Holiday Recipes



‘Tis the season for holiday parties and potlucks. What better way to celebrate than to dish up a little local history with your meal? Below are some seasonally appropriate recipes taken from the Elizabeth Gilmour recipe book started in 1908. The recipes are written exactly as they appear in her handwriting, but there are a few editorial notes below. There are a few things that are open to interpretation, so please let us know if you refine any of these!

Before we dive into the recipes, we wanted to offer a brief status update. We have the book draft back from the amazing editors of the Publications Committee at the Museum of Art and History. We are incorporating comments right now, and will be refining the text for the next couple months. If we are able to secure a little funding, we hope to begin the formatting in the Spring, and have the book printed in the late Summer or early Fall 2017.

Without further ado, the recipes:

Mothers mince meat

  • 1 Cup seedless raisins and 1 cup seeded raisins cooked in little water.
  • 1 Quart cooked apples
  • 1 Cup suet chopped fine
  • ½ Cup molasses New Orleans*
  • 1 Cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • ½ Cup vinegar
  • 1 Quart finely chopped beef (cooked)
  • Teaspoonful allspice
  • Teaspoonful clove
  • Teaspoonful cinnamon
  • Teaspoonful nutmeg
  • 1 Qt fruit juice

*a molasses that is comparatively light in color and rich in sugar

Note: Modern mincemeat, still very common in England, is typically vegetarian. Historically, micemeat did often contain meat,which explains the name. If you are using this mincemeat recipe to put in a mincemeat pie or other dish, you may want to put a label on it. It may interest some people to know that the vinegar can be substituted with brandy.

Annie’s Christmas Pudding

  • 1 Lb raisins
  • 1 Lb sultanas
  • 1 Lb currants
  • 1 Lb peel mixed
  • 1 Grated nutmeg
  • 1 Lb fine bread crumbs
  • 1 Teaspoonful ground ginger
  • 1 Lb sugar
  • 1 Lb beef suet
  • 1 Cup of rum
  • 6 fresh eggs
  • 1 Large cup flour
  • Add 2 teasp salt, 2 teasp baking powder

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly, then add the well beaten eggs, and lastly the rum. Stir thoroughly then put in well buttered baking powder cans and boil 1 1/2 hours. Eat as desired.

Note: Baking powder cans are no longer designed to withstand boiling. This video shows you how to steam a pudding with a double boiler and a bowl.


  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 half teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Flavor with the oil of peppermint

Boil until drops will almost keep their shape in water then pour into bowl of cold water. Stir steadily until cool enough to bear your hand in them. Place on a platter and knead first like you would bread. If too hard a few drops of warm water may be stirred in, if to soft boil again.

Note: It’s not entirely clear from the description what the final form of the candy looks like. Any input from anyone who has made something like this in the past?

Mothers Plum Pudding

  • ½ Cup chopped Suet (shortening makes a good substitute, as suet is hard to find and not vegetarian)
  • 1 Cup chopped raisins
  • 1 ½ Cup flour
  • 1 Big teaspoonful baking powder
  • 1 Egg
  • quarter cup molasses
  • quarter cup water
  • quarter cup sugar
  • pinch salt

Put in baking powder cans fill about half full boil one hour and bake in oven until brown.

Note: Baking powder cans are no longer designed to withstand boiling. This video shows you how to steam a pudding with a double boiler and a bowl.

When testing this recipe we used a bowl, as in the video above, and steamed the pudding for 2 hours. It turned out perfectly!

Sauce for Plum Pudding

  • 1 cup cream or milk
  • 1 tablespoonful butter
  • 1 tablespoonful flour (melt together with butter)

Put the cream on the fire when it boils stir in the butter and flour mixed add cupful sugar an egg. If desired flavor with lemon or vanilla. Is nice for cake filling.


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