We have become used in recent years for the run-up to
Christmas to begin earlier and earlier. From September onwards Christmas
cards etc start to appear in our shops as traders hope to separate us
from our siller. The brightening of our shopping areas with Christmas
illuminations also seems to be starting earlier as indeed is similar
decoration in our homes. Houses, all over
have appeared be-decked , within and outside, with Christmas decorations
before we have even reached St Andrew’s Day. A far cry from the days
when Christmas was just another normal working day in
and the main celebration was concentrated on Hogmanay and the New Year.
Hence the reason in 1841 that a
Leith printer, Charles
Drummond, began the practise of producing a greetings card for this time
of year with no mention of Christmas. He printed a card portraying a
cheery, well-fed-looking chiel with a message proclaiming “A gude New
Year and mony o’ them”. The idea caught on so we have to thank a printer
in a wee shop in Leith’s Kirkgate for beginning a practise which is now
world-wide. Now-a-days you have to search very diligently for a card
bearing a New Year greeting.
Now you know whom to blame when you suffer from writer’s
cramp after doing this years cards!
Mincemeat and Christmas go together and this week’s recipe
Mincemeat Cake can be baked now in readiness for The Daft Days (24
December to 6 January).
Ingredients: 6oz (175g) self raising flour; 3oz (75g)
margarine; 8oz (225g) mincemeat; 1 egg; 3oz (75g) caster sugar; 1
dessertspoonful melted syrup
Method: Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add syrup
and beat mixture a little more. Beat the egg well, and add to creamed
mixture. Fold in all the flour, and lastly, add the mincemeat. Pour into
a 6 inch cake tin. Bake at 325°F, 160°C, Gas mark 3, for 90 minutes.
Please note this cake is very moist and is inclined to sink
slightly in the middle. When removed from the oven, turn upside down on
to a cooling tray, this will give the cake a neat surface.