Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Let The Baking Begin!

IN honour of Saint Nicholas, the beginning of December saw us making lebkuchen, German spice biscuits. Foregoing the traditional shape of a man with a staff, we opted instead for easier but just-as-tasty shapes, using Christmas cookie cutters. By the end of the day, wonderful aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg filled the house and the children raced to eat their dinner so they could eat some of their creations for dessert. (The biscuits didn't stay around long enough to be iced... picture credit goes to who must use the same set of cookie cutters :-)

The next project for our Christmas bakery was mince pies. Finally using a real mince pie tray courtesy of my mum, instead of the deep muffin trays, the pies turned out better than years past. I've had a bit of trouble explaining exactly what mincemeat is - first that it contains no meat, but that it does contain suet. Try portraying suet as a delicious ingredient when most people in your country know it only as bird food. Mincemeat actually is, of course, dried fruits mixed with spices and sometimes alcohol. Mince pies are a traditional pastry found everywhere in England at Christmas time - you could even call it a national obsession. See if you don't believe me.

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