Video interview with Helen Meredith about mincemeat.
Duration: 2 min 14 s
You can download the VLC media player to play the video on your computer.


The label on a jar of “Meredith Mincemeat – 2011” lists the recipe’s ingredients. A woman transfers the mincemeat to another jar.

[accordion, spoon clanking against a glass jar]

[Helen Meredith: Donna’s doing something.]

[Donna McEwen: I’m going to give you your jar back.]

[Helen Meredith: Oh! That’s nice…So I can give you more mincemeat!]



A woman spoons mincemeat into a bowl. Sitting at the table, three women and two men make conversation and eat. The credit Making mincemeat, Meredith family, Québec appears.

[Helen Meredith: I made mincemeat every year anyway because, in my family, we often ate it every year. Then, at some point, David’s mother gave my mother the traditional family recipe. And since David’s family is actually my family—we’re all related—I thought it would be fun to make the family mincemeat recipe rather than one from a cookbook.

[accordion, spoon clanking against a glass jar, guests talking at the table]



Guests cut apples, raisins and other fruits. Mrs. Helen Meredith and Mr. David Mendel discuss the family recipe. The clip then shows three women and two men preparing mincemeat.

[Helen Meredith: I would make the mincemeat and give some to David, his mother and members of our extended family. Then, this year, it so happened that we were able to get together to make it, with, as you can see, David and his wife Donna, my godmother and another friend.]

[accordion, women converse]




[Guests converse]

[Donna McEwen: Is there anything left to do?]

[Helen Meredith: No, that’s what I was just checking….After the raisins, do you...?]

[David Mendel: I’ve got four left.]

[Helen Meredith: Four left!]




A man and a woman mix the ingredients for the mincemeat by hand. Holding a plate of small pies, Mrs. Meredith speaks to her guests.

[Helen Meredith: According to tradition, the mincemeat goes into small pies, and we often eat them between Christmas and New Year’s. Me, I try not to…Well, no. I was about to say that I try not to eat mincemeat before Christmas, but that’s not true. I eat it at Christmas parties and in small pies like this. And my mother always said that they should be eaten in silence for a good month. I’ve noticed that it’s true, so I don’t think she said that so her kids would be quiet for a few minutes.]

I think it’s true. In any case, it’s tradition. But now we’re done. We’ve done it…Woohoo!


[Helen Meredith: Well now we’re going to eat some!]


[men and women talking, accordion]



It is 3:30 p.m. on the clock. The clip shows an empty table, a set table and a table around which three women and two men sit. Mr. Mendel discusses the tradition. Guests eat mince pies and fruit cakes.

[David Mendel: I read about an English tradition—probably to encourage good neighbourliness with friends and family—of people eating a pie…a slice of mince pie…in a different house every day for twelve days to have twelve months of good luck, twelve good months. At the same time, it was the chance to see friends and family and everyone. Very social. So you could say that the recipe strengthens our family ties. ]

[Helen Meredith: Yes, absolutely. Strengthens ties. Absolutely!]

[accordion, men and women talking]


Meredith | Québec

Mrs. Meredith explains why mincemeat is important to her family and the joys of sharing it.

More info   More info

Every year, Christmas inevitably falls on December 25th. But for Helen Meredith and her cousin David Mendel, British tradition requires that certain dishes be prepared several weeks ahead of time. Making mincemeat—a savoury mix of fruits, nuts, spices and alcohol—is a family affair that involves several rituals. Friends and family members finely chop each of the ingredients that go into the mincemeat. Later, they’ll all enjoy delicious mincemeat pies together! 

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