Monday, March 09, 2009

Home Sweet Home

A couple of things about Michigan today.

First off, I want to draw attention to a group that is encouraging the residents of the Great Lakes State to keep their money "in the Mitten". I suppose that at this point in time a total dedication to such an idea is impractical, but Michigan produces enough of its own goods that buying local from within the state, when possible, is not a bad idea. I have said before that in terms of natural resources (minerals, water, wood, etc), Michigan is probably the richest state east of the Mississippi and our economic condition is inexcusable. Michigan's potential for wealth is enormous.

If you're from Michigan visit the Made in Michigan Movement LLC, and if you're not from Michigan, go ahead and visit anyway.

Also I want to talk about Michigan cuisine. Yes we have our own cuisine, more or less. Once it was common only in the Upper Peninsula of our fair state it has spread to the Lower Peninsula as well and it's kind of a meat and vegetable pie that originally came from Wales and was a convenient food for miners and trappers. It's called the Pastie. Now there is some disagreement on how it is properly pronounced and you will find "experts" arguing on both sides. Some say it rhymes with tasty while others say it rhymes with nasty, while a few pronounce it Paw-sty. However you pronounce it, they are quite tasty.

I first tried one when I was 13 or so and visiting the UP for a vacation. Since then they have become available through most of the Lower Peninsula as well. They smell great cooking and really taste good.

They are traditionally made of mixed meats, but they can be made from Beef, Pork, or Chicken and more recently you have been able to get fish and vegetarian versions as well. Recently even breakfast versions have shown up (with the vegetables replaced with eggs and potatoes. Personally, being a chicken-lover, I am partial to the Chicken ones. What they amount to is a meat-pie that is held by hand. And they are GOOD!

Here is a workable recipe for them.

Update: According to spelling and rules of pronunciation it should logically rhyme with tasty but look at this Jeff Daniels movie made about 10 years ago and note how they pronounce it.

The movie is called Escanaba in da Moonlight and I have reservations about recommending it but it, like so many movies, has its moments. Jeff Daniels plays a luckless deer hunter in the UP who is now in his forties but has never bagged a buck, in spite of never missing a season since he was a boy and is trying to change his luck. I include the scene because it opens on a discussion of pasties.


Blogger dons_mind said...

mmmmm looks good to me! we like "pie" like dishes....and i bet the chicken ones are superb!

9:33 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I grew up eating those. In South Africa and the UK they are called Cornish pasties (rhymes with tasty) and were originally made as the first packed lunch for the tin-miners in Cornwall and later for the coal-miners in Wales. They're basically leftovers from dinner wrapped in a short pastry. Yum! I make them for lunch at least once a week.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

PS the pronunciation is pasty (like tasty) because it's a garbled version of pastry.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Skip said...

SR.. I called a few of my Yooper friends (Soo and Escanaba) you know the old saying....
Pasties(the "body" cover) are tasty and Pasties (the food) are nasty. They always use that to tell us "trolls" how to pronounce it correctly.

10:13 PM  
Blogger I.H.S. said...

That does look good.

I think I'll get my wife to try to make it for me, the chicken version of course.


10:15 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

Too bad we can't get the state goivernment to Buy Michigan. They outsource a lot of our services to other states and countries.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Z said...

The local British pub has pasties.....they call them CORNISH PASTIES so I think some were indigenous to Cornwall, too.......
mmmmmmm!! I'd like them with ANY meat!! I'm going to check out that recipe.
Armenians make a 'meat pie' very similar to that, too. Minced lamb with parsley and onions ,,, Or they fill it with cheese, GORGEOUS! MMM

thanks, Shoprat!

11:04 PM  
Blogger Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

I've never been to Michigan. Love the photo of that meat pie. I'm on my way.

12:55 AM  
Blogger Ducky's here said...

First off, I want to draw attention to a group that is encouraging the residents of the Great Lakes State to keep their money "in the Mitten".


Why are you dissing the Upper Peninsula?

11:21 AM  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

There are a couple of Brit pubs and restaurants around here, and pasties are great. But then I was always a sucker for lotsa carbs. I didn't affix the name Zeppelin to Bloviating for nothing.


1:24 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

All Thanks for the comments. We are quite aware of their Welsh-Cornish origin but they are very much part of the local culture in much of this state.

Ducky Their slogan, not mine. Besides the UP does look like a mitten viewed from the side rather than the front with the Keewenaw Peninsula serving as the raised thumb and the fingers pointing to the tip of the lower mitten. Two mittens like that are seen an occasional graphic of the state.

1:57 PM  
Blogger The Vegas Art Guy said...

Pasties rock, they truly do. I plan on making some this weekend.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

My first memories are of the snows in Grand Rapids and bike parades for the 4th of July.

And I grew up in Ohio not too far from the state line so have always had a fondness for Michigan.

I'd live there again if it weren't overrun by Democrat fools who are destroying the state.

I remember what a mess Detroit was and I imagine it's not much better now.

4:43 PM  
Blogger BB-Idaho said...

I like Jeff Daniels. He must be a patriotic 'wolverine' because we get his pro-Michigan commericials, even way out here.

3:24 PM  
Blogger The Vegas Art Guy said...

By the way Duckie the UP and the Lower Peninsula (AKA Troll Land) have always dissed each other.

And Shoprat when I get a chance I'll post my recipe for you, it's the one my mom uses and she's from the U.P. so it's as authentic as it gets. Back in the day the iron ore miners used to fill about 1/3 of the pastie with pie filling so they could have lunch and dessert.

7:08 PM  
Blogger dmarks said...

Jeff Daniels are good for "made in Michigan".

However, I try to shy away from UAW products, in any state, as long as the workers at UAW-involved companies are forced to join the union. The union uses this stolen money to work against the interests and rights of the workers.

Shoprat: Notice that the Lower Peninsula is pointing its middle finger at the UP.

8:58 AM  
Blogger benning said...

I first read about these in the novels of Lilian Jackson Braun. They certainly look good to eat!

No matter how you pronounce them!

9:28 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home