Friday, November 11, 2005

Friday Food Blogging

The RevGal "Friday Five" this week is all about pie. I like pie. So I'm in.

I now present my deep (dish) thoughts on pie:

1. Apple Pie My mother's apple pie is the's my mother's famous pie crust topped with apples, sugar, tapioca, cinnamon and nutmeg -- maybe a dash of mace too -- topped with streusel. When I was a child, I considered the filling simply a foil for the crust -- I'd scrape all the filling off and then eat the crust first. I now take a more holistic approach to pie eating, much to the relief of my meal companions.

2) Cherry Pie I may be banned from Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties forever for saying this, but...cherry pie's not my favorite. I'm sorry. it just isn't. Not that I wouldn't eat a slice of cherry pie if it were offered to me, mind you. The Cherry Hut, up in Beulah, Michigan, has primo cherry pie, if you're ever traveling in northern Michigan.

3) Pumpkin Pie Again, my mother's pumpkin pie beats all others hands down. The secret? No cloves. It's very creamy and subtly flavored. Once I poured her filling over a cream cheese bottom layer -- whoa, mama. (Apologies to all readers on diets.)

4) Chocolate Cream Pie Chocolate -- need we say more?

5) Pecan Pie This was not a pie I ever tasted until I hit adulthood. I enjoy it a lot, but it's almost too much of a muchness.

Bonus Question: Do you have a favorite kind of pie not on this admittedly short list?

Lemon meringue.

Rhubarb. Rhubarb custard. Rhubarb strawberry.

Strawberry. I have a great, quick recipe for fresh strawberry pie whose secret ingredient is strawberry Jello (it's a very Lutheran recipe) -- you wind up with a yummier, tangier pie than the Large Franchise Restaurant's Much-Touted Strawberry Pie. If you ask me nicely I'll find it for you.


And my Amish neighbors' double-crust raspberry pies, whose filling is so good -- it's rather solid and smooth, almost a pudding consistency, and not too sweet.

And, venturing into savory territory, the pasty, a regional specialty by way of Cornwall (Editor's Note: My grasp of Celtic Britain having lost hold late last night, I originally typed Wales, which will explain some of the comments below); Cornish miners working in the Upper Peninsula brought the pasty to Michigania. Traditional pasties are a mixture of beef, potatoes, rutabagas, onions and carrots encased in a remarkable crust that's tender and flaky, yet tough enough to let you eat the pasty in hand without the thing falling apart. There's usually a thick crimped edge to the pasty, which was developed back across the pond to help tin miners eat their pies with toxic tin-dusted hands -- they'd grasp the pasty by the crimp, eat around it and then throw the tainted crust away. If you're ever driving up M-115, on the west side of Michigan, stop in at Mr. Foisie's Pasties in Cadillac, just south of the state park, which sells not only the old-style pasties but a tasty vegetarian version that adds broccoli to the filling. These bad boys are huge, and one easily feeds two hungry people.



One of my very favorite foodie shows is "Fork in the Road," broadcast on my local public TV station, a culinary tour of my fair state of Michigan spotlighting regional foods, unique farmers and farm markets, and food-related cottage industries. It's hosted by Chef Eric Villegas of Restaurant Villegas in Okemos, near East Lansing, who is one of the most entertaining TV chefs I've ever seen, and who really needs his own nationally broadcast show, if you ask me. Anyhow, he just broadcast a program all about pasties, and if you go here you can find his own take on this Yooper favorite.


Songbird said...

Mmmm, indeed.
Have you ever tried Apple Pan Dowdy?

Kathryn said...

Sorry to be pernickitty, but I think you'll find that pasties are actually Cornish...that's how they are known here, certainly, and it's Cornwall that has the tin mines too (Wales did coal and, very limited, gold)
Quite agree about their yum value, though ;-)

Nicodemia said...

Yep! Pasties are, genenrally, Cornish. But lots of other areas have similar pies. Sometimes it would be savoury at one end and sweet the other! They'd be marked differently each end, so the miner would know!

There are lots of local names for these things, but I've forgotten most of them. They mostly consisted of vegetable fillings, meat was a bit of a luxury in those days.

By the way, what are rutabagas? Are they what we call swedes?

Pink Shoes said...

I've made a fair number of pasties in my day, but not for awhile -- reading about them makes my mouth water. Are you a ketchup or a gravy (or a neither) pastie-eater?

LutheranChik said...

I prefer my pasties nude, thank you.;-) If I had to choose between ketchup and gravy, the ketchup would win, I think, but the thought of either makes me a little twitchy.

LutheranChik said...

Nic: Yes -- rutabagas are swedes. I love them, which puts me in a distinct minority. I love them in vegetable soup too.

Verdugo said...

Pasties seem to have found their way throughout the British empire. In the back regions of Jamaica, far off the tourist track, they are the main fast food. Much like the traditional English ones, but with a bit more spice.

Now, when you talk about pies-- none will beat my mom's peach pie. Family legend has it that it was her peach pie that induced dad to pop the question.