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
*** WHATEVER HAPPENED TO MINT SAUCE? ***
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