Wednesday, November 26, 2008

None Such®

The most immediate challenge, solved just hours ago? We couldn’t find mincemeat for a holiday pie. The neighborhood’s changed to the point where mincemeat can’t reliably be found.

Very traditional in our household for Thanksgiving, mincemeat pie – Barbara makes a good one. But it’s not generally the kind of thing advertised in the flyers, at least not that we noticed. I asked Barbara what brand she used; I couldn’t remember. But she did: Borden None Such “Classic Original” Mincemeat.

I went looking online; discovered a terrific post by “Pam” at the Nature Woman blog with more than I ever could have expected about the brand and the advertising. It’s the kind of work that’s normal on Signalwriter, but this time from someone else. I’m not going to duplicate it all. Pam wrote,

In the 1920’s...Merrell-Soule’s signature product was None Such Mince Meat for pies perfected by G Lewis Merrell and Oscar Soule at their small canning factory on West Fayette St [in Syracuse. NY] starting in 1868. When Merrell-Soule was sold to Borden Co in 1928 it was one of the largest manufacturers of powdered milk, mince meat and powdered lemon extract in the world.

The ad from around 1937 is just one of a number of photos appearing on Pam’s blog…the classic method of generating readership – a recipe right in the ad – is present and accounted for.

I found None Such products on the Eagle Family Foods website (Eagle being a spin-off of Borden’s now owned by JM Smucker Company) along with excellent recipes for everything from Apple Mince Pie to Zesty Chili.

“None Such” means a person or thing without equal; a paragon…one that is unequalled. It’s a great brand with a long history but I’m not certain that Eagle has ever really fulfilled the long-time goal of turning this holiday specialty into an everyday treat, at least not broadly.

Reading through comments on Nature Woman, it seems like the unavailability of mincemeat pie filling is a common complaint. We did finally find both ready-to-use and condensed versions at Kroger’s. Barbara’s finished with the baking. I’m not certain we’ll take the mincemeat pie with us when we go down to Sugar Land for Thanksgiving with Doug, Donna and Maddy Rose. We will be with the Texas part of the family on Thursday.

Rachel and Alison will be doing the holiday in New Jersey. Most of the Slaviks will be at Nancy and Roger’s in New Prague (though Lynn and Greg will be having the traditional feast with the Hrabe side of the family just a couple of blocks away to start with). The Eisenbergs are congregating mainly at Gerry and Irene’s in Chicago. It’ll be a full day with full stomachs; I am personally grateful for every blessing.

Best wish: May your 2008 Thanksgiving holiday be “none such.”

Thanks to Nature Woman for her great blog post.

1 comment:

Colin Hageney said...

Wonderful story, Richard! I can't stand mincemeat pie but I always appreciate a retro story brought up to date. Have a fantastic holiday - see you soon!

PS - My word identification is "mippica" which I'm pretty sure doesn't mean anything. :)