How to Cure Your Post Holiday Blues
The post holiday blues are more real than ever. Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, the days and weeks following these festivities can be bleak. Family and friends return to their day-to-day lives, thoughts of work deadlines creep back into your mind, and the wonder of the season subsequently fades away. Undoubtedly, this is the saddest time of the year.
So how do we keep the post holiday blues at bay? Colonial cookbook author Mary Bohlen believes that tasty food is the answer, and we think she’s right. Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean you have to stop eating well. After all, it’s called comfort food for a reason! And what’s more comforting than traditional recipes?
Post Holiday Blues & Heritage Cooking
In her most recent book, Mary Bohlen’s Heritage Cooking Inspired by Rebecca Boone, the author translates 18th Century recipes into modern terms. In a word, contemporary cooks and bakers don’t have to stand over a fireplace for hours to make a traditional meal. All that’s needed is a conventional oven. From mincemeat pies to ginger cakes, these decadent recipes are just an example of how you can bring the joy of the holidays back into your home.
Mincemeat Pies Recipe
Firstly we have mincemeat pies. Also known as “mutton pies” or “Christmas pies,” mincemeat pies were incredibly popular during colonial times. This particular meal is based on a recipe found in an 18th Century cookbook. It’s great for any time of the year due to its taste and versatility. With these ingredients, you can create one 9-inch pie or several small tarts that will be sure to cure your post holiday blues.
♦ 2 cups finely chopped beef suet (boiled)
♦ 3⁄4 cup finely chopped rump steak – about 3 oz. (boiled)
♦ 1 1⁄2 cups tart apples like Winesap or Granny Smith (cut or chopped in small pieces)
♦ 1⁄2 cups raisins
♦ 3⁄4 cups currants (can substitute chopped dried cherries, cranberries or dates)
♦ 1⁄2 cup brown sugar, packed
♦ 2 T. brandy or sweet apple cider
♦ 1⁄4 cup chopped candied fruit peel
♦ 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice plus grated zest of 1⁄2 lemon
♦ 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
♦ 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
♦ 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
Step 1: First, mix all ingredients well in a bowl then transfer to quart jar and store in refrigerator for 2 days.
Step 2: Next, use your favorite pastry crust recipe for bottom and top crust or for small tarts.
Step 3: Finally, preheat oven to 350. Brush pie with egg wash and bake until golden brown. About one hour for a 9-inch pie, a shorter time for small tarts.
Ginger Cakes Recipe
Secondly comes ginger cakes. This classic colonial treat is based on a recipe from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy written by Hannah Glasse in 1747. When it was written in the 18th Century, “cakes” were actually the same thing we call “cookies” today. As a result, these Ginger Cakes may look a little different than you might expect, but they’ll still chase your post holiday blues away.
♦ 2 3⁄4 cups plain flour
♦ 1⁄2 cup sugar
♦ 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
♦ 1 teaspoon baking soda
♦ 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
♦ 1 tablespoon ground ginger
♦ 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
♦ 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter
♦ 1⁄2 cup molasses (preferably unsulphured)
♦ 1⁄4 cup cream
Step 1: Warm butter, molasses and cream until butter melts. Mix together in bowl and set aside.
Step 2: Next, sift together flour, salt and spices.
Step 3: After, gradually stir dry ingredients into warm mixture. Dough should be stiff.
Step 4: Then chill in refrigerator.
Step 5: Following, roll out thin on floured surface and cut out with cookie cutters.
Step 6: Finally, bake for about 10 mins with the oven on 350 degrees.
Written by Kathie Bennett