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            Mincemeat

[from Lena Osborne's column in the Tulsa Daily World, Dec. 3, 1921]

  Here are the necessary things you
must have to make mincemeat--the
amounts of each used depend upon
the recipe and the amount you want
to make:
  Meat (neck or boiling meat.)
  Suet.
  Apples.
  Currants.
  Raisins.
  Pure apple cider vinegar.
  Spices:
       a.  Cinnamon.
       b.  Ground Cloves.
       c.  Allspice.
       d.  Mace.
       e.  Nutmeg.
  Salt.
  Sugar.
  These are what we call the neces-
sary ingredients.  There are many
others that may be put in. For in-
stance:
  Citron.
  Orange juice.
  Lemon juice.
  Nuts.
  Molasses, etc.
  ... I am going to give you the amounts for
a small batch of mince--with just
the necessary ingredients--then you
may use your judgement about put-
ting in any or all of these. ... These
amounts when combined make a
splendid mincemeat:
  3 pounds neckmeat.
  6 pounds chopped apples.
  2 pounds crumbled kidney suet.
  2 pounds currants.
  2 pounds raisins.
  6 cups sugar.
  1 tablespoon cloves.
  1 tablespoon allspice.
  3 tablespoons cinnamon.
  2 tablespoons salt.
  2 cups pure apple cider vinegar.
  1 nutmeg grated.
  3 pints fresh cider.
  Cut the meat in small pieces.  Put
in a kettle, pour over boiling water
to more than cover and cook at the
simmering point until tender.  This
will take about three hours.  Cook,
then grind with the coarse knife.
The meat should not be too fine to
be the best.
  Pull the seeded raisins apart, be-
fore putting them in.  Wash the
currants until you are sure they are
clean.  There is so much danger of
sand and grit clinging to them.
  Use only kidney suet for this.  The
fat around the kidneys of the beef
has no connective tissue holding it.
This suet will crumble when very
cold, with little effort on your part.
It is the best.
  Mix all the ingredients given
above, together in a big kettle.  If
there is any of the meat juice from
cooking the meat, strain it and put
it in, too.  Mix these with a wooden-
spoon until well mixed then put a
very slow fire under the kettle and
slowly bring to the boiling point,
stirring to keep from scorching.
This is the only hard work about
making mincemeat--this stirring
and mixing.
  Let this heat for several minutes,
then cool.  Let set over night, then
reheat to boiling point again and
cook for 30 or 40 minutes then put
in jars and seal.  If put in a cool
place, it should keep perfectly for
months.

[Late-twentieth century health educators would absolutely forbid this. They would undoubtedly recommend that it be treated like any other kind of cooked meat without modern (artificial) preservatives -- refridgerated or frozen and eaten soon.]

...  Since the seasoning is a matter of
taste, it is best to sample the batch
as it is cooking.  A little more salt
may be needed or a little more vin-
egar.  The seasoning of mincemeat is
one of its fine points--so work it out
carefully.

[notes: approximate measures: 1/2 pound chopped meat (packed) = 1 cupful; 6 ounces raisins (stemmed) or currants (cleaned) = 1 cupful; chopped apples may be slightly heavier than the dried fruit; 1 nutmeg = 2-3 teaspoons ground nutmeg; suet is probably like lard -- 1/2 pound = 1 cupful, or maybe somewhat lighter per volume because of not being so packed.]


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