cake was another experience.  My Mum had an icing set with all the pipes.  She used to use all different colours in the icing and pipe rosettes and lines all round the sides and on the top of the
cake.  She used to spend ages getting the top of the cake flat before she started.
What do you remember about Christmas?  Tell us about it.