And tho it came to be that this day shall ever more be known as Mince Pie Day!
We all have foods we love and for me it is the humble mince pie. The smell of the mincemeat, the stickiness of the substance when it escapes the pastry and caramelises on the outside of the case are all reminders of the most awesome mince pies that my grandmother used to make. They evoke memories of Christmas past and time spent cooking with my Gran.
An abiding memory is the care pack of mince pies that my Grandmother sent to me when I was in my second year of university. A bloody great big box arrived, quite nicely battered by the Royal Mail, and inside where four dozen mince pies. I have to report that there were casualties, of the four dozen at least a dozen had succumbed to “transit torture”. But no matter; with pies these good even the crumbs were delicious! I safely stored then in the student kitchen.
Granny Scregg - The Most Awesome of Students
Now my grandmother was awesome, although she had never been to university herself she seemed to grasp the core essence of the experience. As I bit into my first pie I realised she’d laced it with enough scotch that it was making my mouth feel pickled. It made for the most awesome breakfast treat; screw the American beagle, or the French croissant this was the breakfast of champions; the great British mince pie! - with added fortitude by Granny Scregg.
Just as surely as the sticky insides of a good mince will leak out during the cooking process, news about my seasonal breakfast of alcoholic wonders got out.
The first I heard of this information leak was discovering that supplies of my carefully rationed mince pies had taken an unexpected hit; the box was half full. An inquisition was held and it was discovered that these pies had international appeal! - I knew my granny could cook, but these pies had made it onto the world stage! - Kingsley my Nigerian flat made admitted to enjoying them to.
In the spirit of full international cooperation I did the only logical thing I could, I hid them in my bedroom.
Unfortunately the close proximity of the mince pies to my bed resulted in my careful rationing going out the window and the remaining mince pies lasting just days rather than the projected two weeks.
Do It For the Love of the Pie… Man…
In that particular year, spurred I think by the student competition for the alcoholic mince pies my overall mince pie consumption shot through the roof. After gaining at least 1 stone (14 pounds or roughly 7kg) in weight that Christmas alone I decided that I’d better save the tasty yet modest mince pie for just the Christmas season. From here Mice Pie Day was born. I embarked on a Mince Pie Fast which lasts from the 1st of January right through the year until Mince Pie Day - the 1st of December. Today I’ll be enjoying the my first Mince Pie of 2015… and the challenge every year is to find (or make) pies that can pickle your mouth like Granny Scregg’s did.
Predict that my twitter feed will feature at least one Mice Pie this lunch time.