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ursulav

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Okay. The Keewanaw Peninsular in winter is bloody amaaaazing.

The snow on the trees is like every Christmas card you've ever seen, squared. Robert Frost would slit his wrists. Bev Doolittle could hide a whole army of piebald elephants in it. It's incredible stuff. Birch trees everywhere, looking pale and papery, fir trees covered in great blobs and globules of snow. We drove by Lake Superior, where the water was grey and the sky was grey and the waves rolled against black rocks, with white snow and immense fringes of icicles. The ice that piles up on the rocks is the palest blue-green, the exact color of--well, to eschew romanticism in favor of accuracy, it's the exact color of Daquiri Ice sherbet from Baskin Robbins. Since it provides the only color in a completely monochromatic landscape (with maybe a hint of deep earth red at places along the shore) it's a gorgeous effect, as well as giving one a vague craving for ice cream.

We stopped at Lake Bailey, which is frozen solid now and covered in snow, and Tom and I shuffled a few hundred yards through the snow to check out a broken line of coyote tracks. The view of forest and hillside covered in snow was incredible. The silence was incredible. My mother's attempts to photograph things through the window of the moving car...well, perhaps not so incredible, but we give her points for effort, anyway.

Also, I have eaten a pastie. Most of us probably know pasties as the things used to cover stripper nipples, but in this case, it appears to be a local dish, rather like a dry pot-pie in a thin crust. A kind of Yooper calzone. The crust may be more or less leathery, and the interior contains meat, onion, potato, rutabaga, and so forth. (What this may say about the size and consistency of Yooper stripper nipples--Christ, try saying that five times fast--is open to debate.)


Stripper nipples = stripples?

i live in the sierra nevadas and there is NOT ENOUGH SNOW this year to satiate my need.

not ever, honestly, but especially not this year.

i moved from australia, ok? i was deprived of the good white stuff (the snow.... although the other white stuff, if that is your taste, is also hard to get and of mediocre quality in said country of origin.)

im not tired of shoveling driveways or driving in it.... yet.

Yooper stripper nipples Yooper stripper nippers Yipper strooper nooples.

I thought pasties were an English thing!

Cornish, to be exact!

I suspect there are some Yoopers who were originally Cornish...

Most of us probably know pasties as the things used to cover stripper nipples...

I did not!


ps.... pasties rule (both kinds) - and you like coyotes until the moment you surprise one eating your trash at 6:30am in 4 feet of snow at the top of a lonely chair lift.... and it wants to get crazy with you and you are only a 140lb girl alone trying to open a ski chair.... bastards!

Is there much mining in the area? Because that sounds very much like a traditional Cornish pasty. And Cornishmen are to mines, what Scotsmen are to engine rooms: i.e. essential and ubiquitous.

It shouldn't be dry though, not sopping with gravy because one eats it with one's hands, but pleasantly moist. The crust should be a nice crisp shortcrust pastry, thick enough to keep the filling in, but no so thick there's no room for filling. In addition to the beef, onion, potato etc. filling, they can also be made with apple or jam filling. Sometimes they'll be divided by a pastry wall with meat at one end, and apple at the other. So one starts at the meat end and eats through to dessert!

Properly made they are delicious, we won't talk about the badly made ones.

My mum's family is from Cornwall. Pasties are a traditional dish for us.

ETA: Stripper nipples are covered with "pays-ties". The food is a "pahs-ty"

Edited at 2007-12-28 10:41 pm (UTC)

australian heritage accounts for me eating many of these.... convicts, ya know?

My husband is a Yooper. He introduced me to pasties several years ago. I thought we southerners had all the awesome food (You can't beat fried okra, western NC BBQ and hushpuppies afterall) but damn if pasties aren't awesome. We'd make them more often if they weren't such a pain.

He wanted to make it up there for Xmas this year, but timing travel didn't permit it. At least someone got to go and see a real white xmas :D

I loved it when we went up there one year in the fall. Your head really spins at how beautiful and colorful everything is.

Hey, why's western NC better than eastern? Mom loooves to go to BBQ Barn over here. >.>

Jamaican Pasties! Oh Yum!
The spicy meat ones or milder chicken... a local here even make veggie ones with a flavor all their own.
Drool.

Don't forget the western NC fried pies. Like a deep fried fruit pastie. Usually filled with dried fruit, namely apples, that have been re-hydrated and cooked with a little cinnamon and sugar.

Yooper stripper nipples, yooper stripper nipples, yoople slipper -- fuck.

But really, what you ate was a pasty, rhymes with nasty (which is what yooper strippers tend to be) -- not a pastie.


i was up in the u.p. two weekends ago for the mtu/nmu hockey series (houghton/marquette) and also had the pleasure of eating a breakfast pasty. a friend best described it by calling it a "glorified hot pocket."

Although actually, a Hot Pocket is a pasty without any of the glory... (that is, the inspiration goes the other way 'round.)

My family has always insisted on a pronunciation difference between "paestie" (the thing you eat) and "paystie" (the thing that goes on a stripper's nipple). And it took us kids quite a few years to get it right, so you can imagine how much fun that was. ("You want to eat a WHAT?")

But I quite like pasties. They're different and delicious, and for some reason, we have the family tradition of eating them with chocolate milk. Which is, in fact, what we're going to do tonight. Mmmm.

And I love the views around Lake Superior. Everything is down to lake and sky...

Glad you're enjoying the U.P. :)
I assume the weather's not too different up that way. It's snowing here in Marquette at the moment. I live about a mile from the lake shore and the rocks get lovely layers of ice on them when the wind kicks up and the waves crash over a few times. Lake Superior can be a cranky beast, but certainly beautiful!

They're local, in the sense that they've been eating them in Cornwall, England since the year Dot.
You should learn to cook them - look, they have a pastry shell!

I own five acres a few acres miles outside Houghton--

and your travelogue is making me seriously homesick.

The pasty is indeed of Cornish origin, but the UP Finnish iron and copper miners took them to heart so that they have become, in a weird retroactive sort of way, a traditional Finnish dish.

I forgo rutabagas, however, and make them with beef, onion, potato, and carrot. I do tend to overwork my pie-crust doughs so that rather than flaky, they turn out somewhat tough--delicious but rugged.

It turns out that for a pasty, this is a good thing. They were meant to travel in miners' lunch boxes; indeed, there are contests held wherein pasties are dropped down a vertical mine shaft for distances up to 100 feet. It was deemed good if they survived the fall. Flaky crusts simply cannot do that.

For noshing, the pasties were reheated over the flame of the miner's headlamp.

*sigh*
I wish my grandmother or mother were still around. They could tell you about the Great Snow in the winter of '38 when they skied out of the second-storey window, and my grandmother plowed right into a bear crossing the road.

Speaking of pictures..

We want pictures!!!

Pasties? Hmmm!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasty

In London, I've even encountered a chain of pasty shops that do all sorts of interesting variations.

From the Wikipedia entry:
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
had a pasty ten feet long,
cut it once, cut it twice,
oh my God, it's full of rice.

My gran used to sing us a variant of that:
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
had a pasty six foot long,
open it once, open it twice,
oh my goodness, it's full of mice.