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Pasties, Calzones, Bierrocks - Food in Pastry
By Stephania Munson-Bishop

Who first entertained this concept: a hunk of food wrapped in bread, a cornmeal cake, a cabbage leaf, or anything edible and used as a handy 'carrying case'? Think of that profound achievement! Food suddenly became portable, eating on the go much neater. Pasties are said to have originated in Cornwall, England. And legend has it that the Fourth Earl of Sandwich constructed the first official...well, you know -- sandwich!

If I had a dollar for every Hot Pocket my children ate as teenagers, I could probably take an early retirement! Bake your own filled 'wraps' and save a bundle. Bake a bunch and freeze, so your kids can pop one in the microwave when you aren't at home. Some women have said that half the weekly groceries can disappear on weekdays between 3:30 and 6 p.m., or at whatever hour dinner is served. That's not hard to believe, especially when not only your children but their friends raid the kitchen after school. And the day will never come when they will opt for carrot and celery sticks, oh, no! Something cheesy and meaty, doughy and salty begins the Teen Chowdown. This is polished off with every piece of fruit or candy or bag of chips in the house, a gallon of milk, and a half gallon of ice cream. Try homemade 'wraps' and homemade granola bars, plus lemonade or other sweetened drink, instead. You'll save a fortune.

Cooking's more fun when you make it easy on yourself. So use one pound of frozen bread dough, thawed, and concentrate on assorted fillings.

For Pasties: 

1 lb. ground beef browned with small chopped onion, and drained. Combine with 2 cups of chopped or shredded cabbage. Season mixture with worchestershire sauce, pepper, garlic salt, and/or hot sauce. Roll out dough into squares, put filling in middle of each square, pull up all 4 corners and pinch firmly together. Bake seam side down on greased baking sheet for 15+ minutes at 400 degrees, or until brown and done.

For Calzones: 

Combine 1 large chopped and sautéed onion, 2 cups cooked and chopped ham, 1 cup grated mozzarella, 8 ounces ricotta cheese, garlic salt and pepper. Roll dough into circles, fill one side of circle, fold over into half-circle and seal edges. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes.

For Bierrocks: 

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese combined with 2 to 3 cups chopped slightly-thawed frozen broccoli. Cut dough into squares and proceed as for Pasties, baking at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes.

Cool completely, then wrap individually in aluminum foil and freeze. To reheat, unwrap frozen 'wrap' and place in microwave at high power for 3 to 5 minutes, or leave in foil and heat slowly in preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes until hot. (For this recipe, I prefer the oven method -- more reliable.)

Serve any of the three with sour cream or yogurt.

Stephania is a human service professional with nearly 40 years in the field. She publishes a content-rich ezine, "Tidbits from the Pantry," about self-help, growth, and relationships, and offers a free evaluation of life's problems to any subscriber. Visit her site at http://www.humansrv.net

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