Thanks to my better half — who I’ll celebrate 6 years of marriage with tomorrow — for the title of this week’s blog post. It’s true. I’m making hand pies.
When he said it, though, it was just one of those dumb puns he always — *always* — makes. But when I made hand pies on Election Day to keep sorta sane, his phrase seemed especially apropos.
Like my feelings about the book, I had some mixed thoughts about the election night. But more than that, it was another election where I had to think about women, and women’s role in our political world.
I promise I’ll get to the hand pies, but first:
- I was ecstatic to see Iowa go from 3 Republicans with 1 Democrat to the reverse, and have two Democratic women succeed two Republican men;
- Democrats got the U.S. House for the 1st time in 8 years, likely signaling the return of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and more than 100 women were elected, many of them women of color. Woot, Woot, Woot!;
- And yet, I was so disappointed that Iowa’s own Aunt Lydia, to shamelessly steal Michelle Wolf’s WHCD joke, was officially elected as Iowa’s first woman governor, along with the re-election of her racist campaign co-chair, Steve King;
- And white women, please stop voting for the GOP. Tell me what I can do to convince more of you.
All of this was unknown to me as I made my hand pies, but the questions of how it would all turn out was bubbling under the surface. I was full of anxiety, and as I once swore while cooking, my sweetie suggested I shouldn’t have taken on such a complicated project when I was already distracted.
And yet, it was the sort of frustration I could control.
As I reminded him, and myself: I had gone through this before; I knew it’d turn out fine; and even if every bit didn’t turn out perfect, it was going to be OK. As the election results have continued to pour in since Tuesday, I’m starting to feel the same about our country.
- 24 oz. ground beef (or mix of ground meats, but on a cold evening, trust me, the beef is the perfect level of heartiness)
- 1 ½ c. rutabaga, diced
- 1 c. onion, diced (about 1 medium onion)
- 1 c. carrots, diced (about 2 small, or 1 ½ medium)
- 2 t. fresh rosemary, minced
- ¼ c. sour cream
- ¼ c. fresh parsley, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 homemade crust doughs (Amy’s recipe at the bottom, but technically, any pie-like crust would do, though milk is recommended vs water for heartiness)
- 1 large egg
Make the crust in advance, and divide into 6 equal disks. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Heat oven to 375 degrees, and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
Combine the meat and vegetables in a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, rosemary, parsley, and sour cream. Mix until well combined.
Roll out the chilled dough until you have an 8-inch round. (Save your extras if you cut the edges, as I found I had a little extra meat mixture, so I had 7 hand pies, with one being smaller.)
Place meat mixture on one half of one round, and flip the other half of the dough on top of the meat mixture. Press the edges of the round together to seal in the meat mixture. Repeat with the remaining rounds until the meat and dough is used up.
Place the half-moon, meat-filled crescents on the parchment-paper lined sheet pan. Try to leave room between them, though my sheet pan wasn’t quite big enough, and it turned out OK to leave a very minimal amount of space (this might have been when I swore).
Beat the egg with a bit of water (about 2 T., though I didn’t measure), and brush the tops of the hand pies with the mixture.
Bake for about 45 minutes until golden brown, let cool slightly, and enjoy!
Pie dough crust *for 2 pie doughs * from Amy Thielen:
Use a pastry blender or 2 butter knives or your two fingers to combine 2 ½ c. all-purpose flour with 2 sticks (16 T.) of unsalted butter. Place an egg yolk in a measuring cup, and fill with milk until ⅔ c. full (about ½ c. milk). Mix the eggs and milk, and then pour into the flour mixture. Stir with a fork, and/or your fingers until the dough is combined, adding more milk if necessary. Divide into 6 disks, and refrigerate until ready to use.