Family Journal: Monday July 7, 2008

Andy Enjoys a Pasty, originally uploaded by bill kralovec.

My brother Andy is enjoying a Yooper pasty. He recently got a job at the international school in Quito, Ecuador (Cotopaxi). Congratulations!!!

The pasty is a regional dish of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Michigan has two peninsulas surrounded by the Great Lakes. The northern peninsula is known as the Upper Peninsula or UP. It is about the size of Maryland and looks like a running rabbit. It is surrounded mostly by water – Lake Superior on the northern side and Lake Michigan on much of the southern side. There is a section connected to Wisconsin. The border is marked by the Brule and Menominee rivers. It is a land of forests, lakes, and rivers. The UP has very cold winters with areas near Lake Superior receiving much snow. It is one of the few regions in the US with its own distinct culture.

The “pasty” was brought to the UP by immigrant miners from Cornwall, England. The copper and tin mines of Cornwall in the late 1800’s were running out of minerals and Cornish miners (known as Cousin Jacks) immigrated in vast numbers looking for work. It coincided nicely with the iron and copper mining boom in the UP at the time. The people of Cornwall developed the pasty and it is mentioned in a couple of Shakespeare plays.

The pasties of the UP are baked with a thick dough covering. Inside they are filled with potatoes and beef. Some have rutabagas and onions. There are variations of pasties, with some shops offering vegetarian, pizza, fish, etc. They are a meal in itself and are eaten with lots of ketchup. Owen loves them and even Oliver eats the pasty nuggets made by the Pasty Corner shop in Iron River.

Our vacation continues here at my parent’s home in Caspian. Yesterday I had a physical for my life insurance. We spent most of the day packing and organizing boxes stored at my parents house. We did find time to go up to the West Iron County High School gymnasium with the boys and for an evening swim at Sunset Lake. It was in the 90’s. Ocean now crawls the length of the house and is getting into everything. She pulls herself up on the couch and is standing quite well. She is getting fatter and cuter!!!! Nadia is seeing some success in weaning her. My mom is feeling much better. Owen had his first sleepover at his cousin Tony’s house yesterday.

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