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:

Venison
Suet
Currants
Raisins
Citron
Lemons
Salt
Pepper
Apples
Cinnamon
Ginger
Nutmeg
Cloves
Sugar
Cider
Butter
and
Molasses

Now, if you can believe it,
this mixture is used to make pie!
Yes, you read that right. 
Pie...as 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
give.
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.

5 comments:

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.

www.shutthefridge.blogspot.com

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.

((((((((JILL))))))))

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.)