Some people like sausage, some like scrapple, those often delicious, often intimidating mixtures of unidentifiable ingredients where you're probably better off not knowing exactly what you're eating. I love mincemeat, which in England just means (hamburger) but in the US means a sweet melange that is most often found in pies.
When I was a kid I remember mince pie as standard fare (i.e. you could buy it at the store if you didn't feel like baking) although maybe my memory is wrong. Today it seems to be an exotic relic prepared and eaten only by aficionados. Of which I am one.
I hadn't baked a mince pie in many years for one reason or another -- too rich, too many desserts on the menu already, people wanted pumpkin, etc. But as I was taking requests for Thanksgiving dinner my son mentioned mince pie and that seemed like a wonderful idea. My husband, who loves to poke around in the back of cupboards and remind me of all the goodies I bought ten years ago and haven't served yet, found not one but two little boxes of mincemeat and delivered them with a flourish. "These are probably so old we can't eat them any more," he announced, in terms that were guaranteed to make me take up the challenge.
The Thanksgiving pie was wonderful, and nobody died from old age or botulism, so yesterday I pulled out the second box of mincemeat and made another pie for Christmas.
I had a tiny sliver of pie last night, which along with the sliver I ate at Thanksgiving constitute the only desserts I have eaten in almost two years. They were both worth the wait!!
Merry Christmas to everyone -- may your goose be fat, your pudding full of plums and your mincemeat pies delicious, now and in the new year.