Wednesday, March 3, 2010

3 March 1956 “News, Meat Pie, Website Update and A Serious Discussion”

Morocco, which largest city is Casablanca ( a wonderful film we are all familiar with) gained its independence yestrday 2 March 1956, from France.
    “occurred in Oujda where Moroccans attacked French and  other European residents in the streets. Operations by the newly created "Jaish al-tahrir" (Liberation Army), were launched on October 1, 1955. Jaish al-tahrir was created by "Comité de Libération du Maghreb Arabe" (Arab Maghreb Liberation Committee) in Cairo, Egypt to constitute a resistance movement against occupation. Its goal was the return of King Mohammed V and the liberation of Algeria and Tunisia as well. France allowed Mohammed V to return in 1955, and the negotiations that led to Moroccan independence began the following year.”
Casablanca1950sCasablanca in the 1950’s.

Tortiere:Basic French Canadian Meat Pie Recipe (50’sgal version)

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • 1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • dash of clove (optional, but I like it)
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes (make homemade and mix 1/4 sour cream into them with some rosemary)
  • Crust for 1 9-inch pie, with top (make homemade crust)
Method:
  1. In a large pan, cook beef, pork and chopped onion until cooked through and all browned.
  2. Add water, salt, celery salt and savory seasonings to the meat and let simmer for about 45 minutes, with a lid on the pan.
  3. Then stir in the mashed potatoes, and let cool partially. Spoon the mixture into your pie crust and add top crust. Puncture the top to let steam escape.
  4. Bake at 400F for about 15 minutes, then reduce the oven heat down to 350F and bake for another half an hour.
PIE CRUST

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling



  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes



  • 1 teaspoon salt



  • 1 teaspoon sugar



  • 4 to 8 Tbsp ice water


  • I like to have my butter for pastry in the freezer, if you have not done so, stick it in there for 15 minutes or so. You can pre cut it into cubes if you like. I just cut it up with a paring knife as if it is a vegetable into the flour mixture. COLD butter and COLD COLD is the secret to flaky pie crust. So, if you have Marble use it to roll out the dough, if you don’t have any, go get some. You can go to a local stone masonry/yard where they cut stone and they will sell you a little slab of marble for next to nothing. Now you can keep it in your kitchen for your ‘pastry prep’ and, come on, it’s marble, its pretty.
    So, combine flour, salt and sugar. You can sift it if you like (sometimes I do that) or you can use a hand whish and mix it that way, but do mix it together before you cut in the butter.
    Then cut in the butter. At this point I first use a pastry cutter, that is this thing pastrycutter If you don’t have one, well get one silly. They are not expensive. I have some in the Corner Store on the site for $3.50, or you can get them at an antique store (mine is old) or any kitchen supply store. Anyway, until you have one, you can use a whisk probably.
    They say to do that until it looks like coarse meal. What I do, is use the cutter until it is broken up somewhat and then I use my hands. I have come to believe that much of baking and cooking does need hands, especially baking. I think the warmth of my hands for just 40 seconds or so, breaks up the cold butter just enough without making it too warm. Don’t play with it. Remember COLD COLD for pastry.
    Now, add the water one TBS at a time, I usually mix it with a wooden spoon. You may need all the water  you may need more or less. You want the dough to stick together, so take a bit in your fingers, if it sticks to it self, you’re done, if not, more liquid.
    Now gently shape the dough into two blobs. Sprinkle a little flour on them, wrap them in waxed paper and stick them in the ice box for either an hour (if you are using it today-remember COLD pastry) or you can keep it for up to two days, so if you want to make your pastry on your bread making day, say, then you have it later to make sweet or savory pies, planning gals! Planning.
    Now take the cold dough out of the ice box and onto your floured marble. Let it sit about 5 minutes to warm a BIT. Don’t play or knead pastry dough, but roll it out an 1/8 inch thick. Those globs and chunks of butter you see in the dough ( you should see it) is what makes the pastry flaky and light.) You want about a 12 inch circle for a 9 inch pie plate. Check to see if your dough is sticking to the surface, if so, sprinkle a little flour (not too much you don’t want to make it tough. Treat the dough like it is an expensive Faberge’ egg, that you love and admire, but you MUST NOT BREAK and you shall have lovely pastry every time!)
    So, line your pie tin, add your ingredients, roll out and place the top. Pinch the two together to form the crust. There will be left over. Sometimes I use the kitchen scissors to cut the edges or I use my hands. In this case, I want it to look rough as if it was crafted in a stone cottage by an old woman and baked a brick oven. So rough and rustic, but with a darling little flourish of leaf and berries on top. Just take your extra dough and cut out whatever shapes you like with a knife. Now score the top to let the steam escape and bake, Yummy.
    meatpie1 Here it is ready for the oven. I wiped the flour off before I baked it, my hands were messy, but that is the sign of a true cook! I also brushed it with melted butter lightly.meatpie2 Here it is out of the oven.meatpie3 Look at that lovely buttery pastry and meats don’t you just want a bite! These type of pies, and steak and kidney etc, I always feel are even BETTER the next day. They hold very well and are great for hubby’ lunch. I adore sweet and savory together so a pastry such as this holding meats and rich potatoes is heaven! And this is a great way to use plain old cheap ground beef in a new way. Or if you have left over cooked meat, any kind, get a good meat grinder and grind it all up, heat in with some olive oil, garlic, and a dash of sweet such as cinnamon and potato and throw that into a pie crust (remember you make some extra and it is in the ice box!) and you have a lovely meal.
    New things today for site. I have added on the bottom of the MAIN PAGE, Vintage Video. Each week I will highlight some fun, educational, silly, interesting, what have you video pertaining to the Vintage world. Check it out. The videos start on the Main Page and then you click to go to the Vintage Video Page to watch the rest. Enjoy!
    We have been having a rather serious discussion in our forums about the Role of Homemaker in the modern world. It has become rather serious but very interesting. We have been going back and forth and as the conversation progressed, I began to actually feel bad for one of our Forum member’s view of human value associated with money and also her view of marriage. Here is one of my long winded responses to the ongoing discussion with her.
    I am sorry that you feel we are trying to 'kick you out' and I must say, on my part, that is not the case. I find the discussion interesting. It is true, in my own opinion, I think your views of 'obligation' and 'paying back' seem a bit cold and unfeeling to me. That is my opinion. I would hope that we could do things for one another (such as pay of loans) without EXPECTING something in return. I think one of the biggest differences I found in my year of study and immersion into 1955 was that I got a sense of more openness and giving in the past. People did tend to be LESS materialistic and value was not as heavily placed on money, so a situation where a wife should feel that she need to 'perform' in the bedroom to 'payback' a husband for paying a loan would seem ludicrous, because one did for the other out of kindness, love and to help another WITHOUT expecting in return.
    I suppose, maybe, why I seem saddened when I read your responses, is I keep seeing so much value on money vs. humanity. I also see that when you use terms such as 'balance of power' in terms of a marriage it sounds as if there are two warring factions or two great nations needing to keep themselves armed 'in case of attack' that is a sad state to me, to even have to view marriage or a relationship with a human being in that light.
    When you say, Yet, I am utterly terrified of the idea of being financially dependent, of losing the respect of my peers, of falling off the career ladder & not being able to get back on, and of somehow betraying feminism, of belittling the gains of my mother's generation who fought for the right to be paid as much as men & respected in the workplace. The glass ceiling is alive & well because companies still believe that women will leave. In my field, college professor (Philosophy), you are told that you can have children or you can have tenure. Men, needless to say, do not get that spiel from their dept. chair.This says to me that you are so frightened and scared about what others think. About if your peers will judge you, or if you will suddenly be dependent upon someone who only wants something from you in return, that you are somehow going to let down a generation, that you might lose out on a career, all of these are fear and worry OUTSIDE yourself. That does not make me angry with you or want you to leave, if anything it makes me want to hug you (and believe you me, I am not a hugging person) because quite honestly, all I see in your comments is the plight of modern man (And woman of course). The fear. The worry of appearance or judgment. The idea that if someone does something 'nice' for you they MUST want something back. It makes me think of times when I see an elderly gentleman hold a door or be kind to a young girl who then becomes angry at him. He was doing a kindness because she was a fellow human being and yet she felt as if he was 'after something' or 'belittling her' So much of our modern life is about over analyzing and putting everything into little psychological boxes to study and give 'labels' to that we live in a sort of science lab devoid of human kindness. Perhaps because we have so many generations of people worrying about who and what their role is instead of just following their heart and getting on with it, that we cannot trust anyone.
    So, Rowena, I , 50s gal maker of this site and Forum, do not want you to leave. We are not that type of place. I almost feel on some level that such a harsh action would almost feel more genuine to you, because such action of anger or upset over a difference of opinion somehow is more tangible then honest to goodness kindness. I may not understand your point of view but I can try to understand 'where you are coming from ' with your point of view. I also think of some of the ladies responses seemed harsh, perhaps they seemed hurt. You see, we too are modern and cannot help but be suspicious of things, we wonder and worry are you a 'troll' or a 'spy' and we wonder this because they exist in this modern world of anonymity and unfeeling modern machines. Look at our very community here, we are all just sitting alone somewhere writing to one another. The modern world IS a very suspicious and cold place and we can feel that we are being attacked or worry what our peers will think of us or worry that our REAL value lies in the money we earn or have control over rather than in our real soul and heart as a human. And that is the saddest bit of the modern world for me. The verly loss of human trust and kindness.
    But, you shall not lose that here, Rowena, you have it in all of us. We can disagree and still be compatriots. Don't give up on us and we shan't on you. Let us continue to grow as a community of understanding and care and leave suspicion and anger outside in the Modern world.
    50sgal

    NOW, if you are still here and reading all this, you MUST go to the FORUMS page and if you have not joined (you have to join to read and comment, don’t worry it’s free!) and read all of the discussion and back and forth of this topic. The Topic heading is called “A very worthwhile role” Here is the link to the direct Discussion. Once you have joined you can read and chime in. I think it a very important and interesting topic. Do, if you have the time, read all the responses. I think debate and discussion so important to we Apronites.
    Happy Homemaking!

    33 comments:

    1. I'm so glad I found this site! Thanks for your tips on pie pastry - I really am itching to try and make a pie soon!

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    2. Oooh my oh my that pie! It looks marvellous! (And Im a vegetarian. I do cook meat for my husband though.) I understand so much more about pastry now. How do you know all this? I've been reading cookbooks and watching cooking programmes for a long time now and haven't picked up on many of these pointers.(I get the impression it's important pastry should be c o l d, the amount of times you 'mentioned' it. smile) Has it been trial and error? If I try to learn from my failures in baking I can't seem to pin-point what I did wrong so as to be able to correct it for the next time. There seem to be so many variables. (I didn't even know what a pastry cutter was. What a good idea instead of using a knife. I do use my hands but I don't like getting the butter caught under my nails which incidentally are scrubbed before I bake.) Made in a stone cottage, in a brick oven by an old woman eh? (It looks so, so lovely. Your close-up photos are really nice.)(I liked the 'planning' reminder too.)

      I hadn't seen the discussion on the forums you addressed above so I'll go over soon and take a peek. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Linda

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    3. Oh my I've got to try that meat pie this weekend, thank you!

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    4. Mrs Shortcake-welcome
      Linda-Trial and error has been my way. But really, all I have learned about cooking and baking happened in 1955 (that was last year by the way for any newcombers!)WITH old cookbooks. That means those from the 1950's were the modern versions but I also really love OLD cook books from 19th century up to the 50's. SO much good information.
      James-this is a fun easy pie to use ground beef, now to make a WONDERFUL pie, my Steak and Kidney pie is marvelous. Here is the post from last year for that pie http://my50syear.blogspot.com/2009/03/12-march-1955-tv-steak-and-kidney-pie.html it was good. Good luck.

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    5. pie sounds glorious (except for the rosemary~wink). good discussion on the forum, wonder how i missed it?? lost in space i guess. i've been busy and sick at the same time...i'll give it a peek.

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    6. Well, the spices were my own combo, but the cinnamon is part of the traditional French Canadian pie, I believe.

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    7. If you don't have a pastry blender a fork works alright. The best pastry blender, IMO, is the one from Pampered Chef, http://www.pamperedchef.com/ordering/prod_details.tpc?prodId=13839&words=pastry%20blender

      I love mine dearly.

      I haven't tackled homemade pie crust, but when I do get ready to do that I'll probably use your recipe.

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    8. Oh, Rachel, you must! There is nothing so satisfying is that first time you make the crust and it comes out so lovely browned and flaky and you think, "Hmmm, that's it, huh?" I mean, really it is not hard. As I have compared my kitchen before to my artist studio (well it has become my only artist studio of late) the making of pastry and breads is like the pottery of the kitchen. You get your hands in it. There is a 'feel' to it. You just KNOW you are making the right movement or you need just a touch more iced water or etc. It is rather enjoyable and of course you get to eat your art, which is rather nice. I am not familiar with a Pampered Chef pastry blender, is it a speical shape or something? I will have to follow your link and see. My pastry blender I bought at an antique sale years ago because I LOVED the original red paint on the handle, it hung in various kitchens looking pretty like a little debutante' or a wall flower and then after 1955, I looked up at it and though, "Oh, well now I know what you are for". Of course the lovely paint has all chipped away, but it hangs lovlingly used on my kitchen wall now.

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    9. Your tourtiere reminds me of my MIL's, I have my grandma's french recipe handed down from her mother as well, sadly I cannot bake......

      I wish as women we could get past the identification of "careers" with who and what we are in this life......I am the odd duck out in this regard because I have never identified myself as such.

      I am proud of the fact that I am known as "Charlie's daughter", or as "John's wife" or as "Eric and Kyle's mommy".......mostly because that is my life in non materialistic terms, I am not defined by money but I am defined by my loved ones.

      Because in the end, it does not matter about glass ceilings, about degrees or important status' to maintain. In the end, it's about our loved ones and how we choose to spend time with them :)

      Mom in Canada

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    10. Mom in Canada-I am the same way. I have never felt the need to identify myself with a career or what I am doing. I am a person. I enjoy and am passionate about certain things. The definition of myself is based on my drives and dedications. It is a sad state that the modern world forces us into boxes and we must, like the materialistic consumer driven world we live in, be so labeled and manufactured.
      I hope it was clean in my pasting in what I responded to the dear girl on our Forum that I was repeating some of what she said to point out how I felt that was a sad way to feel. I certainly do not feel obligated to be viewed by these various ideals of feminism, the 'glass ceiling' etc. I only wish as we claim to become 'freer and more modern' that we could actually look at ourselves and our context in the world and let go of all these labels and stop manufacturing ourselves. We should live to be happy for others and ourselves but not feel the need to 'put on a show' only to please others.
      It has been an interesting debate on that topic in the forum, for sure.

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    11. Would you believe I even entered the workforce with being a mother in mind????? In Gr. 6, I knew I wanted to become an Early Childhood Educator, with that goal in mind I pursued this interest in high school was even accepted into the School of Social Work at the local university, but I choose to go to college instead.

      Working in day care actually made me a better mother, I wanted full hands on experience before I embarked into my life long dream of being a stay at home mom :)

      But then again I always did have an old soul about me, as many would comment throughout my life.......but there is no greater feeling out there than having my boy's cry out "Mommy".....as they run out of the school for lunchtime, that is my payment for my "work" as a mom, hugs and kisses, and I've never missed a single one :)

      I do work very part-time to help out my hubby, I work as a cashier, many may look down upon this position, but the people I meet while I work makes my job interesting and it's the time of flexible work I need with having a family.

      I have found the perfect balance for me, and one day I hope 50's Gal you too can experience the joys of motherhood, I think you would be an excellent mother, as you and your hubby are already great role models :)

      Mom in Canada

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    12. Your meat pie looks delicious!

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    13. Funny you should mention pastry. I rarely use it because I'm not a big fan, I'd rather have a fruit crumble or a biscuit topped pot pie, but yesterday I quite fancied make a quiche. I spent a great chunk of the day trying to buy a pie plate and failed miserably. The only options I found were crazy expensive ceramic jobs endorsed by various celebrity chefs and one rather flimsy looking metal one in the supermarket which of course means it's priced way higher than it should be. I gave up and just purchased a frozen crust in it's own foil pan. Maybe I'll drive down to Wrentham and check the various kitchen stores at the outlets.

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    14. Love your site and can't wait to try the recipe. Thinking it needs a retro-dinner party to be perfect. Can I throw one together in time? We'll see!!!

      Susan

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    15. Your pie looks divine - it will most surely reach it full flavour "the day after." Interestingly, I have made a study of Edwardian servants - an Upstairs/Downstairs societal construct, if you will - and many cooks were required by their mistress' to cook soup and stews and pies the day before they were to be served. Your recipe has been added to my little tin box -- thank you!!!

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    16. I'll post a proper link to the Pampered Chef pastry blender on the forum, in the cooking section. It truly is awesome!

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    17. rhonda, I agree... I've been looking for a great pie tin for ages... (my current ones have a 90 degree angle which doesn't give that lovely slope)

      very difficult to find

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    18. Mine is a Chantal ceramic, and I love how it bakes evenly and is a dream to clean and is red and looks wonderful in my vintage kitchen. I will put them in the store. You can get them around 20 dollars and they are worth it as they last, I think. HEre is the link http://astore.amazon.com/theaprorevo-20/detail/B000G26WR2

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    19. What a TERRIFIC discussion on the Forums to which you directed us. I really enjoyed it and am very impressed by the intelligent and persuasive 'answers' explaining the sensible, wonderful and creative lives of homemakers. After reading all the delicious inspiring fodder, it made me even 'prouder' to be counted amongst such bright, thinking, productive women.

      Later while I was going about my household duties I was contemplating the content of entries in the forum and thought... Although we endeavour to improve in all areas of our housewifely field I realise that even if we did none of that productive work (say we were sick or disabled or even just very 'relaxed').. the delicious baking, healthful cooking, cleaning, decorating, accounting ETC just BEING at home AVAILABLE, happy, peaceful, supportive, loving is enough to verify our important job. PRESENT for discussions, holding, caring, listening, directing, kissing, organising. It's so wonderful to be able to succeed in all our home 'work' but if we can't/won't, I'm guessing it's still ok. We have a vital role just BEING in our family's lives. Non? Linda

      P.S. A Vintage Finance section on the web is a great idea. I feel even more determined to use my husband's pay cheque even more cleverly, the more I read about the subject. Thanks for all your work.

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    20. Texas Accent In SydneyMarch 5, 2010 at 12:20 AM

      Rhonda, how about a clear glass Pyrex pie plate? ... might be able to find one in the kitchen department of a department store, or in Kmart or Target.

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    21. I'd have been perfectly happy with a Pyrex one but there were none to be found. There is a small kitchen store up the road that might have one, maybe I'll check that this morning. I think they mostly do tea and specialty foods like jams and relishes though

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    22. Rhonda-yes check antique stores and local shops before you go anywhere near TARGET OR KMART. wink wink. I always try local before I go to the 'big guys' (actually I don't even go to the big guys anymore.) If I can't find it locally then I go without or improvise. But pyrex are good and they have been around for ever. I have a clear one I purchashed for a 25 cents at an estate sale.

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    23. I'm curious to know what your favorite recipe you've made so far is?

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    24. Joanna-Oh, my goodnes, I don't think I could answer that. I think the first 50's fudge cake I made adn 7 minute frosting is alwasy a good go to 'crowd pleaser'. I am just always, each week, trying to add new recipes to my repetoire that I don't think I have a favoite. I do like meat pies, I have to say. I also want to teach myself to make French Mararons (not macaroons which I actually make pretty well)

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    25. Oh wow, thanks for the tourtière recipe, 50s gal! That's part of my heritage! It's part of our traditional holiday food. My mom used to make it, but now her neighbor gives one to her during the holidays. You know another traditional pie is called "sugar pie"! My mom makes it! The filling is sort of sugar and cream mixed together.

      We eat it with Ketchup! Yep, it sounds odd but it is delicious! French Canadians also make their own chunky house ketchup.

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    26. I meant the tourtière with ketchup of course!

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    27. Texas Accent In SydneyMarch 5, 2010 at 8:46 PM

      50s Gal, I have plenty of Pyrex ware and most of it has come from "the big guys" ... only one piece had a previous life in another kitchen ... but I smile when I see "Made In The USA" on Pyrex ware ... sometimes I think my husband and myself are the only other things in the house that are "Made In The USA"!

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    28. Dear 50'sgal,

      I'm finally caught up! It's been a wonderful ride and I can't wait to see what else you do this year. I'm so glad I found you.

      That recipe looks wonderful! My husband's family makes a pie similar to it, but yours sounds much tastier and I think he'll love it. Thank you!

      Off to read the forum....

      rue

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    29. the pie is a dream just made it for dinner and it taste like our aussie mat pie. it is a keeper... with the pastry I made it your way but it did keep tearing as I rolled it out so I did find I had to knead it to make it alittle more flexible so after filling the pie and finishing it off, I put it in the freezer for 15mins to chill it again. now just waiting for hubby to get home with some chocolate for molten lava puddings.

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    30. chantal-I am glad it worked for you. I actually made another meat pie last night and I added dried oregano and cayenne to the dough for the crust and omitted the top crust but mashed the potatoes "piped" them on top with a pasty bag. It was delicious and we shall have the rest of it for lunch today.

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    31. I've never felt the need to identify myself with a career either, though I have no problems telling people I'm a fiction writer, or novelist-in-training. It's such a huge part of who I am and it's one of my God-given gifts.

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