Sunday, February 08, 2009

Filling the Freezer

One of the benefits of living in a rather large city is that over time immigrants have arrived and settled in little pockets throughout.  In most cases, where they landed they built a church.  Wherever there is a church, there is a fundraiser.  Happily, this often includes making & selling ethnic foods to those of us less talented or less ambitious.

This Saturday, I went over to the local United Methodist church to pick up the pasty meat pies I had order from them last week.  The Methodist ladies were busy at work baking & packaging when I arrive. I picked up my bag of 10 (ok, 9 - I had to taste one to write this post. Quit looking at me like that) to put in my freezer.  Pasties are quite popular to anyone in Minnesota with roots in the Iron Range.  Traditionally, miners carried them as a typical lunch meal.  My family is perpetually on the hunt for the best pasty.

This really is the season for hunting down the church meals.  This is not the watered-down,  namby-pamby ethnic food you find at most restaurants.  This is the stuff made from recipes handed down for generations.  You need to keep a close eye on the local neighborhood newspapers for announcements.  Here are the ones I know of.  The Catholics seam to have a bit of a corner on the market (?)  I plan on dragging my friends & family to as many as I can and filling up my freezer.

The French ladies at Our Lady of Lourdes in NE Minneapolis sold their meat pies this past Sunday.  These pies are to die for. To die for.  And I'm not being melodramatic.  They melt in your mouth.  Sadly I missed the sale, but I have heard word that they may take orders. 

St. Albert the Great in the Seward neighborhood of S Minneapolis has award winning fish frys every Friday during lent.  I am told the wise person arrives early because lines can stretch a long ways.

The Ukrainian ladies (there may be men involved, but I usually see the ladies at work) at St. Constantine's in NE Minneapolis serve pyrohy (perogies) every Friday at lunch all Fall, Winter and Spring.  You get a choice of sauerkraut, potato, date ( and I think there is one other, but I can't remember it).  They also sell them to go.  This one is very impressive as the ladies are sitting at tables making the pyrohy from large mounds of dough.  They are very good and it gets crowded.

Holy Family Maronite Church in W. St. Paul puts a Lebanese spin on the Friday fish fry during Lent.  They also have take out.  Arrive between 5:30 - 7:00.

Enchiladas make the menu at Our Lady of Guadalupe on Concord St. in St. Paul.  They serve lunch & dinner every Friday during Lent.  Take out also available.

I'm not sure I have the stomach for this one, but plenty of Scandinavians do. St. Peder's Lutheran Church on 46th Ave S. in SE Minneapolis advertises a lutefisk & meatball meal, but for the life of me I can't remember when it is. I think right before Christmas.

The Polish folks (I see a lot of men working at this one) at Holy Cross in NE Minneapolis throw their annual sauerkraut & sausage meal on Fat Tuesday, February 24th.  This one draws a  huge crowd too.  It comes complete with polka music :-)

If you know of any I am missing, be sure to post info. in the comments.  I am seriously on a hunt to find real, freshly made lefse.


Cybèle said...

Last summer we took our old VW camper to Cornwall, where pasties originate from (in the UK at least). You can buy Cornish pasties all over the country, but the ones we bought in Cornwall were just superb. You can see why miners took them as lunch - they're so filling. I haven't bought any since we got back, as the ones you buy in the rest of the country just can't live up to the quality!

Garden Monkey said...

Wow! what a list! There should be a whole blog devoted to local feeds and food sales. I haven't had Pasties for years. I have a recipe from my (Scottish) great grandmother though. I'll try it out and post it if it works. Thanks for the inspiration :)

Jennifer said...

I'd avoid the lutefisk if I were you... :)

I do love food traditions. When I was growing up, our church always had abeskiver (sp?) dinners... little round Danish pancake balls with syrup.

Laurie said...

I am so, so, so bummed to have missed the pasty sale. We keep a stash in our freezer, but I'm always up for an alternate interpretation. Is it only once a year?

StuccoHouse said...

Cybele - I'm sure the original Cornish version are wonderful. I'd be curious to see how closely (or not) the US translation comes to the original.

Garden Monkey - My family is very into ethnic food. I've been going to these church feeds since I was little. Love them. My grandmother was Finnish and made pasties (my grandfather was English and both lived on the Iron Range)....and my mom picked up the recipe and makes very excellent pasties. We have an ongoing debate in our only cut meat allowed, or is ground beef ok. I insist on rutabagas, but some people hate them. If your's works, we will have to exchange recipes.

Jennifer - I'm pretty daring in what I will eat, but I'm pretty sure you can count me out of the lutefisk. Oh, I would have SO been at that Danish pancake dinner...they sound good!

Laurie - The woman who was working when I picked mine up says it happens twice a year. I put my name on the mailing list, so I'll post when I hear about the next sale. The sale is at Epworth United Methodist on 32nd Street and 37 Ave. S.

I dragged a friend with me to the perogie lunch at St. Constantine's on Friday. Yum. Brought home one dozen potato and one dozen sauerkraut to freeze. The woman working there also told me they make cherry filled at Christmas time. Need to keep an eye out for those!

StuccoHouse said...

Yummmm....went to Holy Cross's Polish dinner last night....along with about 2000 other folks. Long lines. Excellent Polish food.

Here's another one to check out....

Guadalupe Church, 401 Concord St. St. Paul, (Hwy 52 and
Concord St.) is sponsoring a Lenten Enchilada dinner on
Fridays, February 27th through April 10th from 11:30 A.M. –
6:30 P.M. You may eat in or take out. Large plate $8.50, small
plate $6.00. One dozen enchiladas also for sale ($14.00).

I'm so into this, this year.

Anonymous said...

But I think St. Albert's is still in Longfellow. Seward starts across the railroad tracks at 27th St.

I grew up a block from St. A's and went there k-8. But that was way back before neighborhoods had names.

Just sayin'.

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