Should a pasty always contain rutabaga? Marlise Riffel says "Yes!" but qualifies that this is just her opinion. Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability is making 800 pasties for their First Annual Iron Range Pasty Festival on October 5th. Most pasties are a combination of meat and veggies wrapped in a pastry crust, although other types exist. They originally came to Minnesota's Iron Range with Cornish miners who favored them for lunches because they would stay hot in a lunch box and could be eaten with the fingers (and if fingers were particularly dirty the crust could be tossed away).
Marlise is rightly proud that the pasties at the festival will contain all-local ingredients: meats from Willow Sedge Farm in Palisade, onions from Janna Goerdt’s Fat Chicken Farm in Embarrass, carrots and potatoes from Zim, rutabagas from Sherrry Erickson's Elm Creek Farm in Orr. For the crust, flour will come from Homestead Mills of Cook, and Mary Ann Wycoff of Bear Creek Acres in Embarrass will supply the lard. Butter will come from Dahl's Dairy. The pasties will be served with coleslaw made with cabbage from Craig Turnboom’s Skunk Creek Farm near Meadowlands. There will also be coffee from Miller Mohawk (roasted in Aurora), Dahl's Dairy milk, and even locally-made ketchup from Cuterly Farms. A pasty meal will be available for $10, and frozen pasties are $8 each (limit 5). All proceeds benefit the Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability.
The family event takes place at the Mountain Iron Community Center in Mountain Iron. It includes rutabaga bowling, a Mrs. Rutabaga Head contest, miners' storytelling, music by Sarah Softich and friends, a craft beer garden, and Green Cheese with questions about iron mining history and Iron Range food traditions on 91.7 KAXE from 7-9 p.m.