December 23, 2012 archive

Dec 23

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Dec 23

Thoroughly Modern Meatless Mince Pie

Republished from 11/6/2011 from the What’s Cooking Archives at The Stars Hollow Gazette

Mince pie is a old holiday tradition that can be traced back to 13th century when European crusaders returned from the Middle East with recipes for meats, fruits and spices. Mincing was a way of preserving meats without salting or smoking. The pie has been served at royal tables and, at one time, was banned by the Puritans since it was a symbol of the Pagan Christmas celebration.

Traditional mincemeat pie contains shredded meat and suet along with fruits and spices and cooks for hours. Mostly made with beef, there is a record of a recipe that used whale meat.  Today, most cooks buy mince in a jar, like Cross & Blackwell or None-Such, to make pies and small tarts. I use to do that as well, adding chopped apples, walnuts and extra brandy.

Several years ago, I came across recipe for a meatless mince full of apples, dried fruits and lots of spices. It cooks over low heat for about ninety minutes filling the house and the neighborhood with its spicy aroma. This recipe calls for pippin apples but MacIntosh, Granny Smith or any pie variety of apple is a fine substitute. I use a combination. It can be made a week or so ahead of time and kept refrigerated in an airtight container. The recipe will make one pie or about a dozen medium tarts. I like the tarts even though it’s more work making the crusts. For the top crust, I make decorative cutouts with small cookie cutters, shaped like leaves and acorns. I’ve also just made a few cutouts in the top crust and surrounded the pie edge with the dough cutouts.

Modern Mince Pie

Ingredients:

   3 1/2 pounds small pippin apples (about 7), peeled, cored, chopped

   1/2 cup chopped pitted prunes

   1/2 cup golden raisins

   1/2 cup dried currants

   1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

   1/4 cup unsulfured (light) molasses

   1/4 cup brandy

   1/4 cup orange juice

   1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

   2 tablespoons dark rum

   1 tablespoon grated orange peel

   1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

   1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

   1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

   1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

   1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

   Pinch of salt

Preparation:

Combine first 17 ingredients in heavy large saucepan or Dutch oven. Cook over low heat until apples are very tender and mixture is thick, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool filling completely. (Can be prepared up to 1 week ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Position rack in lowest third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Roll out 1 pie crust disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch-diameter round (about 1/8 inch thick). Roll up dough on rolling pin and transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie plate. Gently press into place. Trim edges of crust, leaving 3/4-inch overhang. Fold overhang under crust so that crust is flush with edge of pie pan. Crimp edges with fork to make decorative border. Spoon filling into crustlined pan, gently pressing flat.

Roll out second disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut out about 28 three-inch leaves using cookie cutter. Press leaves lightly with tines of fork to form vein pattern. Brush bottom of 1 leaf with milk. Place leaf atop mince, overlapping crust slightly and pressing to adhere to crust. Continue placing leaves atop pie in concentric circles, overlapping edges slightly until top of pie is covered. Brush crust with milk. Bake until crust is golden brown and mince bubbles, about 40 minutes. Cool completely. Serve pie with rum raisin ice cream if desired.

(To make this recipe vegan substitute light olive oil for the butter.

Bon appétit!

Dec 23

D-Day Has Left the Room

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

David Dayen, aka d-day, proprietor of FDL’s News Desk, has decided to take his keyboard and depart the blogosphere after eight years. There is no way to fill the gap he will leave. Damn, David, who is going to explain the next financial debacle or Washington’s latest manufactured crisis with your clarity?

A few days before his last post at the News Desk, David talked with Sam Seder on Majority Report to give us an insight to his reason for leaving blogging.

The privilege has been all ours, David. Thanks and best wishes.  

Dec 23

Cartnoon

Movies and Cannon.

Dec 23

On This Day In History December 23

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

December 23 is the 357th day of the year (358th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are eight days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1893, The opera Hansel und Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck is first performed.

The libretto was written by Adelheid Wette (Humperdinck’s sister), based on the Grimm brothers’ Hansel and Gretel. It is much admired for its folk music-inspired themes, one of the most famous being the Abendsegen (“Evening Benediction”) from Act 2.

The idea for the opera was proposed to Humperdinck by his sister, who approached him about writing music for songs that she had written for her children for Christmas based on “Hänsel und Gretel.” After several revisions, the musical sketches and the songs were turned into a full-scale opera.

Humperdinck composed Hansel and Gretel in Frankfurt am Main in 1891 and 1892. The opera was first performed in Weimar on 23 December 1893, conducted by Richard Strauss. It has been associated with Christmas since its earliest performances and today it is still most often performed at Christmas time.

Dec 23

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

History of gun control is cautionary tale for those seeking regulations after Conn. shooting

 By Scott Higham, Sari Horwitz, David S. Fallis and Joel Achenbach, Sunday, December 23, 6:44 AM

 At 3 a.m. on July 2, 1993, Steve Sposato sat down in his darkened living room to write, by hand, a letter to the president of the United States. His life had just been shattered.

Hours earlier, in the afternoon, a deranged man armed with semiautomatic weapons had gone on a rampage, slaughtering eight people at an office building in downtown San Francisco. The gunman’s motive would remain forever a mystery. Among the slain: Steve’s wife, 30-year-old Jody Jones Sposato, the mother of his 10-month-old daughter, Meghan.

His anguished letter to the president asked how it was possible for someone to possess rapid-fire weapons with 30-round magazines, seemingly designed to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. “Now I’m left to raise my 10-month-old daughter on my own,” he told the president. “How do I find the strength to carry on?”




Sunday’s Headlines:

Taliban preys on Afghanistan’s corrupt police force

Bethlehem Christians feel the squeeze as Israeli settlements spread

Tribal attack suspects arrested in Kenya

Deep emotions run beneath Russia’s adoption ban

Brazil settlers in land disputes over Amazon farming

Dec 23

What We Now Know

On MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes, Host Chris Hayes and his guests discuss what they now know since the week began. Chris’ panel guests were Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald), columnist and blogger for The Guardian; Hina Shamsi, director of National Security Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, former senior adviser to United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, and lecturer at Columbia Law School; Spencer Ackermann, writer and blogger for Wired.com; and Nancy Giles, analyst for CBSNews.com.

State of the Climate Global Analysis November 2012

Global Highlights

   The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for November 2012 was 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the 20th century average of 12.9°C (60.4°F). This is the fifth warmest November since records began in 1880. Including this November, the 10 warmest Novembers have occurred in the past 12 years.

   The globally-averaged land surface temperature for November 2012 was the sixth warmest November on record, at 1.13°C (2.03°F) above average. The globally-averaged ocean surface temperature was also sixth warmest on record, at 0.50°C (0.90°F) above average.

   ENSO-neutral conditions continued in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during November 2012. Neutral conditions are expected to last through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2012/13 and into spring 2013.

   The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for September-November 2012 was 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F), marking the second warmest September-November on record, behind 2005.

   The globally-averaged land surface temperature for September-November 2012 was the third warmest September-November on record, at 1.03°C (1.85°F) above average. The Southern Hemisphere land temperature was record warm for the period.

   The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for January-November 2012 was the eighth warmest such period on record, at 0.59°C (1.06°F) above the 20th century average.

Thieves Arrested After Stealing 6 Million Pounds of Canadian Maple Syrup

Talk about a sticky mess.

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers believe several million cans of stolen maple syrup may be sitting on U.S. grocery shelves.

Quebec police arrested four men in connection with the robbery of 6 million pounds of maple syrup stolen from a Canadian warehouse in a heist spanning just under a year.

The thieves managed to steal the sticky substance from a warehouse in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford between August 2011 and July of this year. The stolen syrup tops out at $18 million in total market value.

“It’s one of the most important robberies in Quebec because of the quantity stolen and the value of the syrup,” said Sgt. Gregory Gomez Del Prado of Quebec police.

Dec 23

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Our regular featured content-

This weekly feature-

And this featured article-

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Write more and often.  This is an Open Thread.

The Stars Hollow Gazette