Tuesday, 16 December 2008

More mince (pies)

Speaking of having nothing better to do (I'm doing this whilst some dishes are "soaking" in the sink, they really need that time for the dirt to come off you know, it's not as if this is displacement activity or anything. The very thought...), I was secretly delighted to get the chance to try making some mince pies. Having watched the wonderful Hairy Bikers doing their "Hairy Bakers" bit the other night on BBC2, I was inspired to try them out.

Of course I then forgot all about it until I realised we needed some for a party on Thursday.

It's a very therapeutic if - somewhat contrarily - rather frustrating process. Not being a pastry chef, I found the mixture a bit too crumbly to get going and as an amateur I was unsure whether I should add anything to it. Perseverance paid off, however, and the scent of Christmas now fills the house...the thought did occur that we could have these all year round but then that would spoil the festive magic, wouldn't it?

It's a bit of a foodie week on telly this week all told. Nigella's doing her bit on BBC2, Jamie will be with us on Ch4 at some point and on the same channel Willie Harcourt Cooze will be on doing his ultra-fine chocolate shtick. I suppose it's the time of year for it and despite the fact that Nigella is still way too over the top, I think she probably can't help it...at least she's not yet turned into a hopeless parody of herself in the same way as Gordon Ramsay. Yes? What is it with his delivery and gesticulation? He seems less like a chef and more and more like a demented roving political reporter on election night...

Cookery programmes on TV have a way of making one feel hungry and inadequate at the same time. A neat trick. I suspect this works best as a clever marketing gimmick for those who have their own range of ready meals..."Look at this lovely lamb tagine with borlotti beans and a bed of brown rice..." their eager smiles seem to say..."I rustled it up in mere moments before your very eyes in my expensive kitchen with my army of (unseen) sous chefs and kitchen porters, doesn't it look great?" It does, it does, you agree..."why not save yourself the hassle and try my ready made microwavable version since you know your attempts to recreate it will be hopelessly futile?"

Well, damn you Ramsay. I've done the mince pies...bring on the chipolatas!


Faither said...

You are treading in some dangerous culinary territory my friend....don't reckon I could ever eat something made by someone with the surname "Cooze"( getting some vivid Reservoir Dogs - "Like A Virgin" - explanation, flashbacks here)....That guy, Chocolate Willie, also uses some dodgy ingredients......have you tried the Venezuelan Black???...anyway what's with all the pastries and cooking..have things finally gotten so bad on the Isle of Muck that you are "reduced" to such nonsense. Give yourself a shake.
This'll help put things in perspective for you.....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7ou4nagOck&eurl=http://video.google.co.uk/videosearch?hl=en&q=Billy+Connolly&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=video_result_grou&feature=player_embedded

Single Track said...

Dangerous it may well be but needs must when the boat hasn't come in! My other half is stuck on the mainland and we're running out of food at this end! The international Red Cross will be called in soon.

As for the Venezuelan Black, I don't think I could afford it!

Mince pie anyone? Go on, go on...

Single Track said...

By the way, we've a freezer full of that leftover venison (not to mention goose...!)