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Category Archives: Hot mince pie

Bruce Herald, October 29, 1901. “The wreck of matter and the crush of worlds” is from Addison:

The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age, and Nature sink in years;
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amid the war of elements,
The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.

The general tendency of this blog is anti-nostalgic, but I’ll own that I wish I lived in an era in which wisenheimers in cheap diners garlanded their snappy patter with bits cribbed from Addison.

I’ve lost track of when and where this was published. A hobo pie is a Michigan delicacy: You take two pieces of the worst white bread available, fill them with something tasty and meltable, slap them in a hinged iron on a handle, and stick the business end of the apparatus into a campfire. You can make them sweet or savory according to your druthers. Best one I ever had contained orchard-fresh green apple, brie and brown sugar. I would have made for one posh hobo.

Chicago Tribune, August 5, 1877. Christ, I wish I had an influential friend at the Treasury Department. Why, just the other day my kid made little paper sailboats out of a stack of T-Bills I’d secreted in an old chiffarobe in the attic, and then flushed them away in a toilet bowl regatta. Would I like the full amount of money back? I’ll say I would. Read More »

Chicago Tribune, August 5, 1876. There was a time I wrote lots of cranky letters to the editor, so I recognize Susan here as a kindred spirit to some degree. I understand her impulse, for example, to write in and correct the printer’s error that so distorted the meaning of her last missive–that would make my brain itch too until I did what I could to set the record straight. I know, I know: I am plainly not a well man.

But that, as the saying goes, is neither here, nor, to complete the cliché, there. The real issue here is, as always, mince. Read More »

Farmers Wife, November 1, 1923. I reckon this is the same class of doctors who were shilling for cigarettes in the ’40s and ’50s. Not the very same doctors, mind, because they would have been dead by then from eating mince pie.

Grand Forks Daily Herald, November 28, 1909. I think we’ve tracked down President Taft’s missing mince mega-pie. Read More »

Los Angeles Herald, December 25, 1909. Ambiguous headline there: Could be taken to denote an unusual national security threat, or maybe a groundswell of popular support for an even stranger candidate.
Taft, of course, was the Fat President and had a sterling rep as a trencherman, so I reckon the gift was pretty well tailored to its recipient. I must look into the matter of this previous pie that went MIA at Thanksgiving.

The Perry Republican, February 7, 1918. Even now I am assimilating a couple of slices of mince pie, and dainty is not a word that comes to mind. Though this batch I made with dry sherry rather than brandy, and it does yield a somewhat less fierce comestible.

San Francisco Call, December 20, 1908. As of a couple of weeks ago I have a literary agent, and she has me working on a book proposal for definitive study of mince pie in America. I will confess, there are moments when I say to myself “An entire book on mince pie? That’s insane!” Then I run across an item like this and I think instead, “A book on mince pie: It’s what this country needs if there is to be any hope for its future!”

Omaha Sunday World, December 23, 1900. (Click on the small pictures above and they will magically embiggen.) Lately I’ve been thinking hard about how I can “give something back” in this life. I studied a while on assassinating Bono, but then a careful utilitarian calculus steered me instead in the direction of writing a panoramic book-length essay on the subject of mince pie. (U2 fans take note: Depending on how well the book does, I may well revisit the Bono project later.) Read More »

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