Back to the Future

A week or so after Thanksgiving I was at the BIG STORE in the BIG CITY (City Market in Alamosa). I really wanted to bake a mincemeat pie. Last year I made one for Thanksgiving dinner at my friend’s house and I had a dim idea of where the mincemeat might be — in a random temporary display someplace between the craft beer and the frozen pizza.

I looked everywhere and couldn’t find it.


At the check stand I asked, “Do you know where I would find mincemeat?”

Young checker gives me a blank look and says, “In the meat department.” Her eyes add, “You idiot.”

“It’s not meat. It’s pie filling.”

“Pie filling is on aisle 4.”

“It’s not there. Last year it had it’s own little display in a random place.”

The checker looks at me with that deer in the headlights expression. Meanwhile an elderly Hispanic farmer has taken a spot in line behind me. He’s wearing a black serape over his Carhart jacket and jeans. He is built like a bomb and has two teeth, but even so he has a beautiful smile. He says, in English, “I know what that is.” In Spanish he mentions two New Mexico — one empanadas — holiday pastries that use mincemeat. “I haven’t had that in a long time.”

The bagger, who’s 12, says, “I can find it,” and takes off. My groceries are checked through and I pay for them. The bagger comes back. “Look in the canned meat,” she says to me. I shrug.

As I am leaving, an older stock person says, “We might have it closer to Christmas.”

“Thanks,” I answer, seeing a future in which no one has eaten mincemeat pie.



Today I’m going to “do” some of the Christmas things there are to do here in the “hood.” My friend Lois is here from Colorado Springs to hear my reading, give me moral support and hang out. I sold three little paintings and I have to deliver them to their buyer who will be in South Fork today at an art and craft show, so Lois and I will go up there, deliver the goods, see what there is to see, then go to Del Norte in time for me to help at the museum if I’m needed and then I’ll read from Baby Duck and, I hope, a bit from Martin of Gfenn.

In preparation for Lois visit, I made a mincemeat pie. Lois said as we ate some pie, “I bet most people alive today have never tried this.” I think she’s right.

Take that, future. You won’t know what you’ll be missing.

P.S. In other news, yesterday I took the ankle brace off. I realized IT hurt more than my foot did, meaning, it was hurting my foot. My foot is finally doing better. I’m cautiously happy about this. I’d be jubilant, but that’s too risky.

31 thoughts on “Back to the Future

  1. Good news about your foot! My grandmother used to make the “real deal” mince meat pies, which included all of those ingredients, along with venison. I only tried that once… Certainly best to stick with your version:) I love Telstar, by the way,

  2. Minced pies everywhere in the UK. Three different sorts in the local store, buttery pasty, normal, and with brandy! We have a jar in the cupboard but I need to thin it out so it’s less sugary. Maybe some ground almonds and walnuts? Xxx

  3. Oh, Martha–I had to chuckle as I read this about the cashier. I bought a bag of fresh cranberries before Thanksgiving. Checker scans them and says: “Can you eat these raw?”
    “Aren’t they like blueberries?”
    “Yes, they are round, but you don’t eat them raw.”
    “What do you do with them then?” I kid you not…..

  4. I’m so glad you found the mincemeat. As I grew up, that was always my choice of pie, over pumpkin and even over pecan. I am thoroughly enjoying Baby Duck — when you read from it,what sections do you read? Great news about your foot — but now make sure not to overdo it!

    • I have read “My Bible” twice. Today I read a couple of small sections pertaining to WW II. They’re kind of random, but one is on Hainan Island. I also read the chapter about going to the Guangzhou botanical gardens and the students in the truck singing “This land is your land.”

      I won’t overdo it with my foot. It’s kind of weak still so I’m taking it slow.

  5. We had the same experience. One year, there was ONE pie in the frozen section. The next year, there were none anywhere … but there were jars of mincemeat. Last year? Not even jars. Garry loves mincemeat. His favorite. I looked on Amazon, but the prices were crazy high. I gave up. I might take one more look. When you bake, take a picture. We can pretend!

  6. Hehe! My son works at a grocery and he was extolling the virtues of mince meat. The bakery made 3 pies at Thanksgiving. One sold. The other two were past their sell by date but were still good so the bakery allowed the employees to all have a sample. Son#1 was able to have a full piece since no one wanted to try it. I think at Christmas he may purchase one from the bakery…

    • I’m amazed that, in an urban or suburban area, people didn’t choose mince pies. It’s good that the store allowed the employees to sample the ‘leftovers.’

  7. No wonder most people haven’t tried it if they can’t find it! Your post made me smile, Martha, as it chimes so much with experiences I’ve had – so exasperating! Glad you enjoyed the mincemeat pie with Lois, and I hope the reading went well. 🙂

      • Glad to hear it, Martha. Sorry if I’m a bit behind with your progress at the moment, by the way, I’ve got a really hideous assignment to get in next weekend and I’ve also got school stuff to do and all the preparations for Christmas. It’s a nightmare here at the moment. The odd glass of mead is helping, though! 😉

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