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Helen (Barclay) Auld’s mincemeat recipe was another Christmas favourite at Thistle Ha’. One of Christopher’s friends recently helped move some heavy furniture. As I handed him the apple pie that I had baked, he asked if I ever made “mince pie”. So I know what to make next time!

An optional ingredient in this recipe is 1/2 lb. lean chopped or ground meat, but I have not tried it.

Helen Auld’s Mincemeat

  • At least 6 quarts of Northern Spy apples
  • 2 lb. raisins
  • 1 lb. currants
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 T. nutmeg
  • 1 lb. suet
  • 2/3 lb. mixed peel
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 lb. sugar
  • fruit juices

Let the mixture stand in a cool place (such as the broad windowsill between the kitchen and the dining room!) for 2-3 days, then freeze or use. Sprinkle a little fresh nutmeg on the filling before baking the pie.

Source: Pickering Township Oral History Project Interviews. Audio Reel
RG-17-44-0-10. Copyright 1972, Archives of Ontario. Used with permission.
As told by: Hugh Miller.

Stan Whiston and David Nasby of the Pickering Township Oral History Project interviewed Hugh Miller on June 21, 1972 about the houses built at Thistle Ha’. This recording is several copies removed from the original reel-to-reel tape, so the sound quality is poor.

It is said that John Miller remembered snow on the bed blankets on a few winter mornings when living in the log house.

Hugh Miller dug a 14-foot hole for the current cistern beside the east wall of the house. Curious about the depth of the stone foundation, he also dug an anchor-post hole beside the wall at the bottom of the excavation. He failed to reach the footings. So the stone wall extends at least 18 feet below ground.

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