Why I couldn’t be­lieve my own mince pies

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

DID you catch two qual­ity films at the cin­ema re­cently – real gems that cheered me up in very dif­fer­ent ways.

The films The Lady in the Van and Suf­fragette both cen­tred on very feisty ladies. The lat­ter should be com­pul­sory view­ing for ev­ery girl, as I have never seen the quest for votes for women pre­sented bet­ter.

Though both were out­stand­ing and un­usual sto­ries, we en­counter mun­dane, but nev­er­the­less real life, drama ev­ery day.

You of­ten see oldies, rather like the lady in the van, scowl­ing when they en­counter young­sters en masse, be­cause un­su­per­vised they tend to be noisy and take up too much pave­ment.

Well, be­lieve it or not, I also used to be young and silly and take up space, but on a busy pave­ment with my par­ents I was trained to walk in sin­gle file, so ev­ery­one could pass.

I could for­give some of this push­ing and shov­ing as high youth­ful en­ergy. I can even shrug away the four let­ter words which pep­per the older teens’ vo­cab­u­lary, un­der­stand­ing the need to share a com­mon ‘lan­guage’ while (more im­por­tantly) shock­ing the fud­dy­dud­dies. They do tend to grow out of it.

But one ex­pe­ri­ence last week I shall not get over in a hurry. The young trainee who served me in a cof­fee bar was po­lite, gave me the cor­rect bev­er­age but then looked blankly when I asked for my favourite fes­tive treat.

Dear reader, he didn’t know what a mince pie was! The youth of to­day … grump, grump.

Pass the smelling salts. (And an­other mince pie please).

I daren’t eat a mince pie at home be­cause no one else in my fam­ily likes them and, as my drug of choice, I would be tempted to eat not just a bite, but a batch.

Ac­tu­ally, if I’d lived in the 17th cen­tury I, like my un­fairly ma­ligned barista, would not have wanted to know about th­ese scrummy pies ei­ther.

They were then made of minced cooked mut­ton, beef suet, fruit sugar and spices. Ugh.

Of course in the 21st cen­tury it has be­come com­mon­place to mix tastes; in fact we ate a de­li­cious salted caramel torte at a din­ner party last week.

I was ac­tu­ally ahead of this culi­nary game, but not in the Nigella sense. I used to eat cheese with jam, and sprin­kle jaffa cakes with salt!!

OK, I still do…

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