Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick’s, Winter? Superintendent, British Specialties.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone. I heard recently that Savannah, Georgia also shamrockcelebrates today in a big way, seems a tad odd to me for such a very southern town. However, the Irish are all over I suppose so its not to be wondered at. We won’t be drinking green beer today nor wearing something green I don’t think. I was actually married for the first time on this date 50 years ago (Matt and I celebrate 40 years this year). It is also the birthday of our youngest daughter and her husband so I hope they have a happy day.

crocusThe weather round here has been quite incredible lately, sunny and pretty warm. We have had some rain as well, but it really has been spring like and for this part of the world its way too early. Everyone is nervous about getting socked with a snowstorm before the winter season has done with us. Normally everywhere is still snow covered at this time of the year, but we haven’t had enough snow for it to last. Glad we no longer Cross Country Ski, we would have been totally out of luck this winter. We have crocus in the front yard at our apartment although I haven’t seen any daffodils anywhere yet.

We lost our superintendent yesterday, that is the third in the11 years since we’ve been here. I think part of the problem is that this is an old building anBluebirdd so lots of things go wrong which keep a superintendent on the hop and they just aren’t being paid enough by our landlords although they do get an apartment. One worries as to what the new super and wife will be like, they could be fine, or quite the opposite. I just came across this picture, not seen it before. You can actually see our windows, how about that. You can’t really tell there is a park underneath our windows, but I assure you there is. If you can’t tell, the building is a Y formation. I wonder how this picture was taken? I can’t imagine the landlord’s paying for a chopper so it must have been a long range shot from another building although I can’t think of one which would be close enough.

Cornish PastyYesterday we had to go to a dermatologist and discovered him in a building where there is a store called Rising Dough and English Bakery. Been in there once before, but decided to go in again and ended up buying a couple of Cornish Pasties – meat pies Welsh Pancakeswhich are a specialty of Cornwall in the south west of England. We also bought a few Welsh pancakes too. We had the pasties for supper and they were very good although we figured they could do with a bit more seasoning. I don’t think I have had a Cornish Pasty since we were in Cornwall over 40 years ago. The pancakes are very like the ones made over here, but not quite the same somehow. They have a somewhat different taste. Plus the ones which were made for me were cold and always slathered in butter.

This evening we are going to dinner with friends so no cooking tonight. Always makes a nice change and spending convivial evenings with people is always fun. Next weekend we have friends coming here for dinner and although we have been pondering, we still haven’t really decided what we are going to cook.

If you are interested, there are all kinds of Cornish Pasty recipes online and this is one of them. I can’t say I have ever made them, but in a pub where we were staying once, the landlord’s wife made them regularly for lunch. They were good and the pub always smelled delicious.

A Typical Cornish Pasty Recipe

Shortcut Pastry:pasty

  • 225 gm. plain flour
  • 115 gm. fat (mixture of lard and butter)
  • A pinch of salt

The Filling:

  • 225 gm. steak cut into small cubes
  • 2 or 3 large potatoes
  • 1 piece of turnip or swede
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper

The Method:

  1. Sift the flour with the salt, rub in the fat, and mix to a pliable consistency with some water. Leave to rest for half an hour.
  2. Roll out half the pastry into a round about 5 mm. thick (quarter of an inch).
  3. Peel and slice the potatoes thinly onto the center of round to form a base for the rest of the filling.
  4. Slice the turnip thinly over the potato, then spread the beef on top.
  5. Add a little onion, season with salt and pepper.
  6. Dampen the edge of the circle of pastry with water to help seal it. Bring together the edges to make a parcel with the filling in the center.
  7. There should be a neat pastry parcel. If you do get any holes, patch them with a little extra pastry. You can make the pastry neater by crimping the edges. Fold over the edge to make it slightly thicker, then squeeze tightly every 2 cms. to make a neat pattern along the edge.
  8. Put the pastry on a piece of buttered paper, make a small slit on top to let the steam brush the top with a little milk, and put it on a greased baking tray.
  9. Bake it in a pre-heated oven at 200C (gas mark 6) for 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 190C (gas mark 5) and cook another 30 minutes.
  10. You can make the pastry as a starter, by making it smaller. Use a saucer as a template to get the size.

Have a great weekend



  1. Hi Jo .. love the post and thoughts - congratulations to one and all - the Americans really seem to go to town on St Patrick's day .. green rivers et al ..

    Cornish pasties .. just posted about those - they had the world championships at The Eden Project .. and we always added butter in to the pasty - to give it more juice and make it slightly tastier .. I'd use more turnip and less potato .. and my mother and grandmother used to swear by using the cheaper cuts of meat (which I'm sure were originally used) .. chopping them very small and they meld in with the grated vegs .. and yes - I always need to add extra s & p - but I'm that kind of 'girl' .. better to add than to want to take away .. not an easy option!

    Cheers .. the pancakes look delicious too .. and I love the view of your building Y shaped and all .. have a great weekend - it's raining here (and we need it!) .. Hilary

  2. Morning Hilary. As I said, I have never made Cornish Pasties, but I would think in fact that the cheaper cuts of meat would have more flavour.

    Just had a Welsh Pancake with my breakfast, cheese flavoured, spread with butter, delicious.

    Here its thick fog this morning because it was so hot and sunny yesterday, I actually sat out on the balcony.

  3. Those cornish patries look mighty tasty! Have a safe and happy St. Patrick's weekend.

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