Pasty making is something I almost always get around to doing in November. Thanks to the United Autoworkers and my generous employer, I get Veteran's Day off. It used to be moved around to get it closer to the opening of firearm deer season in Michigan (which is November 15) but now we are celebrating it on Veteran's Day proper, which I think is good. I got this pasty recipe from my best friend Alison who got it from her ex mother-in-law who was from Hancock. We often joke that the 3 best things she got out of that marriage were her 2 sons and this pasty recipe. She and I used to get together and make pasties for the freezer every year on our day off. Looking over the years, I see that we made 52 pasties in 2008, 79 pasties in 2009 and 80 pasties in 2013. Sadly, she has moved away and my kids are away at college so we don't do it anymore in November.
Last year, I got together in January to make some pasties with a group of girlfriends that wanted to learn how....and I realize now that I never blogged about it. Here we are:
I think I only made 8 for myself last year, as it was just for us two. Even though I still have 3 of those left in my freezer, I decided I needed to make pasties again this Veteran's Day. It was destiny because last weekend I was at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market wearing an MTU hoodie and I spied a big basket of freshly dug rutabagas that were huge for only $1 each. I told the farmer that this was a sign from God that I needed to make pasties, and he noticed my sweatshirt and pointed to his hat....he was sporting an MTU ball cap! He said his daughter was a senior at my alma mater (and home to the Upper Peninsula's finest pasties) and I told him that my son was there and that my husband and I also went there. I've never had a freshly dug rutabaga before and it was way easier to dice and peel than the wax covered ones I normally buy at the grocery store.
|a fresh 'baga|
My daughter stopped home in the morning to witness part of the pasty making, She's taking a class at EMU about food history and was tasked to write about food history and she remembered our annual pasty making affairs. It's funny what the kids remember from their youth! When she was in middle school, she refused to eat pasties anymore, so I was surprised she wanted to document this effort. She said she wanted to write about how we learned about pasties as MTU students and it became a food tradition for our family. Jane is always on different food kicks, she went through the obligatory vegetarian phase every teen goes through, she then was making microwave brownies in a mug, and now her latest is taking in nutrition by drinking some kind of soy product made into a shake. I asked her if she wanted me to make her some pasties too, and I was surprised when she said "Yes"! Maybe pasties now sounded good to her after having to drink Soylent for a while. She said she didn't like them in 6th grade because they didn't have enough seasoning in them but would like to try them again, and suggested adding some curry powder so I did that for a couple, just to see how it would taste. Why not?
Andy said that my pasties were too small last year, so this year I made 10 giant ones instead of 15 regular sized. I'll give the curried pasties to Jane for her freezer and I'll send Eddie back up to the Keweenaw with some for his freezer, too. I called Alison to let her know I was making pasties and she is going to make some for her new husband and his daughter too, The tradition lives on!