Tag Archives: cinnamon

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

13 Dec

Things are beginning to really look, and smell, like Christmas around here. From the last post, mincemeat cake, to the tree being up, we are ready to celebrate the season!

I found lots of Pinterest ideas for scenting the house and decided that I would come up with my own. Enjoy!


Spicy Orange Simmer
• 4 juicing oranges, quartered
• Two “healthy” dashes of cinnamon
• 1 TBSP whole cloves

Put into medium sauce pot all ingredients, cover with water. Simmer on low. Add water as it dissipates.

Amber’s Notes: I love Christmas time. The scents, the lights, the snow great weather. In it all, remember the real reason for the season! Christ, the Savior, is born!

Jesus is Born…Pass the Hog’s Head!

12 Jan

OK, so a hog’s head doesn’t really say, “Merry Christmas.”  Just go with it for a bit.  In searching through this cookbook and recording which recipes would present themselves on which days, I ran across a Journal entry for December 25, 1999.  I know today is not the 25th of December.

Let me tell you how these days are working.  Most recipes have some sort of journal entry with a dated narrative attached to them.  So, to decide which order to cook and prepare these things, I started writing down the titles on their corresponding journal dates.  Naturally this takes a bit of time, but it’s a lot more rewarding and motivating than just going through the cookbook from beginning to end.  It also keeps the variety fairly thorough.  Other wise I would be making all the appetizers first, then the entrees, sides, etc.

Back to Christmas.  When I reaches this entry, I paused when I went to write the title on my December calendar page :“Mincemeat.” I did a little digging and found a this information from Wiki-land: “The word mincemeat is an adaptation of an earlier term minced meat, meaning finely chopped meat. Meat was also a term for food in general, not only animal flesh.” So when you see a mincemeat pie at the local grocer, it is most likely one with candied fruits, distilled vinegars or spirits, and the like.

My grandmother’s recipe is NOT so forgiving.  The first ingredient: meat of one hog head.  I want to be as authentic and true to Grandma as possible.  I draw the line at swine head meat though.  However, the recipe for the 10th and 12th of this month proved to be more promising: Pear Mincemeat.  And since I always see mincemeat and pie used together, I assumed as much.  Then found that it is just a recipe for the filling, to be canned, with included instructions on how to make it into pie, if desired.

This evening proved to be one of the MOST AMAZING assaults on my sense of smell…ever!  Cinnamon, cloves, allspice, orange, apple…made my house smell like Yankee Candle Company on crack.  Man, it was nice.  It also simmered for TWO HOURS.  So the lingering effect on my mood are still here! I even had a sweet little kitchen helper this evening!

I LOVE pears!

To the recipe…this one called for grated pears.  Since I only own a cheese grater (which will not grate fruit, no matter how hard you try), I decided to just cut/slice/pummel the fruit with various sizes of cutlery.  In the end, this provided more texture and what I would consider a heartier mixture.  I also left the skin on the pears for texture and for the added fiber.  This cooked down nicely and I’m glad I did so!

Pears & Raisins

Sugar added

All ingredients, simmer begin!

Two hours later!

I ended up with 4 pints of mix and am already trying to figure out when I want to make more.  I’m looking forward to trying it as a pie…perhaps when the weather stays cooler for a while.

Still warm

Notes from Grandma: 1/10/2000 (my 20th birthday, by the way)- Lance and I went to AARP tonight, large crowd.  After a singing group, Sandy Anderson spoke, asking for volunteers to help in school.  1/12/2000- Mailed letter volunteering to read with or to children at school.  LORD, I PRAY FOR OUR YOUNG CHRISTIANS.  HELP THEM BE STRONG IN THEIR FAITH AND BE ACCEPTED BY THE OTHER STUDENTS.