I found it!
I found it in a pile of paper memories … Mom’s handwritten recipe for Mincemeat with the word tomato(e) misspelled, just like Dan Quayle misspelled potato(e) in the 1992 presidential campaign.
My mother, another creative speller, taught me how to make a pie, how to peel thin skins from potatoes so some would be left to eat, and how to sanitize and shine our white porcelain sink after all the dinner dishes had been washed, dried and put away. Teaching me kitchen skills and sharing her recipes was a way my mom showed her love for me. And she was generous with that love, except when it came to the recipe for her signature Mincemeat made with the green tomatoes from her end-of-season garden. Based on the dates on newspaper clippings and outdated coupons in the same pile of papers, my guess is she gave it to me twenty years ago.
When I prepare and eat the foods she taught me how to make, I think of her hovering over me, tasting the sauce, telling me I need more salt or advising me how to save the too salty sauce by adding a raw potato. These are stories I must preserve and pass along so future generations of family will have some insight into this woman.
For those of you who never had a chance to get that one great recipe for your best-loved childhood dish, I’ll give you mine. I invite you to like it, and share it. If you do have a winner from your own mother or grandmother, pass the recipe along as a way for us all to celebrate our mother’s love.
Donna Hartman’s Green Tomato(e) Mincemeat
(She notes: “Can add small chunks of cooked venison to it.)
- 8 lbs ground green tomatoes
- 3 lbs chopped apples
- 4 lbs sugar
Add the juice from the tomatoes and apples to sugar and boil 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and boil one hour and 20 minutes.
- Add apples
- 1 c vinegar
- ½ c butter
- 4 T cinnamon
- 1 T ground cloves
- ½ T black pepper
- Pinch of salt
- 4 lbs dark raisins.
Boil 20 minutes more. Seal in sterilized jars. Process open kettle method 20 minutes. One quart makes 2 pies. Done! Yeah!
I had never heard of venison in the pie. That would be an interesting flavor and it makes sense as deer were the game of choice.
My dad was a hunter. We ate venison fresh every fall. Mom found ways to preserve the meat so we could enjoy it all winter. I don’t recall it tasting gamey. Her mincemeat was full of subtle flavors … like English Plum Pudding or really good fruitcake … not the kind that is passed around for twenty years. We always had her mincemeat pie for the Thanksgiving holiday.