Like most Americans, my family comes from all over. They were immigrants, unwanted by both the countries they came from and the one they settled in. The only ones I know who were actually invited were Cornish, brought over to work the copper mines in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
In Forever Wolf, Eyulf works at a bar in the Upper Peninsula called The Last Place on Earth. There is actually such a place near Calumet, but it sells bric-a-brac, not beer. But not so far away there is—at least, was—a bar with a Pasties and Karaoke night.
My grandmother (née Pascoe) made pasties, not fancy ones with lots of meat and a little vegetable. More like this one: a little meat for flavoring and a lot of potato and a bit of onion. I never saw a carrot in a pasty and think it’s an abomination. Ketchup was the only color allowed near it.
She was a silent woman who had known a great deal of poverty, but by the time I was on the scene she was able to afford the things she loved: books, the Detroit Tigers, a bottomless quart of daiquiri kept cooling in the fridge and the endless packs of cigarettes in her sweater pocket.
She indulged in the latter while playing a board game called “Pass Out” that apparently still exists to the chagrin of parents of teenagers. It is a drinking game requiring players to tipple or smoke until they were no longer able to read the tongue-twisters required to advance.
I played with orange juice and pretzel sticks. She played with an adamantine liver and lungs that turned out to be more fragile.
I miss her.
And I miss her pasties. Anyone with a good recipe, would you consider passing it along? No carrots, please.