Saturday, August 1, 2009
When I was a little girl, there was a Chinese family from Trinidad and Aruba that lived across the lane. All us kids played together. They had mostly girls, and I was kind of like their toy doll for the first few years of my life.
One time when I was around 2 or 3, before carseats, I opened the car door in the backseat of my mom's station wagon. As I fell out, one of the girls managed to grab the hood of my jacket and pull me back in, saving my life.
I was 18 months old in this picture.
Grace taking us to visit Santa (3 years old)
Since my grandmother lived in Canada, their grandma, Apo, became mine too. Apo used to give me a dollar and tell me to hide it from my brothers. She always had sesame candies or White Rabbit candy to give away. She also grew giant roses in the front yard. That's probably the reason why every time any of us move into a new home the first thing we do is plant roses.
She used to wear sailor's watch caps and everyone thought she would be all dainty since she was a litle old lady, like they would try to help her and then she would open her mouth and this strong Trinidadian accent would come out, "Get dat 'way from me, neh?" She also used to make the most delicious little meat pies. I have the basic recipe, but some of us remember a version made with curry and one with a little ketchup in the filling.
Today we went to visit Grace, Apo's daughter. She has Apo's green thumb, and her garden in Seattle was exploding with color.
I still remember these little wooden serving dishes from when I was very small
She made a very dainty lunch for us, with fruit salad in little dessert glasses. She remembered our love for the little meat pies and had gone to the British Pantry to pick up curried chicken and beef pies.
APO'S MEAT PIES
1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup chives, chopped fine
Salt, black pepper, garlic powder and English thyme to taste
Pastry (see below)
Saute meat, chives, and spices in a little bit of oil. Cool to room temperature and drain off excess oil.
Roll out dough, a little at a time. Cut into 3" to 4" diameter circles using a little drinking glass or shot glass.
Put a little meat filling onto the center of one circle of dough. Top with another circle of dough, using a little water to seal the edges.
Pierce top with a fork to let steam escape, and top with a little dot of margarine.
Bake until pastry is golden brown.
3 cups flour
1 cup shortening
5 to 6 Tablespoons ice water
Mix flour and salt together. Cut in shortening until crumbly. Add a little water at a time until you can form the dough into a ball.
Note: This recipe has no temperature or cooking time, as people used to just know these things. In general oven temperature was usually 350, although it could be as high as 400 for baked goods, and I would guess the cooking time for these pies is around 20 minutes.