Aunt Hulda On Mincemeatpies - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
I'm partial as my favourite Aunt
(name's Hulda) (who's no dilettante)
has pointed out a thousand times
to mince pies and to certain rhymes.
Debating comes to her like singing
and Friday last, the phone was ringing,
she yanked the cord out from its socket
took from her purse a silver locket
and handed me a treasure piece,
the locket showed a few wild geese.
A gaggle, Hulda said, they'd wander
throughout the orchards, also yonder,
to chase the bloody thieves away,
their tour of duty starts in May.
You know, my Aunt said, way back then
when your great-uncle, Lucius Benn
pulled up his stakes down in Toulouse,
packed up their children and the booze,
kissed on both cheeks his slutty wife
went north to find a better life,
he left some fertile ground behind.
A land of people, short and kind,
who toiled all day to fill the vats
down in the cellar (live with bats) ,
their specialty was Beaujolais
as well as Le Pernod. I say,
perhaps he really should have stayed,
although your uncle was dismayed
by what he had considered sad,
a marriage which, so quickly had
turned into un petit fromage
she left and took her great plumage.
Oh yes, my boy, le grand chateau!
It was a shame, he loved it so
but gave the land and all the geese
to his philandering, cute niece.
He had to leave and since he knew
that Nordic folks, too liked their brew,
his travels led him to the Rhine
that's where he tasted sour wine.
He was appalled at the poor juice
and bought a single, gallic goose.
The local ruler, filled with presence,
was twice as heavy as his peasants,
they knew him as a connoisseur,
and in the land, a force majeure.
Hand-carved of rosewood was his bed
and thirteen cooks to keep him fed
were living on the palace grounds
where English pheasants made their rounds.
A master by the name of Pierre
worked day and night to brew La Bière,
a shock it was to see a French
and not a Kraut, a local Mensch
would be employed to brew the Bier,
well, Pierre had been the man from Trier
which was his home and that is where
his mum would regularly bear
a child each Spring, from different genes;
she'd been a woman, full of beans
or, as they say, of many coats
who'd eat her share of well-soaked oats.
Well, boy, Aunt Hulda said, some day
you too will understand, you may
condemn the filth and fickle mores
of men and also of their whores.
Back to the story, (here she grins)
your fondness for a pie of mince
is in your blood, you see we made
from berries not just lemonade,
while menfolk stirred the virgin wine
we manufactured a sweet brine
of fruits and spirits and some spice,
(the measurements must be precise)
this mixture then was put in crocks,
weighed down by hemlock boards and rocks.
It would ferment in one short moon,
be tested with a silver spoon
and made the filling of small pies
for men and women and small guys,
and uncle Lucius was the one
who brought (do pardon, lad the pun)
the recipe from the deep south
to please the bland Germanic mouth.
Down in Toulouse, in Seventeen Ten
you'd see how clans like ours, Benn,
would butcher geese to use their meat,
after some cooking on high heat
into the pies they then called mince,
your uncle stopped this; ever since
a deep respect is shown to geese
but let me tell you of the fleece,
the golden one, boy you will be
impressed....what is it dear? I see,
back to the subject, well I know
inside my head the thoughts do flow,
from hemisphere to hemisphere,
which is much better than pure air
which some do seem to hold within
(she said with her satanic grin) .
Where was I, yes, I meant to say
that since your uncle went away,
all locals changed their recipes
and kept their orchard guards (the geese) .
So mincemeat pie contains no meat
the fruits and berries, great to eat,
are sprinkled with some spice (but no)
there is a secret which will go
from grandma just before she passes
to her own kin and not the masses.
Well are you hungry now, let's eat
we're having mincemeat pies - No MEAT.
Note: Mincemeat pies today, and since about 1710,
contain no meat whatsoever. Geese and other animals,
some employed as guards for the precious fruits and berries,
are used for more worthwhile purposes such as making shoes
and feather pillows. Adding meat to mincemeat pies is an abomination, a prostitution of a sweet delicacy. It is, in my opinion, akin to attaching a groin duffelbag to a lady. However, the Americans have managed to manufacture their semi-plastic mincemeat mix with added meat! It is rumoured that the origin of said meat may be as secret as the recipe mentioned above.
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