Thursday, December 05, 2013

The Old Crock

When Bonnie of From a Writer's Kitchen posted yesterday about a (mincemeat) fruit tea bread, I thought immediately of my grandmother's mincemeat pies that she served when we would visit for Christmas dinner. (I always sort of dreaded them, to be honest). My dad loved them, and Grandmother's mincemeat even somehow made it to our house in Illinois the years we could not travel to her home for holidays. I know there is a lot of history about it--back to being served at Henry V's coronation in 1413.

I told Bonnie I would photograph the old crock that I inherited from my mother who got it from her mother-in-law who got it from her mother … and I'm not sure how much further it goes back. But the story is that that is where they made their mincemeat. I don't know much about it, but I do think back then they would dry it to preserve it for use all year long. Now you can buy it ready made, but my grandmother always made hers.

As a small child I couldn't figure out why you would use "meat" in a 
dessert, but I realize that wasn't exactly the case, 
at least by the time my grandmother was making it. 
Bonnie's tea bread, by the way, looks delicious and she shares the recipe. 
If this old crock could talk, the stories we would hear,
particularly the conversations among the women gathered in kitchens!


  1. I have a friend who makes mincemeat pies and she does indeed use meat! (Beef is the meat in her pies, but there is also apple and raisins and other dried fruit.) I have eaten a slice and it is not bad...but somehow the word "mincemeat" is disconcerting to me. :)

    How wonderful that you know the history behind your jug! It is a beautiful one too!

    We have a wooden firkin labeled "mincemeat"...given to me by my mother-in-law quite a few years ago. I use it to store cans of cat food. :D

  2. That's so interesting that mince meat was made and stored in this old crock. What a great piece of history you have. It's a beautiful one and the blue with salt glaze is highly collectible. Hang on to it!! :)

  3. Oh, I forgot to say that I was at a friends for tea yesterday and had a delicious mincemeat tart made with moose meat. YUM! :)

  4. What a splendid old crock with a wonderful provenance. Mincemeat...not a favorite of mine. My daughter-in-law bought a pecan pie at the recent pie sale or so she thought...they were quite dismayed to learn it was mincemeat. Someone surely would have enjoyed it, though, if it had been properly labeled. I would like to try a dessert bread made with tea....I've seen some of those about. So, are you going to be brave and make some mincemeat?

  5. I can envision this crock filled with mincemeat makings stored in a cool cellar to "age". It's a beautiful piece and, I'm sure, filled with precious memories. Thanks for the mention!! The mincemeat I used in the tea bread did not have suet (most often used) in it.


  6. Your salt glazed crock is quite a treasure. What a wonderful piece to have handed down to you. ♥

  7. That crock is a real treasure!

    My husband loves his mother's mock mincemeat pies. Several years ago, he had a slice of real mincemeat pie, and did not enjoy it at all. He'll take his mom's mock mincemeat any day, though.


  8. Your crock is pretty, and worth keeping. I held on to my Dad's large crocks that had been passed down from his grandfather for a number of years and finally sold them. My Dad made wine in them, but I think pickled onions were tried once too.
    I like the tea bread recipe with the mincemeat; I've been making a Christmas cake recipe that uses a jar of it, can of Eaglebrand and other goodies for years.
    I love the sharing of recipes we do amongst fellow bloggers, so many good things to try.

  9. Until just a few years ago my mother made us each a Christmas cake. She also made her own mincemeat for her pies. It was the best! She used suet that she bought from the butcher. The mincemeat smelled wonderful. It was made in a big grey crock. I have no idea where that crock got to.
    Thanks for prompting the memories. Your crock is a treasure!

  10. I don't know what it's like to have anything with such a history..since I started blogging, I have thought and thought of what might have happened with my grandparents and great parents belongings. I just never thought to ask my own parents and they are now gone. I have always had my memories and that's quite the extent of it! Not to say, of course that having that crock is not the most special thing in the world! And mincemeat...never quite sure that was all about other than I know it's quite popular in the UK, isn't it? it would be fun to give it a try. Love Google for this sort of thing!! :)


  11. Podso,
    Oh, the stories from our ancestors around the kitchen cooking, doing dishes, have a cup 'o coffee. . .how much of my childhood and youth flash before my eyes in that one room, dear friend!!!
    My Grandmother made her own mincemeat pies. . .I wouldn't touch them...thought she had made Micemeat pies!!! Ha!
    Thanks for some of the best of my "growing up years" memories stirred in my thoughts and my heart this morning!!!
    P.S. I'm getting all the JOY and photo mileage I can from the blue dishes, dear friend!!! I think of you and your generosity each time I put them on our table. . .and smile!

  12. What a treasure the blue jug holds - not mincemeat any longer, but the memories of beloved hands and the stories told. It's a beautiful piece.

    Mincemeat - not a fan at all, but my husband likes it so I will make him some tarts (with store-bought mincemeat).

  13. We had a plain white pickle crock that I loved ... can't remember which one of the kids I gave it to when we sold out to travel. Yours is prettier!


I enjoy the conversations that come with comments!

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