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Sunday 9 December 2012

Home and Freezer Digest - an enduring legacy!

Every now and then, I get another comment or request on the post I did about Home and Freezer Digest back in November 2009.  Home and Freezer Digest was one of the few cooking magazines available in the early 1980s and I did have many copies and, indeed, had the binders for them as well.  However, pre-blog I gave them away to a charity shop keeping only the December 1988 copy and three of the special 'books' that I purchased from them.

Only the 100 Best Apple Recipes seems to have a publication date, which was 1981, so I'm assuming that, as it was 75p, it came first, followed by Christmas from the Freezer at £1 and finally, at the huge price of £1.95, The Complete Freezeaway Christmas Cookbook.

Occasionally I do still cook from these books and have some real favourites in the Apple book.  It seems that I am not the only one with affection for these magazines as, every now and then, I get another comment on the 2009 post from someone who used to collect the magazines, seeking a particular recipe.  This month I had a request for 'Princess Pudding', sadly I was unable to help, but yesterday I had a request from Clare in Canada, for the mincemeat recipe from Christmas from the Freezer and I am pleased to be able to oblige:


Makes about 5lb (2.25kg)

1 1/2 lb (675g cooking apples
1lb (450g) seedless raisins
8oz (225g) currants
6oz (150g) sultanas
2oz (50g) mixed peel, chopped
8oz (225g) shredded suet
10oz (275g) soft brown sugar
1 lemon, grated rind and juice
1/2 tsp mixed spice
4 tbsp brandy

1. Peel, core and slice apples.  Cook genlty without water, stirring to pulp them.  Cool.
2. Add dried fruits to all other ingredients, then stir in apple.  Mix well.
3. Put into rigid containers. Keep 3-4 days in fridge to 'mature'.

To serve now: as required
To freeze: seal and label.  Use within 3 months.
To serve from freezer: thaw overnight at room temperature.

Anyone who is seeking copies of Home and Freezer Digest would be advised to have a look on Ebay as there always seem to be a few copies of both the magazines and the little books available at pretty reasonable prices.

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At 10 December 2012 at 20:20 , Blogger Karen S Booth said...

That mincemeat recipe is very similar to my boozy fat free mincemeat, it also has apples in it too and you cook them with the fruit! A lovely post and I had never heard of this magazine before until now. Karen

At 10 December 2012 at 21:33 , Blogger Unknown said...

My mother had that 'Complete Freezeaway Christmas' - I'm going to HAVE to hunt for one on Ebay now!!

At 10 December 2012 at 21:35 , Blogger Janice said...

Hope you find it Sarah!

At 12 December 2012 at 04:15 , Blogger Jane Willis said...

I used to love that magazine too. In fact I have several scrapbooks full of recipes cut out of it and many of our long standing family favourites first appeared in it.

At 19 December 2012 at 14:48 , Blogger Tina said...

We had that booklet in the 70s. There was a recipe for ginger hollows. Biscuits that cooked with a hollow centre. They were delicious.

At 23 December 2012 at 09:02 , Anonymous Heather said...

I stumbled across your blog whilst searching, in vain, for the "Home & Freezer Digest" recipe for Cranberry Relish. I have been making it all this time but am currently in Qatar and cannot find my copied recipe! I know exactly where my binders are at home but everyone is away for Christmas already. Can anyone help?

At 23 December 2012 at 16:34 , Blogger Janice said...

Hi Heather
There is a Cranberry Sauce recipe in each of the Christmas books:
450g cranberries
150g caster sugar
150ml water
Put all ingredients in a saucpan, cover an simmer for about 15 minutes until berries are tender. Serve hot or cold.

Cranberry Orange Sauce
150g granulated sugar
300ml water
1 orange, finely grated rind and juice
450g cranberries
Heat sugar in water slowly till dissolved stir in rind and juice and boil 5 mins. Add cranberries and simmer gently for about 10 mins till berries burst. Serve hot.

There's also a great cranberry relish recipe HERE

At 24 December 2012 at 08:54 , Anonymous Heather said...

Thanks for your time and trouble, Janice.

The recipe I was after used vinegar and cinnamon stick but I can't remember what else and in what proportions. It was a relish and definitely not like the 'jam' which passes for sauce. ;-)

Merry Christmas to all.

At 28 December 2012 at 18:44 , Blogger Caroline said...

My mum still uses recipes from some of her very old books on a regular basis - latest to be used was the Sainsbury's Freezer Cookbook which contains her chicken liver pate recipe!

At 7 April 2014 at 09:59 , Blogger fleurblanc said...

Is the brandy butter recipe in the "Christmas from the freezer" cook book. I remember using it & everyone loved it as it was entirely different from the usual brandy butter.

At 7 April 2014 at 19:40 , Blogger Janice said...

I'm afraid I don't have access to my cook books at the moment, they have all been put away while I get work done on the kitchen. I'll try to remember to come back and let you know when I can get to Christmas from the freezer, thanks for your interest

At 25 November 2014 at 19:41 , Anonymous Gloria said...

Do you have the recipes for stuffings that were in Christmas From The Freezer . I had a new kitchen fitted last year and hsve lost my copy of the cookbook. I have tried most of the christmas recipes over the years and am so unhappy that the book has got lost.

At 26 November 2014 at 07:05 , Blogger Janice said...

If you email me I'll scan and send them to you. If you want a copy of the book, try eBay I've seen copies there.


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I love to read your comments and try to reply when I can. I have had to enable comment moderation due to high levels of spam, so it may take a little time before your comment is visible. Please let me know if you make one of my recipes or if you have any questions I will try to answer them. Janice

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