Thursday, October 18, 2012

Just Like Grandma Did-Almost





It was such a proud moment for me. Amy was in the third grade at the time, the date on the calendar just a few days away from Thanksgiving.  Her teacher was taking a survey.

What is your favorite kind of pie for Thanksgiving dessert?


As Amy was relating this story to me, I could tell she was just about bubbling over with excitement. Initially, she’d been the only kid to nominate mincemeat pie-even having to explain to her classmates what it was.  But her enthusiastic testimonial as to the many merits of mincemeat worked, because mince pie received more than a few additional votes that day!

You see, mincemeat holds a special place in my heart.  My grandma always made mincemeat, and the thought of it evokes so many memories for me.  I remember sitting at her dining room table, relishing the large slice of mince pie in front of me, when I happened to observe what could only be antennae sticking out from among the raisins, bits of apple, spices and green tomatoes.  An ant, poor creature. (But what a way to go…)   And every Christmas, as long as my grandma was able to make mincemeat, we would receive a newspaper wrapped jar in the mail, and my mom would make a mincemeat pie.  We all loved it.  It truly was one of the most delicious traditions during the holidays.  

After I grew up, left home, and eventually got married, I didn’t have mincemeat pie at Christmastime any more.  By then, my grandma was gone, her recipe for mincemeat gone as well.  Or so I thought.  I was visiting my sister a few years ago and she told me she had grandma's hand written recipe for mincemeat, and would I like to have it.


Now Amy and I make mincemeat every year.   And though we measure our amounts in cups, and not pecks, the ingredients are the same.  Green tomatoes, apples, chopped oranges, raisins, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and brown sugar-cooked for several hours until the mixture turns into a spicy, dark brown bit of heaven.  

Just like my grandma did.

We just leave out the bugs…


  1. Looks delicious! I've actually never tried mincemeat before but it sounds good!

  2. Oh I love this post Amy and you have a little piece of your Grandma to love everyday.
    I love mincemeat to and my Grandma made it the best.
    I have a book of hand written recipes of my Grandmas too I do know how special that is. Great photos. B

  3. It does look yummy!

    I would have probably eaten the ant--I loved them when I was a pre-schooler.


  4. what a beautiful pie! I didn't know mincemeat had green tomatoes.. what a wonderful way to use them up!

    ... now if only I had the "smell-o-vision" app!

  5. gorgeous pie!

    And I didn't know mincemeat had green tomatoes, either. Too bad, I just pickled 8 pounds of them!

  6. Tammy-I think you would love mincemeat! It's so good, and pretty nutritious too:)

    Thanks Buttons! I knew you would appreciate this post! Our grandma's made everything so special:)

    Thanks Dawn! If we'd lived near each other back then, we could have enjoyed our bug snacks together:)

    Thanks Lisa! I have to admit i was proud of the pretty pie I made. Amy is the usual pie baker in the family, but she is still getting over that darn pneumonia:(

    Thanks Cam! I was surprised when I found that out too. You'd think tomatoes in a pie would taste weird, but you can't taste them at all. Just sweet, spicey goodness!
    8 pounds is a heck (maybe almost a peck!) of a lot of green tomatoes, too;)

  7. It's beautiful! I have never had mincemeat pie before.

    But I have read Bryson's book! ;-)

  8. Thanks Lisa:) It's really good-just like Bryson's gripping book;)

  9. I love mincemeat pie -- my mom makes it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. How neat that you found your Grandma's recipe. A treasure that can be passed on. :)

  10. Nancy, mincemeat is a treasure! So true! I'm glad your mom makes it:)

  11. Your final product is so sweet and what a pretty pie dish too!

    It sounds like I will be inheriting and old recipe for "translucent pie." I have no idea what that means but I am excited to make it.

  12. Tina-maybe it doesn't have any calories! ;) Seriously, please let me know what kind of pie it is, and how it tastes:)