Saturday, November 12, 2011

Faye Elder's Upper Peninsula Pasty

I met Faye (her name was Nesbitt then) when I was singing at Knott's Berry Farm - my first professional job out of high school. It was a great time in my life - a wonderful learning experience about how challenging it can be to do 5 shows a day at a theme park, but how good it is to be employed!

Faye played the "madam" in the Calico Saloon Show. If you've never been to Knott's Berry Farm, there is an old "Ghost Town" area where there is a perfect replica of an old saloon, and on one side there is a stage. BUT....the stage is only a few feet wide AND it is on the 2nd level up. In the show there's a small band, two can can dancers, a shoot out and also a male singer (Michael Whitney in this picture). It's fantastic to be watching the show, but to be UP there, singing and moving around can be dangerous. Faye was the queen of that show and she did it beautifully. I think I got to sub in once for her....I honestly don't remember much about it except that I didn't think I was very good and I remember being really frightened of falling off the stage. 
Here's Faye (in the middle)!

Faye now lives in her beloved Michigan and has sent me this fabulous recipe for Pasty pies. She says it's a regional favorite and one she makes all the time.
This is her quote:
A favorite for generations, men working in the mine would actually put hot ones from home in their pockets during the Winter, before heading off to work. The pasty is still a beloved meal to share and especially covered in ketchup!


The crust:
1 cup lard
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk and milk to fill cup
2 cups cold water
Mix and cut together, roll out into flat football shapes appx. 6x3 in. makes appx 8 to fill with below:

Pasty ingredients:

10 lb ground beef, quarter size pinches
20 lb potatoes cubed
5 lb carrots chopped
2 rutabagas chopped
3 lb onions cut
salt and pepper

Chop and mix all ingredients together...fill half of crust, fold over and crimp end. brush top with egg white. Bake on cookie sheet at 425 for first 15 min then 350 till done. Have a cold beer as your side dish! See photos for examples but know that you really can't mess this up! No rules here in da UP!

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