A sweet dilemma…

dawn 048A foggy night of ghostly streetlights was followed by another frosty morning. There was little time for photography walking the dog as we needed to visit the shop early this morning. This leads us away from the fields and means I need my hands on the leash, while madam sniffs the news from the canine denizens of the village. As usual, however, I threw the camera on the seat beside me as I headed into work.

005For once the traffic moved at a steady crawl… the once when it could, for me, have quite happily ground to a halt. It would have been nice to have had the chance to snap the fox hunting in the field, his fur bright against the rimed grass. Traffic could have remained gridlocked as I watched him stalk and pounce… as it was, at least I got to watch.

Work over, I headed with great reluctance to the supermarket. I go there as seldom as possible at the best of times… and the run-up to Christmas does not constitute the best of times by any stretch of the imagination. It was packed but not manic; even so, and head down, I charged to the pharmacy aisle with as little looking around as possible.


And then I saw them. Mince pies.

Oh dear.

I don’t tend to eat a lot of sweet stuff, but mince pies are a weakness.

And a dilemma.

Obviously pastry is bad enough. Add that particular confection of fruits in the centre and they should probably not be allowed within my vision. Definitely not within my reach.

Somehow a pack of four managed to follow me to the checkout.

I love mince pies. I bake the best good mince pies… or I used to when I had a house full of boys. I could bake two dozen every day and have nothing but crumbs before they were cold. Of course, living with just the small dog, I don’t bake any more except for special occasions. I couldn’t justify baking a dozen just for me… especially as I would only eat them.

011On the other hand, there is a tradition that says you should eat mince pies for good fortune through December… that for every one you eat you will have happiness and luck for … now …was it a day, a week or a month? I could use some good fortune… and a fairy godmother if one is looking for work too. And herein lies the dilemma.

No, not the fact that it isn’t December yet… I’m in training. How’s that for reasoning?

The thing is, while I am a firm believer in asking the universe , then allowing things to happen, I am also aware we need to do our part too. So if I want good fortune for the next twelve months, I obviously need to eat enough mince pies.

diggingdog 226I’m liking the logic of this.

They only count in December, but that’s okay. A little practice never hurt…

But how many do I need to eat?

If the ratio of tradition is 1mince pie:1 month good fortune, I have no problem. If it is a weekly ratio, then 52 between here and Christmas seems do-able. Even I, however, would struggle with eating a dozen a day for a month…

diggingdog 228On the other hand, it can’t all be sweetness and light… there have to be darker days against which the light can shine… so maybe the dozen a day isn’t necessary…

Meanwhile, I could have sworn there was a pack of four, freshly baked mince pies around here somewhere…

Well, what’s left of them…

Hmmm…If a mince pie (or three) is consumed, leaving no trace of its presence, did it ever exist in the first place and can you called a hog for eating it?

diggingdog 229

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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35 Responses to A sweet dilemma…

  1. bwcarey says:

    perhaps you need to buy more pies leave them in the freezer and have them in January, after all, it’s really Christmas all year round, thanks for the post


  2. G. M. Vasey says:

    LOL…. I love mince pies too but they don’t make them here…. what a lucky escape.


  3. Noah Weiss says:

    I’ve never heard of a mince pie before, having lived in the States my whole life. Is it something that is mostly seen in the Commonwealth?


  4. go for it! and a practice run in November could well be in order! After all, you want to ensure the good luck part so a bit of trial and error this last week of November seems in order!!


  5. The plants wrapped in frost look velvety. 🙂 Enjoy your mincemeat pies. 🙂


  6. Ali Isaac says:

    Im loving your reasoning, Sue! I never heard that tradition before, but if you say it I believe it must be true. I’m up for that, any excuse lol!


  7. Running Elk says:

    lol I have resisted thus far… but now I have a craving… :/


  8. Garry too has a weakness for mince pie. It is one of the pleasures of the holidays for him, along with the much maligned fruitcake, which I used to bake until the cost of the ingredients got so obscenely high. I think dried fruit now costs more per ounce than gold!


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I have an old recipe of my grandmother’s that I use… cuts the cost hugely and still makes a lovely fruitcake…not quite as darkly rich as the traditional one I use for wedding cakes, but much cheaper.


  9. Ah, Sue, I love mince pies, but usually buy a commercial brand of filling to make one for Christmas. Would love your recipe. I’ve made a Christmas pud before, love that, too. If I weren’t Irish, I’d swear I was a Brit.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Many of the commercial fillings are really good.Mincemeat is easy to make though. The 13 ingredients are traditionally said to represent Jesus and the apostles.

      grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
      grated zest and juice of 1 orange
      2 oz chopped almonds
      1 large cooking apple, finely chopped
      4 oz sultanas
      4 oz raisins
      8oz currants
      4 oz candied, mixed peel
      6 oz shredded suet (beef or vegetarian). If you can’t get suet, you can use butter in small pieces.
      8 oz dark brown sugar
      2 tsp mixed spice
      ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
      4 tbsp cognac

      Mix all ingredients except cognac in a large ovenproof dish. Cover tightly and leave to stand at least 8 hours. Cook in a very gentle oven for 2 ½ hours to melt everything together. When cool, stir in brandy and seal in sterilised jars.
      Keeps for a year.


  10. Éilis Niamh says:

    I saw your sophistry tag, lol! Well that’s true, but pies and such should be forever exempt from falicies. 🙂 I’ve often wondered about the metaphysical existence of a food once it’s eaten, too.


  11. Eliza Waters says:

    Your frost photos are superb! No worries about the pies – it is all in the spirit of the holiday, after all!


  12. Morgana West says:

    12 mince pies on each of the twelve days of Christmas, each in a different home for good fortune throughout the year. I’d best get baking then.


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