I made my Christmas mincemeat yesterday. It's based on Delia Smith's recipe, but with a few changes. I use a bit less of some of the raisins, sultanas and currants, and add some chopped prunes, apricots and glace cherries. I leave out the almonds and use pecans or walnuts instead. And I add a bag of fresh cranberries. Oh, and I use rather more brandy than Delia does (because there are more ingredients in my batch, of course!) I also don't bother with baking it in the oven as Delia says to do. I've never found it goes off as she warns. In fact there's a jar from 2005 on the shelf which is as good as new. I suspect the generous addition of brandy helps - in Delia's recipe all the alcohol must be driven off in the oven, so the only way to preserve it to to heat it and seal it in sterilised jar.
You really should try making your own mincemeat. It's not at all hard. It's not even cooking. It's just weighing out some ingredients and putting them in a bowl. That's it. Mix it up and spoon it into jars and you're all done. And the best thing about it is that you can do this anytime you fancy, because it stores so well. You don't have to wait until the height of the pre-Christmas panic. I like to do it around November, when I'm starting to feel festive but it's really too soon to do much about it.
A few years ago a friend of mine stated proudly that she made her own mince pies, using shop-bought mincemeat and shop-bought pastry. I'm afraid to say I made her feel bad and bragged that I made mine from scratch. I shouldn't have done that. But it isn't hard to make pastry. And it's even easier than that to make mincemeat.
Cartoon from Climate Cartoons.