Upon studying the origins of pie, I came upon this interesting, humorous, and slightly troubling tale:
1626 – Jeffrey Hudson (1619-1682), famous 17th century dwarf, was served up in a cold pie as a child. England’s King Charles I (1600-1649) and 15-year old Queen Henrietta Maria (1609–1669) passed through Rutland and were being entertained at a banquet being given in their honor by the Duke and Duchess of Buckingham. At the dinner, an enormous crust-covered pie was brought before the royal couple. Before the Queen could cut into the pie, the crust began to rise and from the pie emerged a tiny man, perfectly proportioned boy, but only 18 inches tall named Jeffrey Hudson. Hudson, seven years old the smallest human being that anyone had ever seen, was dressed in a suit of miniature armor climbed out of a gilded pastry pie stood shyly on the table in front of the Queen and bowed low. Hudson was later dubbed Lord Minimus.
Really, people? Served him up in a pie? Dang. Not so sure that was worth the “Lord Minimus” title.
Added to the list of questionable pie ingredients, in my opinion, is rhubarb. I don’t like the look of it, and I’m not really sold on anything that you have to add TONS of sugar or other fruit to in order to make it tasty. Another troubling fact…rhubarb has been used for years as a very strong LAXATIVE. Um, yeah. Not in my pie, thanks.
One other pie that I just think I’ll skip, although I’m sure most of you have heard of it, is mincemeat pie. Below is a 19th century recipe for this pie:
Stone and cut the raisins once or twice across, but do not chop them; wash, dry and pick the currants free from stalks and grit, and mince the beef and suet, taking care the latter is chopped very fine; slice the citron and candied peel, grate the nutmeg, and pare, core and mince the apples; mince the lemon peel, strain the juice and when all the ingredients are thus prepared, mix them well together, adding the brandy when the other things are well blended; press the whole into a jar, carefully exclude the air, and the mincemeat will be ready for use in a fortnight.
There a more than a few things about this pie that mark it off of my list:
- I don’t want to wait a fortnight for anything. Especially anything crammed into a jar. I want my pie now.
- I don’t know what beef suet is, but it reminds me of either the chimney or pigs, so I don’t want whipped cream on it.
- Even 1/2 pint of brandy can’t make TWO POUNDS of raisins taste good to me.So there. In summary: No dwarves. No rhubarb. No mincemeat. If you were looking for any of those, look elsewhere. Whew. Glad I got that off my chest.Countdown app says 43 days ’till “Turning Forty.” So three days till we open the treasure trove of tasty pie delights. Pie-tastic.