Recipe of the Week
     September 16th, was my husband's 36th birthday and the day my Grandma Sunny greeted the angels.  She would have been 99 years old this February...born, February 7th, 1910, she was one of the most influential people in my life...I should say that she IS one of the most influential souls in my life, as her lessons and wisdom will never fade from my heart.  She taught me that most things in life take work, and that rewards are much sweeter when things take a little time.  When my oldest daughter Haley was in elementary school, we flew Grandma Sunny
from Chicago to Atlanta to spend some time with her.  She was 88, and although her legs were getting weak, her wit was as sharp as her Finnish paring knives.  She required more patience than I remembered giving her when I was younger, but that was kind of sweet, it seemed our roles had changed.  I asked her if we could make pickles...the dill and garlic ones my Auntie Cathie made and kept in her craft-cluttered basement on old wooden shelves.  She commented, "you know Ruthie, not many girls have the time or the desire to jar their own pickles these days."  I listened to her explain some old-fashioned rules about canning, and memories from summers of making strawberry jam came flooding back to me.  Every June, she would take me and a brood of cousins to the glorious strawberry fields on the Illinois-Wisconsin border.  Summer was in full tilt, and the scent of my Aunt Cathie’s Geraniums filled the air as we unloaded flats of berries.

    If it is politically incorrect to call one's grandmother a "bad-ass," then oh Grandma Sunny had to be one of the only blue~haired ladies who allowed her grandchildren to throw rotten strawberries at cars on the way home.  She never really gave us permission, but she never scolded us for doing it.  And even though I don't think she really "embraced" all of my tattoos, she never said anything about those either.  I'de like to think that I inherited some of her rebel spirit.  Here's her recipe for Pasty, a dish that exists in every culture in some form or fashion.  I wish I could make that dish with her just one more time, and sneak a beer from her fridge. 

Cheers grandma sunny!

   There are no exact measurements for this recipe.  The idea of the pie is that you use whatever is left over in the fridge (or cellar), and needs to be used.  Her generation didn’t waste a thing...

    Okay, so she would make her crust from scratch, and
even if she wouldn't admit it, I think she enjoyed the Pillsbury ready-made crusts when we weren't looking! 

You will need two crusts, rolled out to line and top a 9 X 13 buttered dish.

1 lb ground beef, sirloin, or meat of your choice (veal works well too)

desired amounts of chopped carrot, potato, & peeled rutabaga (this root vegetable makes the dish amazing...don't skip it!)

one finely chopped onion


salt & pepper


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Butter the casserole dish lightly, and carefully roll out the first crust on a lightly floured surface so that it is rectangular and will fit evenly into the bottom of your casserole dish.

In a bowl, combine your chopped vegetables and ground (uncooked) meat* distributing the ingredients fairly evenly.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the mixture into the crust, and cover with the remaining rolled-out crust.

Create a seal by pressing the crusts together, and dot the top with small pieces of butter.

Bake until golden brown, approximately 45 minutes to an hour.

*I had made pasty many times before by sauteing all of the ingredients before placing them in the crust, only to have an over-cooked, less than flavorful pie.  It wasn't until she came to Atlanta and we made it together that I realized that when the meat and vegetables cook together in the crust, that the flavors meld and harmonize perfectly.

Grandma Sunny’s Pasty