Thursday, May 26, 2011

On a quest

Not necessarily for the perfect pasty (and please note, the 'a' is short as in past; it's not pronounced like paste), though apparently we seemed to have found the spot for that. On the shore of Lake Superior: Number One in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where this -- one of the original fast foods -- is famous.

My understanding is that they are actually Cornish pasties, which would have them originating in Cornwall. Wherever they began, they've served as traditional lunchbox food for miners. And for years, mining served as the basis of Upper Michigan's economy. And when you consider the extremes of weather here, maybe going down into a mine wasn't all that bad an idea.

The reason we're crossing this stretch of country is that we're going to visit relatives who've booked a holiday on the northern tip of Minnesota (do we have crazy relatives, or what?). It's also an opportunity for me to visit the town where my father was born: Ironwood, Michigan.

As we've seen in so many towns in the U.S., the community is putting its heritage buildings to good use. The old cinema is now used for theatrical productions of all sorts, from travelling professional companies to hometown dance recitals.

I had to take a snap of the Ironwood Theater, as my dad actually grew up to manage just such a place. I couldn't help but imagine that he'd been here as a boy.

While we were growing up, my dad used to cajole my mother, often asking her to make the proverbial pasties for supper. Try though she did, she never succeeded. And now that I've tasted Number One (we encountered several more bakeries making the same claim), I know what she was doing wrong. Hers had too much gravy, were more like beef pot pie -- not a bad thing at all, but not very good for holding in the hand and eating on a hurry-up lunch break underground.

Now that we're really not in much of a hurry, we're heading into the wilds of Minnesota


MCDFB said...

Did you get to Genoa City??

hg said...

Nope, never did. It was much too far south. Still, I'd never dreamed I'd get to Ironwood. Next time, another route.