It’s been a foggy and soggy London Town kind of day, just dreary and dismal from dawn to nightfall, and sure not looking like we are finally on the cusp of Winter. Twice I made an attempt to take a walk and do some errands, and both times I peered out the front door to see raindrops. Raindrops at 71 degrees are tolerable, but at 41 degrees, are not too inviting to go dashing out the door. So, the errands got quashed and I’ll await another walking day; unfortunately the year 2013 is winding down and I am still deficient in my mileage goal due to the past two weeks of wintry conditions. The weather today does remind me of London, England even though when I visited there with my parents in May 1979, we were blessed with an entire week of uncharacteristically sunny and just-perfect weather. We attributed it to the added insurance of each of us lugging around an umbrella to ensure we stayed dry in any pop-up showers while sightseeing. I’ve been thinking about Jolly Old England alot lately, and not just the mishap at The Apollo Theatre or the recent death of Sir Laurence Olivier. A former co-worker of mine just passed the Michigan bar exam and signed on for a five-month stint as a barrister-at-law in a prestigious London law firm. He arrived in mid-November and it is his first time overseas. He was very excited to begin this initial stepping stone of a long legal career and I’ve been following his Facebook posts which have been replete with pictures of the City, tourist attractions and ordinary everyday places he frequents in his leisure time. I wrote him that he must try some figgy pudding over the upcoming holiday just to capture the flavor of this traditional English dessert at Christmastime in London. I crossed my fingers when I wrote this, since figgy pudding is kind of like the weather – soggy, and I’m not a discriminating diner, but it wasn’t my favorite dessert. Bah humbug to figgy pudding I say!! As to Christmas past, my mom used to make up mincemeat tarts every Christmas. She’d buy several jars of None Such mincemeat and over Fourth of July weekend, she’d open the jars and spoon half of the contents into washed coffee jar bottles and liberally pour in some rum and mix it up into each one. Then she’d close up all the jars tightly and tuck them in the back of the fridge ‘til the week before Christmas. My mom made several varieties of tarts and tartlets just prior to Christmas, but her mincemeat tarts were her pride and joy. She’d roll out the homemade cream cheese piecrust and then cut and fashion the crust into the medium-sized tart tins. A big scoop of the potent-tasting mincemeat went into each tart shell and just before eating them, dollops of heavy whipped cream was the topping of choice, as you waited in breathless anticipation. They were extremely rich and one tart would do it for you, especially if you were the designated driver. Only four more days until Christmas, so as the Brits say: “Keep Calm and Carry On”.