Our Christmas Eve tradition for as long as I can remember was to go to my grandparents house after midnight mass and have pasties. My family is of the French Canadien heritage and I guess that meat pies are traditional Christmas Eve fare. As grandma got older it was getting harder for her to roll out the dough and fill the pasties, and not one to let any tradition slide (I’m a tradition freak!) I started going to her house the week before Christmas to help her make them and finally took over the responsibility myself once I felt like I had the hang of it.
My pasties never taste the same year after year but aside from the first couple rather dry years they have turned out fairly good if I do say so myself. There was the one year though that we were without pasties. I can laugh about it now but at the time I was heartbroken! I had spent a good day and a half making pasties that year (they are a little time consuming) and after baking them and wrapping them I had put them in a box and set them on the deck to freeze. In Minnesota we can do that! That Christmas Eve before going to mass I went out to the deck to get the pasties and put them in the oven on a bake delay so they would be done when we got out of church but all I found was an open box with bits and pieces of tin foil littered around it. My pasties had been eaten! We will never know if it was our dog or some other animal that had eaten them but I always blamed it on the dog since I never liked her anyway.
I immediately burst into tears. What were we going to do without pasties for Christmas Eve? I called my mom crying and she laughed and told me it was no big deal, she had pizza in the freezer and we could use that. But it was a big deal to me at the time and I cried all the way to church that night and halfway through mass. I don’t recall what we might have ended up eating that night. It could have been cheese and crackers and Christmas cookies. But the end result was the same. Christmas Eve was still a wonderful family evening with all the people we love and Santa still came that night. But you can bet I don’t leave the pasties on the deck anymore!