I never used to like mince pies. How mad is that? Mince pies are little pieces of Christmas that you can hold in your hand .
My first mince pie of the year tends to mark the moment when I start to get really into the Xmas groove, so to speak, and as such it is something of an occasion.
My 2011 mince pie moment came during the town's annual "Switching on of the Xmas Lights" which this year included a Farmers Market.
My girls were busking so I went along to support them and see what delights the Farmers Market had to offer.
It was a well organised, well attended event that did put me in the Xmas mood. I bought a lovely hand made gift for my in-laws (always good to find something for the difficult to buy for people on my list) and was well and truly ready for my first mince pie of the year.
There were giant meringues and vegan pate but sadly not a mince pie to be seen. As a last resort, I popped into Greggs and bought a packet of their "Award Winning" offerings. The packaging did not specify exactly what Award these pies had won. It would not surprise me if it had been the award for the Hardest Most Tasteless Pastry or the Goopiest Mincemeat. I did not enjoy them at all. Taylor, on the other hand, said she really liked them. All a matter of individual taste I suppose.
On a happier note, a friend promised me a jar of homemade mincemeat which got me very excited. A jar of "Mrs Murray's Marvellous Mincemeat" was delivered this morning and I can't wait to do some Christmas baking.
Another friend has recommended adding a dollop of Philadelphia cream cheese onto the mincemeat before putting the pastry lid on top. I am not 100% convinced that I am going to like that but I am definitely willing to give it a try.
I am willing to try anything in search of the perfect mince pie.
Do you have any tips or suggestions? I'd love to hear them.