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Jan 9, 2012

It's a Pasty Thing

The first time I experienced the joy of a pasty was when I was first dating Michael.  It was on one of our visits to Texas.  His Nana made fabulous pastys (his mom too, but my first pasty was made by Nana).  Everyone seemed to be making a big deal of these pastys.  What the hell was a pasty!  I wondered.  As they explained them to me I responded with: "Like a pot pie?"   I am pretty sure that did not go over well as everyone seemed appalled, especially Michael. That was my first faux pau.  I am surprised he made the trip back to our home in California with me. 

When the pasty was set in front of me I had silently changed my mind from the idea of a pot pie to a calzone.  My second faux pau was attempting to eat the pasty with a fork.  I mean come on people!  I was using my manners!  When you first meet your boyfriends family shouldn't that be a priority?  To display good manners?  His family was kind and showed me the way, although I suspect I was not earning any brownie points there.  They take their pastys very seriously!  All I can tell you is that the pasty was delious!  Sooo good!  Even when eaten the wrong way.

Now that I am married to Michael and have been for 10 years I thought it was high time I learned how to make a pasty. I admit.  I was afraid.  It seemed an impossible task.  I could never measure up to the pasty gods.

So grab a beer, have a seat and go with me down pasty lane.  I
 am no Pioneer Woman but this might be fun!
The ingredients....

First, you must always wash your hands before cooking. Of course your untensils should be clean as well. Wiping your cutting knife on your jeans in-between ingredients does not mean it is clean, unless you live in the backwoods and your name is Billy Bob or Herbert "Cowboy" Coward. In that case, swipe away but stay on your side of the kitchen and please stay away from the children.

First, I attempted to make the dough. To make ten pastys it takes a lot of flour!  I decided to make the dough for five pastys instead of ten at once.  Seriously, I don't own a bowl large enough to make dough for all ten pastys at once.  That's almost a whole bag of flour!  Hey!  How do you like my hat?  Very chef-y like wouldn't ya say?

Things didn't go as planned.

I made this:

I could plaster the wall with this stuff.  After getting over the frustration of my error I ventured onward.  I went with portion control, only making one pasty dough ball at a time.  Went much easier.

Hubby helped by cutting all the meat. What a wonderful guy his is. And such nice hands.


I finished making the dough and placed the balls on a plate in the frig. Look at those perfect balls...


Then I took a 10 mile break...


Okay, so on to chopping vegetables, I was running out of time.  Pun intended.

Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop
Chop Chop  My arm is getting sore.  Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Maybe I should sit down.  Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop I think I need another beer Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop
Chop Chop Chop Chop This is a lot of chopping. Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Almost finished. Just have the rutabagas left Chop Chop Chop Chop....

Have you ever tried to cut into a rutabaga?  I would have used an ax if I owned one.  Instead, I came close to snapping off the blade of the barely qualified knife I did have. I think I saw my arm muscles tone up. 


Ahhhh all the chop, chop, chopping is finished.  Oh snap! (or insert your own expletive here).  By the time the chopping was complete it was almost six o'clock.  There was no way these pastys were going to be finished by the appointed dinner time.  The children would have declared mutiny on mommy if had moved forward with the plan of having pastys for Saturday night dinner.   After consulting with hubby we decided to cook the pastys for Sunday dinner.  For Saturday it was hot dogs, green beans and apple sauce. Hey, I am not up for mother of the year award here. I would settle for 'has four kids and only 5 gray hairs' award.


Oh, uhhh how that pic get in here?

Day II:

I will admit that I did begin to say a little prayer at church that morning asking for pastys that were edible.  Then I thought better of it as God probably had more important things to deal with than my pasty fears.  Yes I was intimidated by pastys.  After that whole thing with the mushy flour mess I pictured rock hard pasty shells.  I feared I would have to serve them with a hammer and a chisel.  

The beginning of my first pasty.  The rolling went easy.  So far so good:


Putting it together:
If you are one of those people who get squirmy about raw meat...

look away now!

Here...I will give you time to flee...










My first pasty!!! 
It was quite large, but no holes in the dough!




Baking time!!
I put them in individual tins so they would all fit in the oven. 


Doesn't that look nice?


Hubby cuts into his.
I think I see anticipation in his eyes.


Then he helps Elijah with his.


Delicious!



I have made pastys and I didn't screw it up.  Am pretty proud.  Yay!  (Pats self on back)

So if you are ever invited to someone's house for this wonderful thing called a pasty you are in for a treat.  And remember, cut it in half, slap some butter on it, pick it up with your hand, take a bite and enjoy.  You  might even impress the host by requesting a beer to drink with your pasty.  Just whatever you do, do not compare it to a pot pie. 

It is NOT a pot pie!

Thank you to Nana and Chris for all of your helpful advice during this process.

And yes Chris the first pasty was huge and probably weighed 10 lbs! 





Jul 8, 2011

Burning down the house

I could probably come up with many titles for this blog but will refrain from sharing my thoughts on those. 

What I am about to share is a very serious issue.  It deals with fire safety.  And while it may amuse you as it did me....let us not forget the seriousness of playing with fire. Take note and do not as we do unless you have a fire extinquisher nearby. 

Last night after the children were all snug in their beds hubby and I enjoyed a few glasses of fine wine together.  Our ten year anniversay is fast approaching and we wanted to spend time together.  It's rare that we have those quiet moments together.   We lit candles while we talked and laughed about our interesting and wonderful life.

As the night grew late we moved our conversation to another room bringing the candles along.  I will skip over certain details as that, quite frankly is none of your beeswax! 

There was a moment when all hell broke loose.  That's when I heard Michaels voice:

"It's on fire!"  And he was not talking about our love.

A pillow had caught on fire from the lit candles. Michael attempted to smack the flames out and was getting nowhere.  There was a lot of exclaimations and cursing during those moments.  That damn pillow was was not made of fire resistant material.   We threw the flaming pillow into the bathtub, turning the water onto it extinquishing the fire. 

That was not it...

"Oh crap!  The curtains on fire!"  Michael yelled jumping over the bed to try and extinquish those flames.  While trying to put out the pillow the curtain had caught on fire.  The flames were not going out!  I ran back to the bathroom and grabbed a cup of water and threw water on the curtain putting out that fire.

You would think that was the end of it, but..............

When I turned back to the bathroom to bring the cup back into the bathroom I noticed that the shower curtain was on fire!  "Holy Crap! The shower curtains on fire!"  Again that damned pillow had spread another fire.  I began smacking the shower curtain to put out the flames, the burning material sticking to my hand leaving blisters. I finally put out the the flaming shower curtain.

At this point Michael and I were laughing our butts off.  We simply looked at each other with a "What the hell just happened?" expression and burst out laughing.   It was a wonder we didn't burn the house down. 
 

That NON- fire resistant pillow:


Guess that's why they call me Hotgirl.  :)

Jan 15, 2011

It's 9 degrees outside. Do you know where your kids are?

This morning, while walking lopsided towards me Sam declares that she has something sticking out of her butt.  That girl needs a change.  While changing her she informs me of what is her butt and what is her hoohoo and what comes out of each place.  I listen smiling, thinking how very cute she is and how I must start potty training her again.  I am hoping she is ready.  Could be that I wasn't ready.  It seems I forget the rules and tips for potty training with every child and I must read up on the subject to refresh my memory.  The first child took months to train. We conjoled him with a potty box, m&ms and various other treats to get him to go but of course it was on his terms that he finally got it.

The second and third child seemed to go smoother with only a few accidents.

They say girls are easier.  Not sure if that one is true.  At least not with Sam.  She is quite strong headed, but I think I can convince her.  It might take a few m&ms and treats...

SNOW!!

If you haven't noticed I changed the subject. 

The snow has been a blessing here in our new igloo....er home.  The hill out back is inviting to not just our kids but every kid in the neighborhood so making new friends has been easy for the boys, although there were a few bumps along the way.  Like the day some kids decided to block the entrance to the tennis court telling the boys they could not play in there.  Elijah being Elijah just walked right through the group not a care in the world and headed straight for the ice patch to slide on.  Gabe was not far behind.  They have not had any problems since.  Safety in numbers.

Yes I was watching from the window.  It's my mom duty.