Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Cards and the Terrible Mince Pie Incident

I have over 25 Christmas cards sitting on my desk at work, eying me balefully. The UK cards are rubberbanded together, and they are looking particularly annoyed, as they know they won't arrive until well after the New Year. The mince pies will have been munched, the crackers cracked, and in 2006 my holiday card will saunter into your postbox/mailbox looking bashful but determined to deliver its post-holiday cheer.

Speaking of mince pies, I shall now record for posterity my horrific Christmas experience in England.

I happened to really dislike pie with fruit filling. This includes apple (yes, yes, call me a communist, whatever), peach, blueberry, rhubard, etc. Pecan pie is fine. I don't like the filling, and I don't like the crust. This extends to pastries and danishes. They just hold no appeal at all.

Meat, however, is a whole other story. I had made several trip to the new Cornish pasty (pronouce: paz-tee) shop in York and was enjoying the experince of meat wrapped in pastry. There were lots of various pasties at the shop and they included various meats, potato, and the inevitable curry flavoring. It wasn't a pastry, it was a pasty, and it was filled with meat. It was good.

In fact, I had come to enjoy many oddball British dishes (Coleslaw: The Only Fiber Belfast Eats) so I was gamely eying the array of Christmas foods at the Lord of MisRule party. I was wearing a silly outfit that smelled faintly of the last graduate student who portrayed the Sin of Sensuality, and I had no idea of the horror that awaited me.

Clive handed me a small round pie that fit nicely in my hand, and informed it was a "mince pie." I'm pretty sure I heard "mince meat" because when I bit into that pie I was fully expecting warm, savoury ground beef in gravy. Instead, it was cold. It took my brain a moment to make out what my tongue was screaming - this was not meat! This was fruit! Cold fruit bits congealed in cold gelatin!

Not only was it my worst nightmare, it was the British culinary version of my worst nightmare.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Friday, finally....

I'm pondering putting the URL of this blog on my Christmas cards, but it does seem a teeny bit obnoxious, like those letters that detail the family achievements of the past year. Although I love those letters. I'm nosy, and I like to know what's going on, and I love the idea of seeing what you think is important. They're sort of proto-blogs, but annual and seasonal.

Gentle reader, the electronic blog means I can bore you all year long with my achievements. Or my fear of DC drivers. Or my fear of squirrels. Or my fear of flying (only 6 days until I have to go on a plane again, meaning that I have been on a plane every month since June)

Anyway, I think I'll skip it and just email people to say "hey, I'm here."

Especially as my first post is "testing." Already, this blog is scintillating. And possibly full of misspellings.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Well - here I am.....