Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mincemeat Anyone?

Do any of you know what mincemeat is?

It was a favorite Christmas treat in my family.
However, I am not included in that list.
Here's what it looks like.

Here's what's in it:


Now, if you can believe it,
this mixture is used to make pie!
Yes, you read that right. in dessert.
I completely understand if you are turning up your nose right now.
As I said, I don't like it either.

It has turned into one of my favorite Christmas memories though.
I will explain.

You may purchase mincemeat in a jar at the grocery store.
I remember my Mom using it from the jar when
she made pies.
My Dad really loved mincemeat.
He often talked about his mother's homemade mincemeat.
So one year, for Christmas,
I decided I would make the homemade stuff for Dad.

There are so many ingredients (and a lot of each one) that I had
to use a stock pot to make it.
It wasn't cheap either.
I added ingredients as listed.
And I stirred.
And I let it boil.
Then I packed it into mason jars and processed it.

I wrapped up a few jars for my Dad
(and a brother and sister that loved it).
I couldn't wait to see Dad open it on Christmas Eve.
You see, it wasn't easy to find something to buy for my Dad.
This meant a lot to me and I hoped it would mean a lot to him.

As vividly as if it were yesterday,
I can still see my Dad shining like a star in the night
when he opened up that present and realized what it was.
To me, he looked like a little boy receiving his most prized possession
from Santa Claus.
I have never given a gift that was so happily received.
I think that was the year I really understood how much fun it was to
I wish I could give something to everyone I know that would
bring them that much joy.

I sometimes wish I had a picture of my Dad that night.
Yet, it's so ingrained in my memory, I shall never forget it.
It was magical.
The first magical moment I experienced as an adult.
The first magical moment I realized that giving can be better than receiving.

That was the last gift I ever gave my Dad.
He wasn't with us the next Christmas.
How glad I am to have had that opportunity.

Since I no longer have a hunter in my life,
I haven't made mincemeat since.
But what sweet thoughts I have whenever I think of it.


Kayla said...

Oh, what a memory, Jill! I had no idea that mincemeat actually contained meat! Have never had it...not sure if I ever will. But, if I do, I will be thinking of you and your Dad! Honestly, I will. This story will stick with me.

Kandi said...

That's such a sweet story! Thanks for sharing your memories of your family...I enjoy reading them.

Anonymous said...

what an awesome gift to give your dad! and what a thoughtful act of love from you, his daughter.


Susan said...

What a beautifully tender post Jill.

BettyJean @ Shabby Tea Party said...

Jill, I'm sooo glad you were able to give your dad the mincemeat that Christmas, such a precious memory. I am a fan of mincemeat although a whole slice of pie can be a bit overwhelming.....the citrusy raisin kind from the jar I buy I'm pretty sure is meatless though.)