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)
  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.

  • 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.

    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!
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