The Corner


No, nothing to do with the new Secretary of State.  This is the cranberry

sauce thing — though I’m going to go off on a tangent.  Hey, I’m Derb.

Going off on tangents (and occasionally normals (that’s an in-joke for my

math club fans)) is what I do.

Thing is, I am recovering from the NR Caribbean cruise, which was…  Well,

I had better not say.  Readers have already chid me for chortling churlishly

about how much fun we were having.  All I can say to you chortle-chiders is:

(a) Sign up for an NR cruise & see for yourselves, (b) I am, among my

numerous other titles, the NR/NRO house churl. 

By way of demonstrating (b), however,  I note the following.

The NR cruise was my first — not just my first NR cruise, but my first

cruise *ever*.  I thought that, taken simply as a people-handling operation,

Holland America (and the organizers of our particular group) did a superb

job.  Every inch of that ship was spotless;  every encounter with a crew

member came with a smile & a cheery greeting;  every request for help or

information was answered at once; all the tedious and SNAFU-prone shipboard

necessities (lifeboat drills, disembarkation, etc.) were got through

efficiently & painlessly.  These people have cruising down to an art.  You

really have to be some kind of a churl to find anything at all to criticize.

I’m that churl, though, and here’s my point — which is, as I said,

tangentially connected to the raging Corner controversy about cranberry



It is a fact universally acknowledged that roast lamb can’t be fully enjoyed

without mint sauce.  Yet all that Holland America could offer me was mint

*jelly* — a loathsome ersatz concoction, in the same relation to mint sauce

as Reddi-wip is to real whipped cream.  (Which latter they *did* have.  I

smothered all my desserts in great heaps of it, to the disgust of my wife,

who was fecund with suggestions that I just smear the stuff round my waist,

inject it directly into my arteries, etc., etc.)

It’s hard to blame HA too much.  I have been in very tony restaurants in

major blue-state urban centers, and asked for mint sauce, and got this foul

mint jelly abomination instead.  I long for true mint sauce.  My dear

mother, a working woman with a great many other things to occupy her, none

the less managed to keep a small herb garden back of the tool shed, where

she grew actual mint, to be chopped up & steeped in malt vinegar to make

actual mint sauce for the Sunday roast.  Can’t Holland America — and the

restaurateurs of America — go to the same small amount of trouble when

serving lamb?


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