It was such a proud moment for me. Amy was in the third grade at the time, the date on the calendar just a few days away from Thanksgiving. Her teacher was taking a survey.
What is your favorite kind of pie for Thanksgiving dessert?
As Amy was relating this story to me, I could tell she was just about bubbling over with excitement. Initially, she’d been the only kid to nominate mincemeat pie-even having to explain to her classmates what it was. But her enthusiastic testimonial as to the many merits of mincemeat worked, because mince pie received more than a few additional votes that day!
You see, mincemeat holds a special place in my heart. My grandma always made mincemeat, and the thought of it evokes so many memories for me. I remember sitting at her dining room table, relishing the large slice of mince pie in front of me, when I happened to observe what could only be antennae sticking out from among the raisins, bits of apple, spices and green tomatoes. An ant, poor creature. (But what a way to go…) And every Christmas, as long as my grandma was able to make mincemeat, we would receive a newspaper wrapped jar in the mail, and my mom would make a mincemeat pie. We all loved it. It truly was one of the most delicious traditions during the holidays.
After I grew up, left home, and eventually got married, I didn’t have mincemeat pie at Christmastime any more. By then, my grandma was gone, her recipe for mincemeat gone as well. Or so I thought. I was visiting my sister a few years ago and she told me she had grandma's hand written recipe for mincemeat, and would I like to have it.
Now Amy and I make mincemeat every year. And though we measure our amounts in cups, and not pecks, the ingredients are the same. Green tomatoes, apples, chopped oranges, raisins, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and brown sugar-cooked for several hours until the mixture turns into a spicy, dark brown bit of heaven.
Just like my grandma did.
We just leave out the bugs…