MINCEMEAT ( This recipe was generously shared by the Caffi Florence Cookery School in Mold, Wales.) 

Some recipes for mincemeat suggest cooking while others just suggest mixing together and packing into jars. The danger of not cooking is that the apples may ferment. However, thorough mixing and the alcohol will help prevent this, as will keeping the mincemeat in the fridge. If you do choose to cook, do so in a very low oven 120C gas 1/4 for 2-3 hours in a covered bowl. The brandy should be excluded and as mixture cools, stir to mix in suet. When cold, add brandy and stir well to incorporate the suet before jarring.

Jars should be prepared as for jam making i.e. cleaned and sterilized in the oven 120C gas 1/2 or through the hottest cycle in a dishwasher. However the jars should be cooled before filling or else the suet will melt.

To make about 2 kg. ( 4 large jam jars)

Mincemeat tarts made at the Caffi Florence Cookery School.
Mincemeat tarts made at the Caffi Florence Cookery School.
  • 1 large cooking apple- peeled and grated
  • 600 g dried fruit: currents, raisins and sultanas
  • 300 g vegetable suet
  • 250 g dark brown sugar ( muscovado)
  • 100 g chopped peel
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon and orange
  • 50 g of chopped almonds
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4  grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 100 ml. brandy

Soak dried fruit in orange and lemon juice and brandy for a minimum of 1 hour. Add other ingredients, stir well and pack into sterilized jars.

CHRISTMAS PUDDING ( This recipe was generously shared by the Caffi Florence Cookery School in Mold , Wales.) 

Makes a 2 pine pudding to serve to 8

  • 550 g dried fruit: currents, raisins, sultanas, dates and/or figs

    Patting the mixture for the Christmas Pudding into bowls for steaming.
    Patting the mixture for the Christmas Pudding into bowls for steaming.
  • 50 g chopped peel
  • 1 large cooking apple, peeled, and finely chopped
  • 250 ml. stout
  • zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 100 g dark sugar
  • 100 g white bread crumbs
  • 50 g self rising flour
  • 50 g almonds
  • 1/2 tsp. each of ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg ( or 1 tsp. mixed spice)
  • 2 eggs
  • Mix dried fruits and stout in a bowl and leave to soak (preferably overnight) 
  • Butter inside of a pudding basin 
  • Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Add butter, eggs and fruit, stir well. 
  • Spoon into basin, about 2 cm. from top. 
  • Cover with greaseproof paper and foil with pleat and secure with string 
  • Steam in a pan of just boiling water, halfway up the basin for 6 hours. Check water regularly and top up. 
  • Recover with fresh paper and foil and store in a cool place. Steam for 1 1/2 hours to serve.

MARIANNA’S CHRISTMAS CAKE  (This recipe generously shared by the Caffi Florence Cookery School in Mold, Wales) 

“Marianna was a friend of my sisters who has now sadly died. She gave us this recipe when she was in her early twenties and our family has used it ever since for Christmas and special occasion cakes.”

This cake mix is suitable for a 20 cm. round tin or 18 cm. square

Fruit cake made at the Caffi Florence Cookery School.
Fruit cake made at the Caffi Florence Cookery School.
  • 250 g butter
  • 250 g soft brown sugar
  • 375 g plain flour
  • 1250 g mixed dried fruit
  • 250 g glace cherries
  • 125 g chopped peel
  • 50 g almonds
  • zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice ( ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin)
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp. black treacle
  • 6 tbps. brandy
  • brandy to drizzle.
  • Soak dried fruit, preferably overnight in brandy 
  • Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and fold in sieved flour and spices 
  • Fold in remaining ingredients 
  • Place in lined tin and cover with a double sheet of greaseproof paper
  • Cook on lowest shelf at 140c gas mark for 4 to 4 1/2 hours. It may take longer. Check with a skewer. It needs to be clean to show cake is cooked. 
  • Cool in tin for 30 min. and then remove onto wire cooling rack. When completely cold, wrap in greaseproof paper and with tin foil. “Feed” periodically with brandy. 


  • 225 g ground almonds
  • 100 g castor sugar
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • Sieve icing sugar and add almonds and castor sugar. Add lemon juice and sufficient egg to bind into a ball. Knead until smooth. 
  • Note that this recipe contains raw egg. 



An old recipe for making Spruce Beer that was written in Thomas H. Raddall’s “Halifax, Warden of the North”

Take 7 pounds of good spruce and boil it well till the bark peels off. Thank take the spruce out and put in 3 gallons of molasses and boil the liquor again, scum it well as it boils, then take it out of the kettle and put into a cooler. When milk-warm in the cooler put a pint of yeast into it and mix well. Then put it in the barrel and let it work for 2 or 3 days, and keep filling it up as it works out. When done working, bung it up with a tent-peg in the barrel to give it vent now and then. It may be used in 2 or 3 days.


A plate of Chicken Curry on rice, a homemade roll and broccoli from Fort York cooking course.
A plate of Chicken Curry on rice, a homemade roll and broccoli from Fort York cooking course.

Chicken Curry from  A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Rundell 1806 Cut up the chickens before they are dressed, and fry them in butter with sliced onions till of a fine colour;or if you use those that have been dressed, don’t fry them; lay the joints cut down in two or three pieces each into a stew pan, with a veal or mutton gravy, a clove or two of garlick, four large spoonfuls of cream, and some Cayenne- rub smooth one or two spoonfuls of curry powder, with a little flour, and a bit of butter, and add twenty minutes before you serve; stewing it on till ready. A little juice of lemon should be squeezed in when serving. Slices of underdone veal, rabbit or turkey make a good curry. A dish of rice boiled plain, as hereafter directed, must always served to eat with curry.



John Hammond hangs the chicken over the fire.
John Hammond hangs the chicken over the fire.

To Roast a Fowl with Chestnuts from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse 1796

Fiest take some Chestnuts, roast them very carefully, so as not to burn them; take off the Skin and peel them; take about a Dozen of them cut small, and bruise them in a Mortar; parboil the Liver of the Fowl, bruise it, cut about a Quarter of a Pound of Ham or Bacon, and pound it; then mix them all together, with a good deal of Parsley chopped small, a little Sweet Herbs, some Mace, Pepper, Salt, and Nutmeg; mix these together and put into your Fowl and roast it. The best way of doing it is to tie the neck and hang it up by the Legs to roast with a String, and baste it with Butter. For Sauce take the rest of the Chestnuts peeled and skinned; put them into some good Gravy, with a little White Wine, and thicken it with a Piece of Butter rolled in Flour; then take up your Fowl, lay it in the Dish, and pour in the Sauce. Garnish with Lemon.

Note: I have written this using the spelling of Hannah in her cooking book.

Tying the chicken to hang over the fire, after it is stuffed.
Tying the chicken to hang over the fire, after it is stuffed.










Pumpkin Butter – Thanks to

1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin 1 cup apple, peeled, cored, grated 1 cup apple juice 1/2 cup brown sugar 3/4 tsp. pumpkin spice Combine all ingredients in a sause pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hrs. Stir. Makes 3 cups. Thanks to Deb Dwyer for sharing her recipe with Dining Out With History. Icelandic Moss Flatbread ( traditional recipe adapted)

Icelandic Moss Flatbread
Icelandic Moss Flatbread

Icelandic Moss Flatbread

I cup of cleaned chopped Icelandic moss 1 ½ cup of Buckwheat flour (I used Jeff’s Buckwheat Flour) ½ cup of all purpose or whole wheat flour pinch of salt boiling water as needed Wash, drain and chop Icelandic Moss and put in food processor grinding to a fine texture. Mix with flours, salt and add boiling water until you can make a ball of dough. Divide dough into small balls the size of golf ball and flatten. Bake in a cast iron frying pan. Tastes great with butter and fresh berry jam.

Icelandic moss
Icelandic moss

Iceland Moss Soup ( Fjallagrasamjolk)

1 or 2 handfuls of Icelandic moss I litre of mild 3 tbsp. brown sugar 1/2 tsp. salt Wash moss with cold water and cut into small pieces. Bring milk to a boil, add moss, brown sugar and salt.

Interpretive instructor puts Orange Gingerbread cookies into the oven while Nancy Di Federico watches on.
Interpretive instructor puts Orange Gingerbread cookies into the oven while Nancy Di Federico watches on.








Orange Gingerbread

This recipe is shared courtesy of the Dundurn National Historic Site from the recipe booklet The Cook’s Corner December 2012. I am including the Modern Interpretation of the original recipe from the book, Cook Not Mad, written in 1831. Ingredients 2 cups flour 1/4 cup molasses 3/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup butter softened 1/2 tbsp. ginger 1/2 tsp. allspice 2 tbsp. fresh orange peel minced Option: 2 tbsp. of orange juice Method: Combine all the ingredients together. Add some juice from the orange if desired but then increase the flour slightly. Roll out the dough to desired thickness. Cut into desired shapes and score with criss- cross pattern- optional or roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Place them on a cookie sheet. If desired brush with egg yolk before baking. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. and bake cookies for 30 minutes. Caution: This dough can be used as soon as it is made. Refrigerate it if you plan on making it ahead of time but it will later require some time to return to room temperature before rolling it out. Molasses can scorch very quickly. While other cookies may not suffer from being left in the oven an extra minute or two, molasses recipes should be watched carefully.

Jeff with his Buckwheat Flour
Jeff with his Buckwheat Flour

Jeff’s Best Gluten Free Waffles This is Jeff’s recipe for making waffles using his Buckwheat Flour sold at the Fredericton Boyce Farmer’s Market. He has kindly given his permission to use this recipe. Ingredients

  • 2 cups Jeff’s Best Stone Ground Organic Buckwheat Flour
  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 Tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 Tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 Cups Apple Sauce

Mix ingredients. Cook in waffle iron. Makes about 12 waffles.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Two participants in the Victoria Delights workshop roll Cayenne Cheeses.

Cayenne Cheeses –  This recipe is shared by permission of Dundurn National Historic Site from their publication Christmas Delights-The Cook’s Corner It is orignally from The Book of Household Management, 1861 by Isabella Beaton


  • 1/2 lb. of butter
  • 1/2 lb.of flour
  • 1/2 lb. of grated cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. of cayenne
  • 1/3 tsp. of salt and water.

Rub the butter in the flour; add the grated cheese, cayenne and salt; and mix these ingredients well together. Moisten with sufficient water to make the whole into a paste: roll out, and cut into fingers about 4 inches in length. Bake them in a moderate oven a very light colour, and serve very hot.

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