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.


Blogger Captain Stomock said...

Your fear of pies inspired me to google for "weird pies" and similar strings. Here are the two best results:

Manchester Upieted

Apiecalypse Now

11:11 AM  
Blogger camofleurparky said...

I liked the first link best.

And also your song lyrics, Cap'n!

11:23 AM  

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