Farmersgirl Kitchen

Home and Freezer Digest – an enduring legacy!

Uncategorized | December 9, 2012 | By

Every now and then, I get another comment or request on the post I did about Home and Freezer Digest back in November 2009.  Home and Freezer Digest was one of the few cooking magazines available in the early 1980s and I did have many copies and, indeed, had the binders for them as well.  However, pre-blog I gave them away to a charity shop keeping only the December 1988 copy and three of the special ‘books’ that I purchased from them.

Only the 100 Best Apple Recipes seems to have a publication date, which was 1981, so I’m assuming that, as it was 75p, it came first, followed by Christmas from the Freezer at £1 and finally, at the huge price of £1.95, The Complete Freezeaway Christmas Cookbook.

Occasionally I do still cook from these books and have some real favourites in the Apple book.  It seems that I am not the only one with affection for these magazines as, every now and then, I get another comment on the 2009 post from someone who used to collect the magazines, seeking a particular recipe.  This month I had a request for ‘Princess Pudding’, sadly I was unable to help, but yesterday I had a request from Clare in Canada, for the mincemeat recipe from Christmas from the Freezer and I am pleased to be able to oblige:


Makes about 5lb (2.25kg)

1 1/2 lb (675g cooking apples
1lb (450g) seedless raisins
8oz (225g) currants
6oz (150g) sultanas
2oz (50g) mixed peel, chopped
8oz (225g) shredded suet
10oz (275g) soft brown sugar
1 lemon, grated rind and juice
1/2 tsp mixed spice
4 tbsp brandy

1. Peel, core and slice apples.  Cook genlty without water, stirring to pulp them.  Cool.
2. Add dried fruits to all other ingredients, then stir in apple.  Mix well.
3. Put into rigid containers. Keep 3-4 days in fridge to ‘mature’.

To serve now: as required
To freeze: seal and label.  Use within 3 months.
To serve from freezer: thaw overnight at room temperature.

Anyone who is seeking copies of Home and Freezer Digest would be advised to have a look on Ebay as there always seem to be a few copies of both the magazines and the little books available at pretty reasonable prices.


  1. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    December 10, 2012

    That mincemeat recipe is very similar to my boozy fat free mincemeat, it also has apples in it too and you cook them with the fruit! A lovely post and I had never heard of this magazine before until now. Karen

    • Leave a Reply

      Ruth Darley
      December 17, 2015

      I used to get the Home & Freezer Digest too – brilliant little book, but I can’t find the one that gives the recipe for the very “short” pastry for the mince pies. I always get asked to make these. They are known in our family as “Mum’s drop on the floor mince pies” as soon as you take a bit they just fall apart, but are so delicious. If anyone still has the copy with these in I would be grateful for the recipe again.

      • Leave a Reply

        Janice Pattie
        December 22, 2015

        They sound lovely Ruth. I don’t think I have that recipe, if I get a chance I’ll look, just so busy in the run up to Christmas.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Jane Willis
    December 12, 2012

    I used to love that magazine too. In fact I have several scrapbooks full of recipes cut out of it and many of our long standing family favourites first appeared in it.

  3. Leave a Reply

    December 19, 2012

    We had that booklet in the 70s. There was a recipe for ginger hollows. Biscuits that cooked with a hollow centre. They were delicious.

  4. Leave a Reply

    December 23, 2012

    I stumbled across your blog whilst searching, in vain, for the "Home & Freezer Digest" recipe for Cranberry Relish. I have been making it all this time but am currently in Qatar and cannot find my copied recipe! I know exactly where my binders are at home but everyone is away for Christmas already. Can anyone help?

  5. Leave a Reply

    Janice Pattie
    December 23, 2012

    Hi Heather
    There is a Cranberry Sauce recipe in each of the Christmas books:
    450g cranberries
    150g caster sugar
    150ml water
    Put all ingredients in a saucpan, cover an simmer for about 15 minutes until berries are tender. Serve hot or cold.

    Cranberry Orange Sauce
    150g granulated sugar
    300ml water
    1 orange, finely grated rind and juice
    450g cranberries
    Heat sugar in water slowly till dissolved stir in rind and juice and boil 5 mins. Add cranberries and simmer gently for about 10 mins till berries burst. Serve hot.

    There's also a great cranberry relish recipe HERE

  6. Leave a Reply

    December 24, 2012

    Thanks for your time and trouble, Janice.

    The recipe I was after used vinegar and cinnamon stick but I can't remember what else and in what proportions. It was a relish and definitely not like the 'jam' which passes for sauce. 😉

    Merry Christmas to all.

  7. Leave a Reply

    December 28, 2012

    My mum still uses recipes from some of her very old books on a regular basis – latest to be used was the Sainsbury's Freezer Cookbook which contains her chicken liver pate recipe!

  8. Leave a Reply

    April 7, 2014

    Is the brandy butter recipe in the "Christmas from the freezer" cook book. I remember using it & everyone loved it as it was entirely different from the usual brandy butter.

    • Leave a Reply

      April 7, 2014

      I'm afraid I don't have access to my cook books at the moment, they have all been put away while I get work done on the kitchen. I'll try to remember to come back and let you know when I can get to Christmas from the freezer, thanks for your interest

  9. Leave a Reply

    November 25, 2014

    Do you have the recipes for stuffings that were in Christmas From The Freezer . I had a new kitchen fitted last year and hsve lost my copy of the cookbook. I have tried most of the christmas recipes over the years and am so unhappy that the book has got lost.

  10. Leave a Reply

    October 21, 2015

    I made the freezer mincemeat from Christmas from the Freezer but i seem to recall that it was made with butter not suet.

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      October 21, 2015

      Yes, I believe the freezer mincemeat was made with butter but this is isn’t the Freezer version, it is a cooked version and the recipe definitely states suet. There are so many different ways to make mincemeat but, in my opinion, it’s all delicious! Thanks for your comment, always nice to hear from fans of H&FD

  11. Leave a Reply

    January 26, 2016

    I had quite a collection all in the blue hardback folders. Unfortunately when I moved home in 2014 I threw the lot in the dustbin. They had become quite dusty and I didn’t think I had room for them. However I really regret that now and keep remembering recipes which I used from there i.e. tuna plait and tuna pate. So sad!

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      January 26, 2016

      So many of us have thrown out our collections, Tuna Pate sounds familiar, I’ll have a look and see if I have the recipe.

  12. Leave a Reply

    September 21, 2016

    I still have the Freezing for Christmas book and use it every year, especially love the mincemeat.

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      September 21, 2016

      Good to know there are still some of us using the old H&F books!

      • Leave a Reply

        Beryl Smith
        December 2, 2016

        I am about to make the freezer mincemeat tomorrow,love it because there is no suet in this one ,have made it for years😊

        • Leave a Reply

          Janice Pattie
          December 3, 2016

          That’s great, Beryl. Home and Freezer Digest was such a great little magazine, full of useful, everyday recipes as well as specials for entertaining.

  13. Leave a Reply

    Jester Bit
    June 6, 2017

    Hi, I winder if you can help me please? About 30-40 years ago my Grandad used to buy the Freezer Digest magazine each week for my Mum. She used to cook a really nice Biryani recipe from them, quite possibly a Mary Berry recipe my Mum recalls. She’d really like to make the recipe again but has long since lost the magazines. I wonder if you know of anywhere I might be able to search further for it please? Thanks for any help.

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      June 6, 2017

      Hi there
      You can buy some of the magazines on Ebay, but difficult to know what you are going to get. I will look and see whether I have a Biryani recipe in any of my remaining magazines and let you know. Otherwise, perhaps ask on Twitter?

      • Leave a Reply

        Jester Bit
        June 7, 2017

        Thank you, Janice, that would be amazing. I’d happily go on eBay, but with so many magazines produced, and with no idea of what issue this recipe was in, it’s a bit of a needle in a haystack.

        • Leave a Reply

          Janice Pattie
          June 8, 2017

          I’ve had a look and I did find a ‘Feast from the East’ but sadly it didn’t include a Biryani. I do regret throwing out all the magazines that I had, but it’s too late now. Hope you manage to find the recipe you are looking for.

          • Jester Bit
            June 9, 2017

            That’s ok, thanks so much for looking, really appreciate that.

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