December has arrived and with it thoughts of family and holiday traditions.

The Glen Rock Carol Singers are a part of our Christmas Eve celebration. If you grew up here it would not be Christmas without the Carolers.

It began in 1848 when four young singers and a bassoon player observed the English custom of outdoor caroling, going house to house serenading the seven families who lived in Glen Rock at the time.

Once again this year, the Carolers will gather in the town square at midnight to sing "Christians Awake, Salute This Happy Morn," and to begin their annual journey through the streets of town.

Some folks open their doors to family and friends, inviting them to stop in for food and drink, and over the years we've enjoyed mince pie at the home of Morrell and Cora Newcomer and stopped to visit David and Shirley Seitz for some rich and delicious eggnog.

Dave's recipe remains a family secret, but I will include one from the American Dairy Association.

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· 1 dozen eggs

· ½ tsp.salt

· 2¼ cups sugar

· 2 cups bourbon

· ½ cup rum

· 1 quart milk

· 2 tablespoons vanilla extract (not imitation)

· 3 pints heavy cream

· nutmeg to taste

Beat egg yolks and salt in large mixing bowl.


Slowly add 1½ cups sugar, and continue beating until thick and pale. Stir in bourbon, rum, milk and vanilla until well mixed.

Beat egg whites until foamy. Slowly add ¾ cup sugar, and continue to beat until the mixture is stiff and all the sugar has been incorporated.

Whip heavy cream until stiff. Fold egg-white mixture into egg yolk mixture, then fold in whipped cream. Taste and add more sugar or bourbon if necessary. Sprinkle top with nutmeg. Must be refrigerated until ready to use.

Makes 8 quarts.

Note: Eggs used in recipes that are served raw should always be pasteurized to avoid risk of salmonella.

You may skip the alcohol if you prefer.

You can make a mincemeat pie using one of several commercial brands or find fresh mincemeat at local butcher shops.

I like to use a combination of both. You can also try making your own mincemeat; this is a recipe I have used.

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· 2 pounds beef or venison chunks

· water

· ½ cup apple cider vinegar

· 6 whole cloves

· 6 whole allspice

· 1 large bay leaf

· ½ pound suet, finely chopped

· 3 quarts apple cider

· 2 cups beef broth

· 3 pounds apples, chopped

· 3 pounds raisins, dark and golden

· 2 pounds currants

· ½ pound citron

· 1 tablespoon ground cloves

· 1 tablespoon cinnamon

· 1 tablespoon nutmeg

· 1 tablespoon allspice

· 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

· 2 cups rum or Applejack brandy (optional)

Trim fat from meat. Place in large, heavy pan, cover with water, add cider vinegar, whole cloves, allspice and bay leaf. Simmer 2 hours or until the meat is tender and falls apart. Remove from heat and refrigerate meat in cooking liquid overnight.

Remove from refrigerator and remove meat from liquid. Remove all fat from top of liquid; discarding the liquid. Separate meat from bones, discard bones. Chop cooked meat into small cubes.

In a large pot, combine meat cubes, suet, apple cider, beef broth, apples, raisins, currants, citron, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat to a low boil; reduce heat to low and let simmer until the apples are cooked. Remove from heat and add rum or Applejack brandy and mix together.

Refrigerate, pack in hot sterile jars and seal or freeze.

Make mincemeat pies as you would make any other pie, using your favorite pie crust recipe. The pie should be served warm.

Glen Rock resident Barb Krebs is a native of southern York County.

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