Thursday, January 18, 2007


It seems that all the bloggers on my paper route have discovered cooking.

At least the love of cookery seems to be one of the key things in the lives of the pyjama wearing set. Anyhow, I decided to look into my own behavior and see if I fit. Now, I'm no cook in the Cooking With Julia fashion. I'm a guy who lives on a boat and don't have the kitchen skills necessary to be a chef. My cookery is mostly related to survival. I mostly just feed myself... and anyone who eats with me is just trying to avoid starvation. But I have traveled a bit. And there are several things that I like and have tried to master. One of them is the pasty.

Ah, the pasty. I went to Glasgow a few years ago and realized that they don't really do the fast food thing like Americans. Oh, they have all the obligatory pizza joints and taco joints and such, but the business of making working class chow to the English is rooted in the pie. Most working stiffs have something that is inherently local. A Cornish tin miner a hundred years ago wanted lunch to be quick, easy, and cheap. Ah, the pasty. As the British empire grew so did the pasty. And the Cornish pasty became the Scottish pasty and the Indian pasty and the Burmese pasty and every other place on the map. Here in America we still have fruit pies and they are still made by the truckload and sold to potential diabetics everywhere. But not like the Brits. We have our own system... McGobble. But that trip to the mother country affected my pasty eating bug. That and Jamaica... mostly the Jamaican version of the old Cornish fast food was a way of eating left overs without getting the grease on your shirt and still having lunch... the same as you get from McGobble.

Pasties are easy to make. Heck, all the things are is a place to put leftovers for tomorrow's lunch. The trick is to develop the skill of making good pie crust. Let me give you quick lesson: get a pound of ground beef (or fish, or veggies, or what have you), a small onion, a garlic clove, minced, some condiments ( the traditional Jamaican pasty has something like Cayenne Pepper sauce, curry power, thyme,maybe some egg beaten to hold everything together). are confronted with the pasty shell problem.

Want an easy out? Go back to Winn Dixie and just buy some ready made pie shell dough. Then tell your friends that you made it from scratch. It works just fine thank you. Then instead of making the typical pecan pie like your mom does every Sunday you make little pockets to fill up with whatever you've got, bake in your little boat stove at 450 till brown, and pour the wine.

Of course, if you live in Glascow all you have to do is go down to the local pasty shop and buy your dinner using the same system used here in America when you go through the drive thru lane at Wendy's.

There you go. Let's eat.