Let’S Not Mince Words….About Mincemeat! - Thoughts from the SW/MW Blog at Allrecipes.com - 206223

Thoughts from the SW/MW

Let’s not mince words….about mincemeat! 
Nov. 18, 2010 12:37 pm 
Updated: Dec. 9, 2010 7:19 am

Several weeks ago, someone on the Buzz asked a question about mincemeat. The question triggered memories of Grandma's kitchen and all the wonderful smells and flavors of Thanksgivings past. I emailed relatives for a copy of her mincemeat pie recipe. But, like many wonderful cooks of generations gone by, she evidently had her recipe only in her head. I know that her recipe had meat in it, because when our family butchered our own beef, she canned beef and suet for her mincemeat pies. Not having a lot of knowledge about the subject, I went to Google and checked out the history of mincemeat.

It seems that mincemeat came about as a way of preserving meat without smoking or salting it over 500 years ago. When the Crusaders returned to England, they brought with them spices that until then were unknown in that country. It was discovered that the spices preserved the meat, so storing it spiced became very popular among those who could afford the spices.

Usually it was mutton that was minced in medieval times, later beef became a popular spiced meat. Traditionally, minced meat dishes with fruit were served as the main dish with mostly meat, with a few prunes, raisins, dates and apples for flavor. As the fruit and spices became more available in larger quantities in the 17th century, the spiciness increased and the pie became more fruit than meat. Then the mincemeat "pie" moved from a main dish to a dessert.

As I searched, I found a wide variety in the recipes for mincemeat. Some have meat and suet, some just meat OR suet. Some just beef broth and no meat, and some are totally vegetarian.  Recipes that make big batches suggest canning or freezing after cooking. Some recipes have green tomatoes along with what I would consider "traditional" fruits: raisins, currants, dates, and apples.

This excerpt from a mid-16th century cookbook gives us an idea of how the pie was made during the days of the Tudors:
Cokerye, declarynge what manner f meates be beste on season, for al times in the yere, and how they ought to be dressed, and serued at the table, bothe for fleshe dayes, and fyshe days ~ [this is the title]
"To make Pyes - Pyes of mutton or beif must be fyne mynced and ceasoned wyth pepper and salte, and a lyttle saffron to coloure it, suet or marrow a good quantite, a lyttle vyneger, prumes, greate raysins and dates, take the fattest of the broathe of powdred beyfe and yf you wyll have paest royall [piecrust?], take butter and yolkes of egges and so tempre the flowre to make the paeste."

I also found recipes for mincemeat made from venison, elk and even whale meat. I'm sure buffalo would have been used as well, but didn't see any recipes for that - or for antelope.

There are many recipes online that you can find, but here's one that was given to me by a friend:
Carolyn's Grandma Agnes Speedy's Recipe for Mince Meat
2 pounds lean beef, chopped           1 pound beef suet, chopped
5 pounds sour apples, chopped       2 1/2 pounds brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon                   1 tablespoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt                                   1 pound raisins
2 pounds currants 3/4 pound citron, cut fine
1 cup molasses                               1 orange, juice and rind
1 cup cider                                       1 lemon, juice and rind
1 teaspoon lemon extract                2 tablespoons currant jelly
Mix together all ingredients except meat and currant jelly. Heat slowly to boiling point and simmer one hour. Add the meat and the currant jelly. [The amount of cider can be adjusted to give you the consistency you desire.]
I didn't really want to make a batch of mincemeat, but being hungry for it, I decided to try the stuff from the store. Although it didn't have the exact flavor of Grandma's, it actually made a decent dessert. I used the recipe on the back of the None Such Classis Original Mincemeat jar to make delicious fruit and nut bars for a gathering two weeks ago. They were pretty popular and several gals ask for "my" recipe! [I should mention that this brand has no mincemeat it in.]

I guess that people who have tried mincemeat either love it or hate it.  But, if its been awhile or if you've never had mincemeat, this is a great time of year to try it. 

Nov. 18, 2010 12:48 pm
Excellent research! You would make a great detective! Let's see Sherlock swchef hmmmmmmmm
Nov. 18, 2010 1:03 pm
Oh gosh!!! I remember my maternal Grandmother making mincemeat pies every Thanksgiving and Christmas. My Dad loved them! I'm sorry to say I never went anywhere near them and never really understood what mincemeat even was. Gram has been gone many years now. Thanks for bringing back some memories and for the research!!
Nov. 18, 2010 1:06 pm
Hey, Dog Fish - I like Sherlock Chef! It only tookme a month to get this finished...
Nov. 18, 2010 1:06 pm
...and, Jena - i don't think I ate it as a kid, either. One of those things you sorta grow to love.
Nov. 18, 2010 1:13 pm
I tried mincemeat pie once when I was a kid and have not had it since. Funny you just posted this blog today. I got an e-mail from my dear friend who lives in FL asking me for a recipe since I'm a baker. I had to tell her I don't do mincemeat. I think I'll forward your blog on to her to read. Thanks!
Nov. 18, 2010 1:18 pm
That's weird, Mother Ann. There are lots of recipes online that she should check out! Glad I could be of help.
Nov. 18, 2010 1:30 pm
Great blog! I had it once as a child and vowed I would never try it again. It's an acquired taste :) My parents would always have mincemeat pie at every holiday...
Nov. 18, 2010 2:04 pm
it is an acquired taste, and not one of mine. As a child, I remember confusing butter tarts with mincemeat tarts because they looked similar and were both a hit around the holidays-ewww. I learned very quickly to ask first, then take a tart. Great info though and I love the old recipe written with all the "y"s, makes me feel like I should be reading it on a ship-aye matey, give me yur rum or yule walk da plank.
Nov. 18, 2010 2:09 pm
Oh, heck! I thought you'd love it made with venison. Maybe you should try it again?
Nov. 18, 2010 2:54 pm
Awesome blog, swchef! Very interesting stuff. We're lucky to have the variety of food choices we have, but it sure makes us spoiled and "picky." Double-edged sword, I guess. Thanks for the info!
Nov. 18, 2010 3:15 pm
Anytime, Mom!
Nov. 18, 2010 3:29 pm
No venson mincemeat for me:D The only fruit/meat comb we eat is cranberries on turkey or goose. I don't even serve apple sauce with pork, we eat pork with mustard beans/pickles.
Nov. 18, 2010 3:40 pm
I love mincemeat! I wish it wasn't so expensive! My neighbor and I used to combine garden produce and fruit to make mincemeat in the Fall. I remember bringing home several quarts every year after we divided the batch. Has 25 years gone by already? She was one special lady and was a dear friend!
Nov. 18, 2010 4:19 pm
Wow you really did your research! You should submit that to the paper its quite the article!!!
Nov. 18, 2010 4:57 pm
OK, swchef. You probably know this. In Ohio, on US 23 north of Deleware is Mom Wilsons- a roadside store that specializes in pork. In the store you'll find canned mincemeat that is more than delicious! It is very much like the recipe my mother and grandmother used. At least as I remember it.
Nov. 18, 2010 4:58 pm
BTW, your blog is very educating.I found it fun to read, also.
Nov. 18, 2010 7:01 pm
Personally I love mincemeat and make a pie every year. Now I buy the jarred kind and add a few spices and brandy or rum or both. LOL Growing up my mom, an aunt, a cousin and I canned it. It was an all day project. We used the green tomato and beef suet variety. I also have a cookie recipe and if you don't tell "a mincemeat hater" they would not know it is there. Just a nice spicy deep background. Great Blog, Chefie.
Nov. 19, 2010 6:48 am
Mike - just north of Delaware??? I lived south of Delaware when I was a child. Does the mincemeat sold there have pork in it? Thaks for the nice comments! Go BLUE! Just joking!
Nov. 19, 2010 6:50 am
I thnk the green tomato recipe that Dairy Queen posted on the Buzz sounds intrigging. I actually might try to make some meatless mincemeat one of these days.
Nov. 19, 2010 7:01 am
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Old-Time-Mincemeat-Pie/Detail.aspx I didn't see this recipe when I was researching this blog - sounds good!
Nov. 19, 2010 7:38 am
SWCHEF I pass Mom Wilsons everyday on my way to work. Crazy thing is I've never stopped in but I'm going to. They are only open Oct-May.
Nov. 19, 2010 7:44 am
If ya want me to mail ya some e-mail me.
Nov. 19, 2010 7:52 am
I make my husband a mince meat pie every Thanksgiving. I buy it in a jar. I don't think there is any real meal in it. Mostly raisins and spices.He eats the entire pie.Not all at one time of course.
Nov. 19, 2010 2:37 pm
Gee, Skuba, that would be great. Let me know how much including s&h! Let's try a small jar to start.
Nov. 19, 2010 4:23 pm
It was a beef mince meat. It has all the great flavors I remembered and not horribly sweet. I know you had to be joking or sarcastic. No Buckeye ever utters those words seriously. BTW, our youngest granddaughter is an Ohio native. Her mother is a UofM grad and wil fly the blue and wear the blue every time OSU and UofM have a game. The day care teachers have taught the grenddaughter to yell "Go Buckeyes every time she hears "Go Blue". It's really funny to hear her and her mother have their cheers!
Nov. 19, 2010 7:40 pm
A few years back, my husband (who is a fabulous cook)decided we needed to have Mincemeat Pie for Christmas. He found a recipe and made it. Okay, I guess it was good as far as Mincemeat Pie goes. I had never tried it before and took a great big bite which I promptly spit out in the kitchen sink. YUKE!!! That stuff is nasty. I guess ya'll are right. It's an acquired taste.
Nov. 20, 2010 1:26 am
My grandmother used to make mincemeat pies for the holidays, and she used beef neck meat and suet. I didn't care for those pies when I was little, but I sure would love to have some now.
Nov. 20, 2010 7:44 am
Actually, Mike, I taught school in the Charlevoix area for four years as it was back when Woody was being a real horse's behind. I cheered for UofM for several years then and after. When I moved back to Ohio, I had to rib my teaching buddies by rooting for the BLUE! But, gradually, the blue wore off and now that we're in NM, I always support the Scarlet and Grey. Thanks for the info about the mincemeat - Skuba is going to send me a jar!
Nov. 20, 2010 8:00 am
CookieWeasel -http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Old-Time-Mincemeat-Pie/Detail.aspx?prop31=6 Check out this recipe.
Nov. 21, 2010 7:13 am
I think many of us who didn't like it as a kid, might find it pleasantly tasty now!
Nov. 22, 2010 5:40 am
Mincemeat is definatly a acquired taste.There are some "meatless" ones on the market now that are wonderful...with brandy and the like. Also "mincey peach" pie is great. Add a can of Comstock Peach Pie filling and some grated orange rind...even people that don't like mincemeat will love this ......
Nov. 22, 2010 5:47 am
Not too long ago I was wondering if anyone made mincemeat pies anymore cause I haven't seen them for years. My Mom always made them for the holidays along with pumpkin. At Christmas she made a cookie with mincemeat in it. One of my favorites way back when. Thanks for the memories your blog brought back!
Nov. 22, 2010 6:40 am
Mince pies are a traditional dish at Christmas time in the U.K. - in fact, in my childhood it was traditional that a mince pie and a glass of sherry was left as a "Thank You" to Santa - I suspect that it may still be the same today.....http://britishfood.about.com/od/christmasrecipes/r/mincepies.htm
Nov. 22, 2010 6:46 am
KGee - that really sound like a winner. Just might have to try that idea! Thanks!
Nov. 22, 2010 7:32 am
I usually add chopped apples to a mincemeat pie (NoneSuch)to tone down the spices. I also just made an apple cake recipe that I subbed mincemeat for the 3 1/2 C. of apples and the spices called for in the recipe. It turned out very moist and very good. Mincemeat by itself is just TOO strong, almost bitter. My sister uses a jar of mincemeat and some bourbon with meatballs to make cocktail (like sweet and sour) meatballs. Very yummy!
Nov. 22, 2010 9:57 am
Good idea, WeezaG. I'm excited to be getting a jar of homemade from Ohio soon. It'll be interesting to see how close to Grandma's it is.
Nov. 22, 2010 12:15 pm
Liked your information, as I grew-up as you did on real mincemeat pie at the holidays. I however LOVED it. My brother-in law makes it with canned venison.
Nov. 22, 2010 12:15 pm
Gotta luv those Brits and their brandy, Phil! Sounds like a neat tradition to me!
Nov. 22, 2010 2:20 pm
Very interesting post, especially the historical information. I, myself, do NOT mince words about mincemeat -- I HATE the stuff!! I hated it as a kid, and I hate it now. The spices used in it are just too heavy and potent for my liking! My grandmother made mincemeat pies when I was little, but she never made her own from scratch. She always used NoneSuch, and because she did, it was years before I found out that homemade mincemeat really does have meat in it.
Nov. 22, 2010 2:55 pm
I'm with Swiss Phil on this one. We too left out mincepies and sherry for Father Christmas; a tradition that I brought to Canada and my children's christmas eve. You don't get that red nose by drinking milk! I still make dozens of mince pies (the 2 inch ones) every christmas and new year. For each 2 1 litre jars of the local veggie brand, I add lots of grated apple, lemon and orange zest to make 3 new jars topping each up with decent single malt scotch. This keeps well in the back of the fridge. I have a batch from last January which will be the starter for this year Yesterday was 'stir up Sunday' when by tradition the christmas pudding was made, and in our house the dark fruit cake, great time to be thinking mince pies, yumm
Nov. 22, 2010 3:57 pm
SSSScotch? Wow - everyone should like your pies! And the more they eat, the better they like them! We love fruit cake, although that's another one that people either love or hate! Maybe I should write a blog about that for christmas.
Nov. 22, 2010 9:41 pm
Please do a blog about fruit cake. I bet there are some great stories out there. Mincemeat is part of my husband's family tradition but the family recipe has been lost after the passing of my mil and a housefire that took her recipe box. Even in my vegetarian days, I loved her mincemeat tarts...As for fruitcake, my mom and my aunt had a tradition of doing the cakes together. One year my aunt's dog (a big irish setter) had more than her fair share while the cakes were cooling. That was not a good year for fruit cake. Now my mom is too old to make the cakes anymore and I am too busy to carry on the tradition but store bought cakes just aren't the same. I'll have to put fruit cake and mince tarts in my "to do" box for the future.
Nov. 23, 2010 2:22 am
I am not a big fan of mincemeat in the least. This stuff just reminds me of a Giant Hotdog. In my opinion use it for just that. Mix with pork and beans, mac & Cheese, ect.. I have butterflied Hotdogs, topped them with mashed potatoes and cheese and baked them in the oven for my kids when they were young. Or just put it between bread and top with some mustard.
Nov. 23, 2010 6:36 am
Great article. Mom's mincemeat had two kinds of jam, two kinds of brandy, and venison, currants white raisins,6#apples, 6#oranges, lots more.She made a #6 crock full every November, and gave a quart to each teacher me and my siblings had. WE PASSED EVERY YEAR..Hummm wonder if mincemeat had anything to do with it.Home made mincemeat is truley an art. Gotta stir it everyday. My brother and I had that job. We'd take bits here and there, The brandy helped it ferment. Mom would say, " thats enought tastin' for today."We would giggle and put up the spoon. Great stuff MINCEMEAT.Every person in Lowell,Wa knew mom's mincemeat it was so good. Thanks for the memories, your article "stirred" up a lot. Happy Thanksgiving all.
Nov. 23, 2010 7:26 am
freezermama - worked on it last night...coming to a blogsite near you!
Nov. 23, 2010 7:29 am
Interesting combination, Troy! I like the idea of baking hot hogs (as one of our kids used to call them) with mac'n cheese! And glad to "stir" up happy memories, Diann. That's what happened to me when someone asked about it several weeks ago.
Nov. 23, 2010 7:37 am
I adore mincemeat pies. I'm not sure that I've ever eaten the true mincemeat with the beef and suet but I've devoured many a slice of Nonesuch pie. In fact I have a jar in the cupboard awaiting Thanksgiving day. My husband won't touch the micemeat pie but over the years the children have started taking little slices. Two more mincemeat fans.
Nov. 23, 2010 8:04 am
THANK U,swchef, Always wanted to know the history of mincemeat. I also knew @ one time it had meat! Again THANK U. Have a BLESSED THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!
Nov. 23, 2010 8:10 am
I always loved mincemeat pie as a child. I married a very fussy eater who refused to try it so I haven't had it in years. This blog convinced me that it is time to buy some NoneSuch mincemeat (the same brand my Mother used)and make one even if the rest of the family refuses to try it, I will love it and cherish the memories of my parents and grandparents that this pie brings back.
Nov. 23, 2010 9:16 am
My British In Laws (who now live in Australia) LOVE mince.. I don't care for it. The flavors are too strong and beef suet is used to keep the birds warm in the winter.. lol. My cholesterol couldn't handle it, I'm afraid. Thanks for the interesting background on it... I never knew. Another fun food fact.
Nov. 23, 2010 9:23 am
Charlene - make the fruit and nut bars on the back of the jar! It's better than pie.
Nov. 23, 2010 9:27 am
And I'll publish the fruitcake blog after Thanksgiving!
Nov. 23, 2010 3:29 pm
My mom used to make mincemeat, pumpkin, and pecan pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The mincemeat pie usually was eaten warm but could be cooled first. It definitely contained beef and suet and raisins, but beyond that I don't know. I haven't found her recipe in any of her things but may try yours, swchef, for old times sake. I looked at the jars of store mincemeat today and saw beef listed as an ingredient, but there was even more corn syrup than beef in it. Unlike some here, I liked the pie, but I agree, you either like it or hate it...it's an acquired taste. Happy T-Day everyone!
Nov. 23, 2010 3:57 pm
My grandfather was a Pennsylvania Dutch country butcher who made his own mincemeat. One of his sons, my uncle Roy who was 84 last week, carried on the business when Grandpa died. Grandpa started with horse and wagon, and he grew into a refrigerated truck as did Uncle Roy. I consider the recipe Uncle Roy wrote out for me two years ago a family heirloom. I have not shared it with anyone because I don't feel it is mine to share. I scanned this blog so I may have missed any mention of adding whiskey to it. As our custom dictates, whiskey (I prefer Southern Comfort) is added to the mincemeat before the pie is baked. The pie is often baking during Christmas dinner and served after, hot out of the oven. Momma cut a 4" circle out of the center of the top crust and poured in MORE whiskey. I talked to my uncle on the phone last week to iron out some questions I had. I'm going to give it a whirl for Christmas dinner. (Btw, it calls for bottom round steak.)
Nov. 23, 2010 4:04 pm
Hi swchef. That was very informative. I have saved a copy of the recipe and may give it a try on this weekend. Thank you for the the research you did.
Nov. 23, 2010 6:50 pm
I also remember my grandma making mincemeat pies every thanksgiving, but hers were a fruit-only-version. very interesting, thanks for sharing your research!
Nov. 23, 2010 7:05 pm
Judy7905 - Let us know how it turns out. I'll bet it will be wonderful. You are lucky to still have someone of the older generation still around to share recipes with you. I'm afraid that I'm the older generation now and I didn't pay enough attention when I had the chance!
Nov. 23, 2010 7:05 pm
Food for the Gods - let me know how you like it!
Nov. 23, 2010 8:38 pm
one of my kids' favorite things is mincemeat cookies! I've never tried to make my own mincemeat though. I use the recipe that is on the package of the condensed stuff at the store.
Nov. 23, 2010 11:08 pm
No one has mentioned putting a heaping tablespoon of hard sauce on top of mincemeat pie. I don't think I would have eaten it as a kid without the hard sauce. Yummmmmmmm...it's been 50 years at least.
Nov. 24, 2010 7:04 am
Neither had it with hard sauce - it would improve it! But I have had mincemeat cookies - yummy!
Nov. 24, 2010 7:43 am
OMG. Mincemeat pie is my absolute fav. Unfortunately I'm the only one who likes it around here. BUT every couple years I crave it so bad I just have to make it. Of course, I use my grandmother's recipe. She pretty much taught my to cook and developed my interest in cooking. She was great and I miss her so much!
Nov. 24, 2010 9:22 am
My husband has vivid memories altho no one else in his family does about mincemeat pie for Christmas but now he also wants it for TG. It's almost impossible to find NoneSuch condensed mincemeat anymore. This year we're using Crosse & Blackwell with Rum & no meat. Hope it suits him. Not one of my favs.
Nov. 24, 2010 9:36 am
wohlibuli - I miss my grandma,too. She's been gone since 1972 - she was an important part of my life.
Nov. 24, 2010 9:37 am
That a new brand to me, overdone. Hope it turns out super good.
Nov. 24, 2010 12:14 pm
Every Christmas, when my grandparents would come down from Northern California, Grandma would bring a couple of containers of home-made mincemeat, made with venison from Grandpa's hunting trips. These were expressly for my dad's benefit, as none of us kids would eat it, and I'm not so sure about my mom. Though I don't add meat, the grown-up me loves mincemeat, and I now make little mince pies at Christmas for my Welsh hubby, to satisfy his childhood memories!
Nov. 24, 2010 12:36 pm
For those just trying mincemeat pie, there is a bonus topping to make with it. Hard sauce! Some rum, butter and powdered sugar.... a scoop of that on top and you have got a treat that helps mellow the intense flavor. My family makes the whole thing from scratch, normally we use venison. As to antelope, the natural sage flavor of the meat here in Wyoming makes it far from ideal for the pie. Buffalo is too lean unless you blend in beef suet, although believe it or not bear and beef makes a good combo if you can get it. Hope the info helps... Enjoy the pies. Also there is a great recipe for mincemeat muffins here on AR.
Nov. 24, 2010 1:29 pm
I still make my grandma's mincemeat pie recipe. My boyfriend love the stuff :)
Nov. 24, 2010 1:38 pm
Awesome post! Stumbled across it while looking for a mincemeat cookie recipe. I love love love mincemeat but I find that pie is too strong for most people's tender palates. Cookies are more easily passed off as a "spice cookie" and I can win more converts that way. :)
Nov. 24, 2010 2:22 pm
Instead of meat/venison my mother used to make a green tomato mincemeat that is delicious, and it is a good use of green tomatoes that seem to abound before the first frost
Nov. 24, 2010 6:21 pm
My father 80y/o father and his 9 siblings adore micemeat pies. Actually right after apple pie it is my Dad's favorite. My Mommom made it every year. Personally, I think the stuff is putrid. I only make it for them - nobody else will touch it so I must not be alone in my opinion.
Nov. 25, 2010 5:52 am
Thank you for clearing up the mystery about mincemeat. I did not care for the pies but my Mom used to buy it in a block form and make mincemeat cookes they were soft and chewy much like a hermit. She was always asked to make them for school bake sales. I was very proud that everyone loved my Mom's cookies so much
realtor dave 
Nov. 25, 2010 8:01 am
Great Job! 1/2 of my family love a great mincemeat pie! I find a sliver along a slice of apple is a great accompaniment. My mom's mom made a wonderfully tender mincemeat pie that was pungent sweet and fragrant. My paternal grandmother introduced it to us by placing a layer of it at the bottom of her pumpkin pies - it was a surprise, but you had to try it to have pie! I'm saving this recipe to carry on our family's traditions. Thank you for doing the homework!
Nov. 25, 2010 5:18 pm
ghutch - there is a recipe for mince meat made with green apples on Cooks.com - check it out!
Nov. 25, 2010 7:03 pm
Hi all:I fell in love with mincemeat when I was but 8...since then over 60 yrs ago,still one of my fav foods... thru the yrs I always stretched the can/bottle or homemade mincemeat by adding extras,ie.apples,raisins,other fruits,etc.No one has ever complained and the pie/tarts are never too sweer. I have also made venison mincemeat but this is not always available but the store-kind is!so I use that mostly. Enjoy if anyone wishes to try this...it saves a lot of money.
Nov. 25, 2010 11:10 pm
Mincemeat pie is usually too rich and too much. If you've only had it in pie form, I suggest you try it in alternative vehicles. I like it better in cookies, or plain over vanilla ice cream! I've collected many recipes which have pumpkin and mincemeat together which is fabulous.
Nov. 29, 2010 5:35 pm

I make this every Fall with leftover green tomatoes, use butter instead of suet. We love it, a big hit at our Church bazaar too.
Dec. 4, 2010 7:23 am
Does anyone know if None-Such mincemeat is available anymore? I have looked all over and can't find it in the box or in the jar. Don't want to keep looking if it is no longer made.
Dec. 9, 2010 7:19 am
Yes, I bought some around Thanksgiving and made the fruit and nut bars recipe on the back of the label. It was good!
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About Me
Married w/ pets + three kids and six grandkids. Retired after 30 years of teaching grades K-7. Moved to NM 10 years ago. Loved it there. Moved back to Ohio to be closer to family.
My favorite things to cook
I love to make soups. Chili, beef vegetable, ham and bean,and tortilla soups are our favs. I like casseroles - one dish dinners are the best! I think the slow cooker is about the best cooking aid in my kitchen. I love to try new recipes, that's what makes this a super website; that and all the cool contributors.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Anything I did with my grandmother! Thanksgiving at Grandma's house was the best. She wanted to do it all - and she was a great cook. Making taffy with her was such a treat! I remember the first time she made pizza (from a box). She wasn't too sure about pizza! But in the mid 1950's, none of us midwesterners were too sure about pizza!
My cooking triumphs
When I was 13, I entered seven different baked goods (mostly cakes) in open class at the fair, competing against adult cooks with great records. I took first place with all but one entry, which got a second place ribbon.
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Looking back over the years, my biggest tragedy was making gravy...but thanks to CindyLepp, it is no longer a challenge! She sent me packets of dry gravy mixes!
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