After 31 years in the United States, I find myself more American than I ever expected to be, yet not so American in many ways.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I miss mince pies at Christmas time! Occasionally our local supermarket has them, but they are in the import aisle and very expensive. I suppose I could buy them via mail order, but they're even more expensive that way. I miss Christmas cake too - REAL Christmas cake though - not the nasty dry stuff you find here in the US masquerading as fruitcake. DARK fruitcake that was made (or bought) back in September and has been fed a regular diet of brandy (maybe a little Guinness) ever since so that the fruit is nice and MOIST and with marzipan and royal icing on top. Sigh! One year I will get my act together and make one. That way I'd get one exactly the way I want - without cherries which I always pick out! I suppose I could make some mince pies too. I made a green tomato pie back in September and was surprised to find that it was remarkably similar to mince pie - but then again, with a ton of brown sugar, raisins and ginger, the tomatoes didn't really contribute much to the flavour!
It is possible to get Christmas crackers here in the US now. Not 20 odd years ago though - or at least nowhere where I shopped. Even so, a confused American blogger in the UK recently referred to them as "cylindrical "bang" packages" and clearly had never heard of them, let alone seen them before. Of course it's the same here as in England - cheap crackers have cheap junk inside them. Expensive crackers have better quality junk. Our crackers this year came from The Christmas Tree Shops so I don't know why we bothered. The internationalization of holiday traditions goes both ways as last time I was in the UK for Christmas I noticed that it is possible to buy candy canes over there now. Again, that wasn't true when I first came to the US.