What do you really know about mince pies?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Kari Anson, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. Kari Anson

    Kari Anson Member

    In the hustle and bustle of a very commercialised xmas - I wonder how many people spare a thought for the true meaning of xmas. Here's my contribution (and there's plenty more where this came from - learned as a mother trying to express xmas in a non-comercialised way to her children).

    Did you know - Mince pies were originially made to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. The pasty cradle was made to represent his crib and in the olden days they contained three spices which were to represent the three gifts from the wise men, gold, frankinsence (if that's how you spell it) and myr??? Yikes, I know how to pronounce them but that's the first time I've ever had to attempt to write them! So as you eat all the pies - just think why they were orginally made.
  2. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    wow...the crib's the best part!!!
  3. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    All I know about them is that I don't like them :lol: :oops: :lol:
  4. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    I'll have yours. Please keep them on one side and I'll pop round on boxing day.
  5. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Lol, ok! :lol:
  6. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    Here's an interesting little clippet on the subject!

    A. Suzanne, the French historian of English cookery, said of the mince pie, “This little pie is especially esteemed and popular in England. This, with the legendary plum pudding, presides as a master at the gargantuan love-feast of Christmas. Its absence from a Christmas dinner would be looked upon as a breach of the traditional rules and customs.”

    Centuries ago, pies, tarts, and tartlets were all characterized by having a filling in a pastry crust or “coffin.” A small pie was known as a tartlet and a tart was a large, shallow open pie (this is still the definition in England). Mince pies have changed in shape and content over the years. Three centuries ago, a mince pie was a huge dish called “Christmas pye” and described as “a most learned mixture of Neats-tongues (ox tongue), chicken, eggs, sugar, raisins, lemon and orange peel, various kinds of spicery, etc.” Over the years, the pies grew smaller, and the meat content was gradually reduced until the pies were simply filled with a mixture of suet, spices and dried fruit, previously steeped in brandy. This filling was put into little pastry cases that were covered with pastry lids and then baked in an oven. Essentially, this is today’s English mince pie.

    When mincemeat is made in the English kitchen, all the family takes turns in stirring and making a secret wish. The mixture is always stirred clockwise, the direction in which the sun is assumed to proceed around an earth at the center of the universe. To stir in a counter-clockwise direction is to ask for trouble in the coming year!

    Fact file:
    The largest Mince Pie weighed 2,260 pounds (1.02 tonnes) and measured 6.1m X 1.5m. It was baked in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire on 15 October 1932.

  7. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    so that's why there's no meat in mincemeat!
  8. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    I'll have any that SM doesn't have. Would you be so kind as to not like turkey, roast potatoes, stuffing (careful.....), gravy and Christmas pudding as well please.

  9. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    An English man has just set up business here in Sarasota making and selling English pasties, sausage rolls, and mince pies. The latter were the wrong shape, looking like a sausage roll in flaky pastry, but he went to the trouble of personally bringing the actual mince all the way from England (apparently the Americans don't make it properly) and they sure were tasty.
  10. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    'What do you know about mince pies?'

    Cockney rhyming slang for 'eyes'!
  11. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe they should be in the butchers after all :wink:
  12. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    Its what Julian Clary and Will young do.
    Mince by :wink:
  13. EIBB_Ray

    EIBB_Ray Member

    As I tried to rapidly read down this thread, my rather un-trustworthy eyes saw this and thought it said "When mincemeat is made of English Kittens."

    Made myself chuckle.
  14. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Well it would certainly provide a lifeline!
  15. bigmamabadger

    bigmamabadger Active Member

    According to some theological historians Jesus wasn't even born in December, he was born in October...
    When Christian missionaries came north from Italy they decided the Pagan midwinter festival of Yule was a convenient handle to hang the Big Celebration on.
    It is also said that Christmas as we know it now was mainly imported from Germany by Prince Albert in 19th century.
    So basically Xmas is a big fat sham and we should make the most of eating too much, drinking too much and hoping the sun comes back again if we sacrifice and idiot and/or a virgin. Or eat beans.

    Bah Everton Mints
  16. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    It's looks as though Dave Payn has found corn in his mincemeat. :)
  17. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    well, yes, although i have heard this... no1 actually knows when Jesus was born exactly...

    Christmas stands for Christ's Mass...

    As for mince pies...


  18. VenusTromster

    VenusTromster Member

    All I know is that there are been people handing out mince pies at my uni all day. Not too sure if I want to eat them or not..... might test them on someone else first! :twisted:
  19. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Not quite. In the late middle ages, "meat" used to mean any sort of food, not just flesh. "Mincemeat" was simply minced fruit, as I understand it.

  20. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    According to a radio article I heard a few years back, scientists analysing ancient Chinese astronomy charts, believed they found the astrological event that caused the star to guide everyone to Bethlehem. Our current calendar is something like 14 years out, if we are to use their records as a bisis of finding the BC/AD time break

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