I adore Christmastime, but there is one thing I don't like and that's the strange tasting cookies, cakes, and desserts. I know they're traditional. I know they're supposed to be special treats, but I just don't like them.

My mother-in-law is a huge fan of mincemeat and we always tease her when she pulls it out, but I think she knows exactly what she's doing. She makes a mincemeat pie and since nobody else will touch it, she's got a pie all to herself. Kind of genius, really.

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    Figgy Pudding

    When you think of pudding, you probably think of something creamy, right? Not this stuff. Figgy pudding is more of a steamed cake and figs, dates and flour are the big ingredients in this dish. I know a lot of people who love figgy pudding, but it's just not for me.

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    I clearly remember the first time I heard the term "fruitcake." I was a kid and when I heard one of the old church ladies say fruitcake would be served following sandwiches, I got excited because I liked fruit and I liked cake. In my head, I had an image of something that was like angel food cake with fresh strawberries. Boy was I wrong. So wrong. "Fruit" and "cake" are really misleading because basically, this is just hard baked jelly candies and raisins.

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    This is the pie my mother-in-law loves and it's more or less the stewed version of a fruitcake. Those who make mincemeat in the traditional way, as my mother-in-law does, make it with animal fat and a variety of meat products and then throw in dried fruits. Not delicious. Not at all. Nope.

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