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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 11/15/16

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A GREAT SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE SO YOUR COOKIES KEEP THEIR SHAPE!

  This recipe was found at www.sweetopia.net .   She's always got great ideas and knows what she's talking about.  A great blog for anyone wanting to get the best they can out of their cakes, cookies and how to decorate them with smashing results.




polar bear decorated cookie



As I mentioned earlier, I've been playing around with some of my 'go-to' sugar cookie recipes – a few of the main ones being Peggy Porschen'sand the NFSC (No Fail Sugar Cookie) recipe (from cakecentral.com), to come up with my own combination. The latter two are still favourites for me, but now I've got a third choice. This is what I've come up with (please also see notes at the bottom of the recipe):

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups butter (at room temperature)
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
seeds from 1 vanilla bean (or 3 tsp vanilla)
5 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt


Instructions:

1. Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed. (Use the paddle attachment). Mix until thoroughly incorporated – for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula and mix again for a few seconds more.
Over mixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into the dough. If you'd like a light and fluffy cookie, that's ideal, however the dough will spread more during baking; not ideal if you'd like the cookie to hold its shape.

2. Add eggs slowly and mix. Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again.

3. Cut open your vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out. Add to mixing bowl. Alternatively, add liquid vanilla extract. Stir briefly.

4. Sift your dry ingredients together. (Flour, baking powder and salt).

5. Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Place a large tea towel or two small tea towels between the edge of the bowl and the electric mixer so that the flour won't escape. Mix on low speed for 3o seconds. Remove the tea towels and observe the dough mixing; when it clumps around the paddle attachment it's ready. It's also important at this stage not to over mix the dough (the glutens in the flour develop and the dough can become tough).

6. Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.

7. Roll out the dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps and repeat.

8. Put cookie dough shapes back into the fridge for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again. They will then hold their shape better when baked.

9. Preheat your oven to 350°F or 176°C.

10. Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown. The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.

11. Let cookies cool to room temperature and decorate!

10 FOOD FACTS AND FALLACIES!

 This list takes a look at ten fascinating facts or misconceptions we all have about food – they should be, for the most part, new to a lot of us. There will undoubtedly be a little controversy around some of the entries but I believe that people will be able to comment without too much vitriol or anger. If you can think of other fascinating food myths be sure to mention them. The excellent book “Modernist Cuisine” Book 1 History and Fundamentals formed the basis of research for many items on this list. It is highly recommended for anyone interested in the science of food.




10.
Diets







Fads-Diets







Fallacy: You are fat and need to lose weight
   No magical combination of foods, avoidance of foods, increase in the intake of certain foods, or special diet plans will make you lose weight. The only way you can lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you burn in your daily activities. If you burn 7,000 kilojoules a day, you need to eat 7,000 kilojoules to maintain your weight. If you want to lose weight, eat a thousand less (give or take) a day and you have it. It doesn’t matter whether your daily calories come from chocolate, salad, fat, sugar, or beans. The reason that fad diets work so well is that the people subscribing to them are initially motivated and ultimately eat fewer calories than they are burning. Diets like the Atkins (in which you must eat only protein) work in the same way – cream and high-fat meats are so rich you can only eat so much so you eat less. The best diet (which should be your diet for life) is to moderate the amount of food you eat. It doesn’t matter what you eat – just don’t eat too much.
Did you know: Robert Atkins, inventor of the Atkins Diet, died after sustaining head injuries when he slipped on some ice after a snow storm in New York. He was 72 years old.




9.
Cooking Off Alcohol






Screen Shot 2012-09-18 At 24.10.48







Fallacy: Cooking or flaming removes most alcohol
   From time to time we have a special event or family occasion that requires some fancy cooking. These are, for the average home cook, the times we like to cook extravagant recipes that usually require large quantities of booze. And that is fine for a family meal because the cooking removes the alcohol making it safe for the alcoholics and children amongst us. Or at least that is what we have all been led to think. In reality, it is actually quite difficult to remove alcohol from food by cooking. Setting fire to alcohol in the pan (which seems to be the most extreme way to burn off the booze) actually reduces the total alcohol percentage by a mere 25%. In other words, when you add a cup of brandy to a pan and set it alight, once the flames go out you still have the equivalent of 3/4 of cup of brandy left behind (alcohol intact). If you want to reduce the alcohol to 0% – good luck; cooking alcohol for 2.5 hours with other liquids and ingredients still leaves 5% alcohol behind. That certainly explains some of the more unusual episodes of Julia Child’s cooking show.
   Did you know: Alcohol in high doses has been known to cause increased rates of “regrettable” sexual encounters in humans.




8.
Salt Kills





Salt







Fallacy: Salt kills
   Salt is a naturally occurring substance that, when added to low-salt food, enhances and deepens flavor. The human body has around 1% salt in it and this is constantly removed through urination, sweating, etc. The salt is essential to our health so we need to replace it through our diet. Excess salt does not cause a high salt percentage – our bodies are smart enough to handle it. If you eat too much salt you just pee it out. There may be some negative impacts on the body through extremely high consumption of salt in those with blood or heart disorders, but the average healthy human can quite happily over-consume the substance without ill-effect. To kill yourself with salt, you need to consume about 1 gram per kilo of body weight. In other words, if you weigh 130 pounds you need to eat around 5 tablespoons of salt – an immense amount of salt and you would probably vomit before you could finish it (because salt is an emetic).
   Did you know: Before Biblical Judaism ceased to exist, salt was mixed with animal sacrifices. This originated from Moses in Leviticus 2:13 which states: “Whatsoever sacrifice thou offerest, thou shalt season it with salt, neither shalt thou take away the salt of the covenant of thy God from thy sacrifice. In all thy oblations thou shalt offer salt.” The salt was a symbol of wisdom and discretion.




7.
Grill Death






A 560X375






Fallacy: Grilled meat is bad for you
   When rats are fed high doses of nicely browned grilled meat they have a statistically higher chance of getting cancer. But that is rats. So far no study of humans has found the same result. Despite that, the US National Toxicology Program says that these chemicals (heterocyclic amines) are “reasonably anticipated” to be carcinogens in humans. Why? No one is really sure. Tripterygium wilfordii is deadly to rats but is consumed by humans as an oral contraceptive with no negative impact. A recent study of humans consuming grilled meat found no association between that and cancer. Let’s face it – for thousands of years humans have cooked meat and evolved (some might say) to be tolerant to it. When was the last time you saw a rat cooking a barbecue? Humans are not rats – what is deadly to a rat is not always deadly to a human.
   Did you know: Potato chips, breakfast cereals, crusty bread, etc. are all crunchy because of the same chemicals as those that produce the nice browned effect on grilled meat. Furthermore, these chemicals are known to be antioxidants that suppress the bacteria that causes peptic ulcers. Speaking of that delicious crust around a good steak…




6.
Raw Pork





4671383437 F8A25Bb381






Fallacy: Pork and poultry should be cooked to high temperatures to make them safe for eating
      Trichinella spiralis, a type of roundworm, is the main culprit behind the huge campaign for cooking pork to 71c / 160f (beyond well-done). For decades governments around the world have been promoting cooking at that level as the only safe way to eat pork. Sadly this is another case of science and government’s failure to be able to backtrack when they are wrong. Between 1997 and 2001 eight cases of roundworm infection attributed to pork occurred in the US. This is from a total consumption of 32 billion kilos (70 billion pounds) of pork. Trichinella spiralis infection is one of the rarest diseases known to modern medicine. When it does occur it is neither fatal nor serious and is easily treated. Sadly, to prevent such a minuscule amount of infections, virtually all pork eaten is destroyed in the cooking. Pork can be safely consumed at temperatures as low as 55c (135.5f) which results in a moist and pink cut of meat. The same is also true of chicken which can be safely eaten rare (cooked to 58c – 136f). At these temperatures both trichinella spiralis and salmonella are destroyed. Pictured above is a delicious cut of medium-rare pork.
   Did you know: Raw chicken sashimi (toriwasa) is popular in Japan; it is served with a mirin and soy dipping sauce and a little ginger. Along with the raw chicken flesh, raw chicken gizzards and hearts are also consumed.



5.
Vegetarian





Vegetarian Ribolita Lg







Fallacy: Man is a vegetarian
    Utter tripe most regularly spewed by irrational vegans and some vegetarians. The lengths that these people will go to disprove man’s meat-eating disposition are, at times ludicrous. From posters of Jesus denouncing the consumption of meat (contrary to the fact that Christ’s most significant act in the Bible – second to his death – was the last supper which was a big roast lamb dinner) to statements from Gandhi denouncing the practice as evil (they tend to not worry too much aboutother aspects of his life which may give one cause to reconsider his words as morally authoritative). In reality, at least two million years ago our ancestors were eating cooked foods, and a Berkeley anthropologist specializing in diet has gone so far as to say that we would not have evolved into humans were it not for meat in our diet. According to said “evolutionary dietician” Katharine Milton, “it’s unlikely that proto humans could have secured enough energy and nutrition from the plants available in their African environment at that time to evolve into the active, sociable, intelligent creatures they became. Receding forests would have deprived them of the more nutritious leaves and fruits that forest-dwelling primates survive on.” Her thesis complements the discovery last month by UC Berkeley professor Tim White and others that early human species were butchering and eating animal meat as long ago as 2.5 million years.
   Did you know: Veganism (not just the refusal to eat meat but the complete abstention from all animal products) was a concept invented in the 1940s by Englishman Donald Watson an avowed vegetarian who decided to take his diet to fanatical levels in all areas of his life.




4.
Organic Produce






Epa-To-








Fact: Organic foods are potentially more toxic than non-organic
    Plants left in the wild naturally develop complex methods to self-manage pests. Often this is in the form of mild toxins – these toxins can repel pests but, in high doses can be harmful to humans. In organic farming many plants are left untreated and this allows those toxins to increase more than in pesticide treated produce. In other cases natural pesticides are used in place of man-made – pesticides such as nicotine infusions. Nicotine is known to be deadly to humans when consumed (in small doses what’s more) yet the majority of “unnatural” pesticides have been rigorously tested for human safety. There are many loopholes in the rules around organic produce which allow other deadly products such as pyrethrum and rotenone to be used in organic farming – both of these chemicals have been linked to Parkinson’s disease. Also many things labeled as organic contain non-organic mater – “organic muffins” are leavened with baking soda which is inorganic (not a product of a living thing) and it is purified through a chemical process. Other ingredients are also allowed despite non-organic origins – table salt, for example, which is heavily chemically processed for purification. Most of the higher quality products bearing the label “organic” are not of a superior standard because they are organic – they are superior because they come from small farms where greater personal care goes into the farming. Unfortunately most organic produce these days is mass produced by conglomerates jumping on the latest bandwagon. Thus the quality of organic produce is usually no better than non-organic and, as has been stated, can be potentially more harmful.
   Did you know: No study exists to prove that man-made agricultural chemicals cause harm to people who buy and eat nonorganic fruits, vegetables, or meats.




3.
Fiber Benefits





High-Fibre







Fallacy: High fiber reduces cancer risk
   Thanks to Doctor Denis Burkitt who spent some years in Kenya and Uganda studying the diet of the natives, most of the western world has been fooled into thinking high fiber helps prevent cancer. Unfortunately for us poor bewildered masses he was wrong. Dr Burkitt noticed during his tenure that colorectal cancer was rare in that part of the world. Alas the poor doctor fell for the common logical error of post hoc ergo propter hoc (Coincidental Correlation). The native Kenyan and Ugandans ate lots of fiber and, according to Burkitt, consequently suffered low incidences of the cancer which ultimately took his name: Burkitt’s lymphoma. His “research” was ground breaking and realizing the huge financial benefits, theSeventh-Day-Adventist company Kellogs (amongst others – Uncle Sam, Sanitarium – another tax-free company owned by the Seventh-Day-Adventists, etc) began to propound the benefits of an excessively high-fiber diet. But what does science say? Unfortunately a lot of “science” is reliant on donations from such companies as the aforementioned so they tend to say little or nothing at all. But the few studies that have been undertaken (and oft-times buried shortly thereafter) show no benefit to a high fiber diet. In fact, horrifyingly for those of us who have been persuaded by these multinationals that excess fiber is good for us, one study (The Women’s Health Initiative) showed an eight percent higher risk of invasive cancer of the colon or rectum in a low fat / high fiber diet. Food for thought.
   Did you know: When studies began to show that Burkitt was probably wrong with his fiber/cancer link, new studies (from the previously mentioned conglomerates) showed that a high fiber diet reduces risk of heart disease and diabetes. These new “findings” also lack any credible scientific backing. But they are definitely helping the Seventh-Day-Adventists maintain a roaring trade in the “health” food business.




2.
Chinese Restaurant Syndrome





Msg-Red-Cup








Fact: You eat MSG every day
   Look back over your food consumption today. Did you eat any of the following:
* Processed snack food (for example, chips, doritos, cheetos, etc.)
* Meat
* Any non-meat protein (for example, beans)
* Mushrooms
* Tomatoes
* Soy sauce
* Cheese (especially hard cheeses)
* Wheat based products (for example, bread)
   Every one of the above foods (plus many, many more) contain high concentrations of MSG. Some (the processed foods) have MSG added, but the rest are all natural. By now most Listverse readers should know that Chinese Restaurant Syndrome is a huge fraud unintentionally (maybe) perpetrated by well-meaning people, but, alas, there are still millions of people who think MSG is the cause of all their woes. There are huge websites dedicated to helping “MSG-sensitive” people avoid the dreaded chemical in their daily lives. Let us get this straight once and for all: MSG occurs naturally in most foods and no single study ever has been able to give even the slightest hint of evidence that MSG (naturally occurring or extracted from naturally occurring sources) is harmful in any way. Parmesan cheese has the second highest concentration of MSG with sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste also having massive doses. So why (as Jeffrey Steingarten – famed food critic – put it) have we “never heard of of a Parmesan headache or Tomato-Paste Syndrome”?) Incidentally – KFC chicken coating is not made of 11 secret herbs and spices – it is flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and MSG. Now you know why it is “finger licking good”.
   Did you know: Europeans and Americans consume an average of 1 gram of MSG from natural food sources every day of their lives.




1.
Forbidden Fats





Lard






Fallacy: Fat kills
   Much of this fallacy revolves around the role of cholesterol in heart disease. HDL (“good” cholesterol) and LDL (“bad” cholesterol) are actually lipoproteins that contain exactly the same cholesterol; HDL (high density lipoproteins) are merely the mechanism used to transport cholesterol from bodily tissue to the liver – thereby reducing the amount of cholesterol in the blood stream. LDL (low density lipoproteins) deliver cholesterol to places in the body that need it. The failure to properly differentiate between these lipoproteins has led to many erroneous studies on the dangers of cholesterol and fat in our diets. Studies have shown that a high fat diet causes an increase in overall cholesterol in the blood stream. Consequently people have the idea that high fat = high cholesterol = high risk of heart disease. In reality, more nuanced studies show that high fat actually causes a dramatically higher ratio of “good” cholesterol to bad. This, according to the commonly held views of scientists, should actually result in a decrease of heart disease risk – but no one will admit it. Three randomized controlled clinical trials recently discovered that a reduced total fat or saturated fat diet over several years results in no lowering of heart disease, stroke, or other cardiovascular disease. In other words, high-fat diets (such as the French enjoy) probably has no bad impact on your health.
   Did you Know: Due to government guidelines and what can only be called anti-fat propaganda from the 1970s until now has lowered fat consumption by over 10% per person on average per year. Coincidentally (maybe) obesity rates have increased at the same time by around 10%. It is highly possible that a strict low-fat diet can prevent a person from feeling satiated and consequently over-eat “low-fat” but high-calorie foods.


HERE'S A LITTLE THANKSGIVING TRIVIA!








    Thanksgiving Day is a very important day in the United States. There are many things that are especially related to the celebrations of the Thanksgiving Day. These include Thanksgiving turkey trivia, pilgrims, thanksgiving proclamation, thanksgiving as a national holiday and other things. Some of such facts are mentioned here which will not only help you enhance your knowledge about Thanksgiving Day but also make you enjoy this day with even more zeal.

1. Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States.

2. Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada.

3. The Plymouth Pilgrims were the first to celebrate the Thanksgiving.










4. The pilgrims arrived in North America in December 1620.

5. The Pilgrims sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to reach North America.

6. The pilgrims sailed on the ship, which was known by the name of 'Mayflower'.










7. They celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day in the fall of 1621.

8. They celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

9. The drink that the Puritans brought with them in the Mayflower was the beer.










10. The Wampanoag Indians were the people who taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land.

11. The Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford, had organized the first Thanksgiving feast in the year 1621 and invited the neighboring Wampanoag Indians also to the feast.

12. The first Thanksgiving feast was held in the presence of around ninety Wampanoag Indians and the Wampanoag chief, Massasoit, was also invited there.










13. The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days.

14. President George Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving Day Proclamation in the year 1789 and again in 1795.

15. The state of New York officially made Thanksgiving Day an annual custom in 1817.










16. Sarah Josepha Hale, an editor with a magazine, started a Thanksgiving campaign in 1827 and it was result of her efforts that in 1863 Thanksgiving was observed as a day for national thanksgiving and prayer.

17. Abraham Lincoln issued a 'Thanksgiving Proclamation' on third October 1863 and officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving. Whereas earlier the presidents used to make an annual proclamation to specify the day when Thanksgiving was to be held.

18. President Franklin D. Roosevelt restored Thursday before last of November as Thanksgiving Day in the year 1939. He did so to make the Christmas shopping season longer and thus stimulate the economy of the state.









19. Congress passed an official proclamation in 1941 and declared that now onwards Thanksgiving will be observed as a legal holiday on the fourth Thursday of November every year.

20. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States. But it was Thomas Jefferson who opposed him. It is believed that Franklin then named the male turkey as 'tom' to spite Jefferson.

21. The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition began in the 1920's.









22. Californians are the largest consumers of turkey in the United States.

23. When the Pilgrims arrived in North America, the clothing of the Native Americans was made of animal skins (mainly deer skin).

24. On December 11, 1620 the first Pilgrims (or Puritans, as they were initially known) landed at Plymouth Rock.







25. By the fall of 1621 only half of the pilgrims, who had sailed on the Mayflower, survived. The survivors, thankful to be alive, decided to give a thanksgiving feast.

THE NOT SO ANCIENT HISTORY OF 10 OF THANKSGIVINGS FAVORITE DISHES!!


  On Thanksgiving, more than any other day of the year, Americans sit down and eat the same meal as their neighbors and countrymen. It’s tradition, after all! But we know our history: most of the Thanksgiving dishes we enjoy today weren’t at the original Pilgrims’ feast in 1621, or at least not in the way we enjoy them. How did we come up with the modern menu on so many tables?


1. Candied Sweet Potatoes







   Sweet potatoes are native to the Americas and their consumption goes back about 5,000 years, so it is no wonder they are associated with the American holiday, even though the Pilgrims didn’t have them in Massachusetts. But when did we start adding sugar to make them even sweeter than they are? The earliest recipe found is from 1889, in which sweet potatoes are made into candy.
The candied sweet potato is a Philadelphia confectionery. It is nothing but sweet potatoes carefully boiled and quartered, then candied in boiling syrup, but it is said to be dainty and tender and of a delicious flavor”.
   By 1895, recipes for sweetened sweet potatoes as a dinner side dish were showing up. Some call these recipes candied yams, although actual yams are a different plant altogether. “Yams” is an American nickname for the softer varieties of sweet potato.

2. Cranberry Sauce







   Cranberries were probably a part of the original Thanksgiving feast. The Native Americans used them for food, medicine, and even dye. Most importantly, cranberries were used as a preservative because they contain benzoic acid, so they added the fruit to meats and grains to extend their shelf life. General Ulysses S. Grant ordered cranberry sauce to be served to his troops in 1864, probably to prevent scurvy during the winter. It was first put into cans in 1912 by a company that eventually came to be known as Ocean Spray, a term that originally was used only for their canned cranberry sauce.

3. Brown and Serve Rolls







   Although not confined to Thanksgiving, “brown and serve rolls” are sold by the ton by various manufacturers for the holiday. They originated in 1949 when baker Joe Gregor of Avon Park, Florida tried to please his customers who wanted their rolls warm for dinner. He worked on the problem for months until he accidentally produced a batch of half-baked rolls. He left the “ruined” rolls in the oven while he responded to a fire alarm (Gregor was a volunteer fireman) and when he returned, he reheated the rolls and realized what he had produced. Gregor sold half-baked rolls to his customers to take home and finish baking  before dinner. General Mills bought the process for $25,000, allowing Gregor to retire from baking. Recipes are available so that you can make your own rolls ahead of time and brown them just before dinner.

4. Apple Cider







   It is not known when the first actual apple cider was produced, but the invading Romans discovered it in use in the village of Kent when they invaded England in 55BCE. Cider spread through Europe during the Middle Ages. English settlers brought apple seeds to America, where the trees thrived. Other drinks, especially beer, became more popular, but cider is traditionally consumed in the fall to celebrate the apple harvest. That is how cider, especially spiced cider, came to be associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas.

5. Deviled Eggs







   The concept of deviled eggs goes back to at least Ancient Rome, when boiled eggs were topped with spicy sauces. Removing the yolks from boiled eggs, adding spices, and then returning them was common in medieval times. The word “deviled” was first used in print to describe a highly spiced recipe in 1786, and came to be used for any food that was “hot” like the devil’s domain.

6. Roast Turkey







   There are only a couple of accounts of the Pilgrim’s feast written by participants, and at least one never even mentioned turkeys. The most famous remembrance was written twenty years after the fact by governor William Bradford and was confiscated by the British during the Revolutionary War. It was not recovered until 1854. Meanwhile, turkeys were roasted during the winter months by any Americans who had access to the birds. When the Bradford document became available, roast turkey became associated with the Thanksgiving meal. After all, the birds are much easier to raise on farms than the deer, swans, partridges, and  seal meat that were also on the Pilgrims’ menu.

7. Stuffing or Dressing






   Stuffing animals for roasting goes back to ancient times, with old recipes surviving from the Roman Empire. After removing the organs, the big hole left behind is an opportunity to add seasoning from the inside, and filling the cavity helps to even the cooking over a fire. In modern times, the Thanksgiving turkey is the only large animal that most people ever roast whole in their homes, so the custom of stuffing is linked to Thanksgiving turkey. However, it is often served without ever actually being inside the turkey. Modern instant stuffing is even served with no turkey at all! Stovetop Stuffing was invented in 1971 by Ruth Siems for General Foods (now Kraft Foods). The convenience of instant stuffing was an immediate hit when it was launched in 1972. The company sells around 60 million boxes every Thanksgiving.

8. Green Bean Casserole






   The green bean casserole that many people serve for Thanksgiving originated in 1955 with a recipe by Dorcas Reilly of the Campbell’s Soup Company, in collaboration with Olney and Carpenter, who were trying to promote their french fried onion business. The recipe caught on, and ensured the future of canned fried onions and the trend of using cream soup instead of homemade white sauce. Of course, you can make it from scratch without the processed name-brand ingredients.

9. Mincemeat Pie







   Mincemeat, a combination of meat, fruit, and spices not only tasted good to those who developed it, but preserved the meat for later consumption. Believe it or not, early mincemeat pies were baked in a coffin shape! One account has mincemeat brought back from the Crusades in the 11th century. Spiced meat was made into a pie for Christmas. The meat was combined with three spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves) to represent the three gifts of the wise men. The oblong coffin shape was meant to represent the cradle of the Christ child, and a representative doll was placed on top when the small pies were presented. Another account has the original pies shaped like coffins to represent Osiris, the Egyptian god of the dead who was celebrated on the winter solstice. Christians co-opted this tradition along with the other solstice celebrations for Christmas. Over the years, the amount of meat was diminished as we developed other methods of preservation, and now most mincemeat recipes contain only a bit of suet along with apples, raisins, and spices. However, you can still make it the traditional way with this 1796 recipe.

10. Pumpkin Pie







   The Pilgrims may have eaten cooked pumpkin, but they didn’t have it in a pie. The first recorded pumpkin pie recipe was published in France in 1653, where the fruit was called pompion. It spread to England and then to the New World, where the first American pie recipe (now called pumpkin) was published in 1796.