Filed under: baking, project updates, where the flour went | Tags: Chicago, Chicago Reader, Cliff Doerkson, meat pies, Mike Sula, mince pies, pot pie, road kill, scavenging, Sheila Sachs, venison
Back to the flour stories! Recently I received the second of two notes which pertained to the making of meat pies on special occasions. Despite the fact that I’m a vegetarian – or maybe because of it – these stories were worthy of particular admiration. The first, received on Christmas day, really needs no further explanation as to why:
Date: Sat, December 25, 2010 11:38:02 AM
Subject: Venison Pot Pie
This Wisconsin Road Kill Venison (collected and butchered by M) Pot Pie was topped with Sour Dough Pastry Biscuits by you and me and enjoyed by many in Chicago.
Thank you so much for your time and effort on the Industrial Harvest project in Chicago.
Your legacy lives on.
On second thought, I should note that the road kill in question was butchered by my Chicago housemate while I was living with him this summer. No, I did not witness the butchering, that was done in Wisconsin on a weekend trip. But still, I lived with bloody deer parts in a freezer for a good part of the summer, and so feel a special attachment to it – and some serious respect for my housemate. I think this was his first road kill butchering.
Then yesterday on the Industrial Harvest facebook page, Mike Sula from the Chicago Reader posted his story of the mince (meat) pies that he and Sheila Sachs made for the memorial to writer Cliff Doerksen, who passed away in December. Cliff won the James Beard award for his 2009 Chicago Reader story on the history of mince pie in America. The award was well deserved; Cliff’s tale is a great ride through an odd bit of US culinary history which probably would have otherwise been completely forgotten (Mike’s note sent me off on multiple internet tangents, and not knowing anything about Cliff or mince pie previously, they were welcome and entertaining diversions). Mike and Sheila’s sweet tribute – seven mince pies, with crusts made with Industrial Harvest flour, fed 200 people at the memorial. It was an honor to play even a small part in that. Thanks to Mike and Sheila for including me and creating such a thoughtful send-off to Cliff.