DIY Mince Pies and New Year Resolutions

So I haven’t posted anything in a long while!!!! Believe me I have been really busy. But even with my hectic life I have still found time to continuously beat myself up over the lack of blogging on my part. And the more time that has past the greater that feeling of ‘it’s Sunday night and I haven’t got my essay done for school tomorrow’ has become!!

I had great aspiration for 2012. I had elaborate plans for getting fit both mind and body. Kick off date was January 2nd. I always think it’s a bad idea to start the ‘new you plan’ on January 1st. The 2nd got pushed to the 3rd, and then I decided it was best to start when the kids went back to school, January 9th. If procrastination had been my New Years Resolution I was achieving it hands down.

That said I did resume my daily walks when the kids went back to school, the above photo being a view of the sunrise from Killney Hill in Dublin. Is this proof enough that the physical fitness aspect of my 2012 regime has commenced?

So last week when I was going through my mail I came across a post from a fellow blogger which has given me the kick in the backside that I’ve needed to get back on board the blogging train. Thanks Betsy of

What have I been up to since my last post? Well, in the lead up to Christmas I was in the States for Thanksgiving, on my return I helped with the organisation of my children’s school’s biggest fundraiser the DSP Winter Marker, had visitors, attended the school’s variety show, the list goes on and on and in addition I prepared for the Christmas Festivities.

Now I know this impending post is way out of season however, you could look at it as me being extremely organised for Christmas 2012. I know in my disillusioned mind, that’s what I’m doing!! So please bear with me, as this and up and coming posts are the ones I had ready pre Christmas to share with you but just didn’t get a chance. :O)

Christmas!! It happens to be one of my favourite times of year, the family catching up, chilling out after the hectic year and of course the food!! In the weeks leading up to Christmas I love all the food prep, the puddings, chicken liver pate, (both of which I’ve previously posted), mince pies. Some of my favourite foods feature at Christmas. One of these being mince pies, I love anything with pastry especially shortcrust. The shortcrust recipe can be found in the post for bakewell tarts

In a previous post I mentioned the challenges I encountered trying to reproduce my mother’s shortcrust pastry. Hers was the best and yes I am biased. Anyway having already achieved this, last year I decided to make my own mince meat, I scanned most of my cookbooks but eventually found a gorgeous recipe on the BBC Food website by Jill Dupleix,

This recipe is amazing and when it’s bubbling away on the stove, it will instantly infuse your kitchen with spicy Christmas fragrances. Irresistible!

So what was keeping me so busy pre Christmas aside from the afore mentioned list of activities above, well I was making DIY Mince Pie packs! An idea I came up with for Christmas 2010. I hired a stall at our schools Winter Market and sold these packs as gift ideas. The Mince Pie Pack compiled of a portion of homemade shortcrust pastry, a jar of homemade cranberry mincemeat and instructions on how to assemble your very own mince pies all wrapped up with a pretty bow :O). Enabling people to wow their friends and family with the smell of their very own Christmas baking. It was a huge success and gave me a great sense of achievement. This year I was too busy to take a stall at the market however, I did get a lot of orders for the packs from customers from last year!

I have learned a lot in the two years I have been making these packs but most of all I’ve really enjoyed it. And who knows maybe next year my cottage industry will turn into a food emporium. Most importantly though, I still found time to make some mince pies for me, (I mean Christmas, to share with everyone!!)

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4 Responses to DIY Mince Pies and New Year Resolutions

  1. Gorgeous photo of the sunset and of your products!!!! My goodness, you have been busy! Thanks so much for the shout out and I just figured out how to get my subscription to work. I was supposedly following, but not getting emails. I just clicked unfollow and then follow again and now it seems to be working…yay! Here’s to a productive and happy year full of fun and blogging, and lots of sales for you! Cheers! ~Betsy

  2. trish brady says:

    Hey Rhoda, you just brought me back years to the DSP markets… i was a student there when it first opened its doors back in the late 70’s!!! Your DIY mince pies… what a great idea!!!

    I made your lemon drizzle cake last weekend… it was divine!! Will have to make it again this weekend as dying for more ;o) came online today to get your bread-roll recipe as thats my mission this weekend!!

    I hope you and the lads are well…

    xx Trish

    • Rhoda Kirwan says:

      My god Trish, I didn’t know you went to the DSP! Yes the market is still in full swing every year. Thrilled you tried the Lemon Drizzle cake, delicious but a bit lethal, one slice is never enough. Tell me how you get on with the bread and remember don’t be afraid to allow it to rise for longer than recommended. I always do and the bread becomes lovely and fluffy. All the boys are well (except the boy dog, he has kennel cough and under the weather at the moment but on the mend).
      Talk to you soon, Rho x

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