Went to Intermarche in Caussade yesterday to do a big food shop. It's worth the 30 km drive because the prices are so cheap and the range better than locally. However, you could tell this is France. Two days before Xmas and there was plenty of room to park and not much evidence of special Xmas fare/wrapping paper anywhere!
Thought I'd get some dried fruit and plain flour to make some vegetarian mince pies. Couldn't find any currants, though, nor one of those patty tins that would have been useful. Plenty of sultanas/raisins and prunes, but not the tiny dark ones. The cakes will have to be my own variety as I substituted dried apricots for the currants. As my family will tell you, I'm not much good at making cakes. When they were small, the same little bottle of green colouring for the icing was in my food cupboards for years and years.
Anyway, it's now or never, so I'm off to try and make shortcrust pastry. Would be so much easier if French supermarkets stocked those little packets of ready-made pastry in their freezers. Oh well, c'est la france. Don't know whether to try again that new foodblender that friends gave me - still haven't fathomed how it all fits together - and I end up with a sticky mess that then needs to be scraped out into another bowl!
If it all works and I end up with passable mince pies, I aim to distribute them to our neighbours and try to explain exactly what mince pies are. That could be more difficult than the baking.
But if all else fails, Him indoors should like them as I'm going to add a spoonful of whisky to the mix....