Critic-Reporter (Washington, D.C.), February 8, 1872. I sometimes honestly wonder if I’m not getting in over my head with my mince pie researches. Might I be about to awaken a slumbering ancient evil, per about 3,000,000 direct-to-video DVD releases?
And yet I must press on with the work, because lemme tell you, new shit is coming to light faster than I can assimilate it. In addition to these exciting new archival developments, this is a very big day in the Hope Chest Experimental Kitchens, where I am in the midst–nay, the throes–of preparing my very first batch of mince.
And lemme also tell you, this is an extremely labor-intensive pie. Yesterday I got my minced beef ready; today, having earlier shopped for suet and mace and brandy and good stuff like that, I am preparing to chop fruit and start mixing up test batches of mince.
Tomorrow I will be asking a panel of randomly-selected test subjects (i.e. strangers at someone else’s Thanksgiving dinner party) to sample the pie, evaluate its flavor, and get back to me about any physical or psychological side-effects. (And no, I don’t know if this is exactly ethical on my part, okay? But such is my Faustian–Frankensteinian? Mengeleian?–dedication to the advance of historical knowledge.)
Anyway, an account of the results plus an essay on the social history of mince pie will consequently be published in the Chicago Reader, unless of course I can’t make bail.
But before I can proceed with mixing the meth, er, mince, I must wait for my boiled cider to reduce to its appropriate consistency. It was while waiting for my cider to boil that I discovered the above horror, and many other things too strange and wondrous to even think about as I stand here on the threshold of the Hurt Locker.
As for the above item, all I can say is this: Before I put any pies in the oven, I’m definitely gonna put vents in the pastry. (Is this is what people mean when they say “Everything happens for a reason”?)