The classic flavors of the holiday season have always stuck with me since childhood.

The aromas of mulled wine, birds roasting in the oven,

the sweetness of caramelizing dried fruits

and the exotic spices of an old fashion Mincemeat Pie,

are all the things that will immediately put me in a jolly mood.

So what do you do when you’ve been trimming pork bellies all week for 350 pounds of Porchetta,

and you just happen to have a gallon of delicious Schmaltz in the cooler,

If you are me, you combine some dried prunes with

star anise, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and brown sugar to make a mini version of mincemeat pie filling

to garnish a pork-schmaltz rillettes terrine,

for today’s menu…..

Rillettes

Also today:

Fusilli, with a fresh sausage-tomato ragu

Lumache, with chanterelle mushrooms, cream, and sherry

Basil Tagliarini, in Cacio e Pepe