Happy New Year! Until now, I have only featured desserts in my blog. I do intend to feature other types of recipes, and I am so glad that this was the dish to kick off the savory component of my blog. I cook everyday for my family. Yes sometimes we order a pizza, but more often than not I prepare our meals. So I decided to include some of those savory dishes in the blog as well. Unbelievably, I made spinach pies and veggie meat pies ALL BY MYSELF. Okay so admittedly I don’t usually have a kitchen assistant or anything, but I have never EVER made these alone before. In the past when I have made these yummy Lebanese pies, it was under the watchful eye of my Sito Georgia (Grandma) or my Jido Eddie (Grandpa)…or both. Sito would sit in the kitchen with me and give me pointers, or at times demonstrate. Jido would sit in the living room and taste test…oh and he gave me pointers too…from the living room. ☺ Unfortunately my Sito and Jido have passed away, so now if I want to make spinach/meat pies, I have to go it alone. I have to admit I was a bit nervous for my “maiden voyage”, but I am happy to report that albeit funny looking, the pies are DELICIOUS! I think both my Sito Georgia and my Sito Vicky (Great Grandma) would be extremely proud. In fact, I think even my Jido would have liked these. He was a tough critic, but there were times I KNOW he liked my spinach pies, but he chose to give me a hard time anyway…he was such a stinker. ☺
I have eaten spinach pies and meat (now veggie meat) pies my entire life. I remember being so happy when my Sito’s would make them. It was an all day affair when they’d make them because they made a ton! My Sito Vicky had 8 children and my Sito Georgia had 4, so when they baked, they made enough to share with everyone. They’d be in the kitchen for hours! In fact, while I was preparing the spinach to make the spinach pies, I said to Dan ”…okay so now I get why my Sito’s always had a tv in the kitchen…this takes forever, and I am only making 1 batch.” My Sito’s would stay in the kitchen all day making batch after batch of spinach/meats pies, and then they’d wait for their kids to come over and pick up their food. I remember all my Uncles coming over on “spinach/meat pie day”, and they were always so happy. They’d inevitably eat a few while they were there. Sometimes they’d come in the back door (that was in the kitchen) and stand at the stove and eat with their coats still on. My Sito Vicky would laugh and say “…come on in ‘Ma’ and sit down and eat.” I, of course, would have spinach/meat pies for lunch, dinner, and snacks on those days. They are like a little meal all on their own anyway so it was great! I remember the house always smelled so good, and because all my Uncles or cousins would come over to pick up their food, the house was always full of people…my people. I loved it.
I do remember this happening in other places that my Grandparents lived, but my most vivid memories of “spinach/meat pie day” are in their house on Ashland in Detroit. I loved that house. It was so cool. It had 5 bedrooms (2 with walk in closets), a living room, a dining room and a kitchen with a white swinging door that separated the two rooms, 2 full baths (one with a claw foot tub), a full basement, a screened back porch, and a great big yard complete with a basketball court, horse shoe pit, and amazing vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens, and grapevines.
I have so many memories in that house, and consider the days I spent there to be some of the happiest of my whole life. I often dream about being able to go back to that time in my life and spend the day. I would love love love to be able to experience that again, and more than anything, I’d love Dan and our kids to be able to experience it too. I talk about those days quite often, and I show them tons of pictures, but it isn’t the same as actually being there. My kids were never able to meet my Sito Vicky or my Jido Eddie, but they recognize them in pictures and know a lot about them. I usually do most of my deep thinking while I am in the kitchen. So as I am cooking inevitably I’ll have a thought about my family, and then I share it with the kids.
I love that I still have and use some of my Grandparents kitchen gadgets. For instance the only rolling-pin I’ve ever used, belonged to my Sito Vicky. Every time I need to roll out cookie dough, pizza dough, or spinach/meat pie dough I think of her. Also, after making spinach pies with my Sito and Jido in the late 90’s, they gave me a glass cutting board. I guess they didn’t think the cutting board I used was up to par so, they got me a new one. I also have aprons, a Pyrex baking dish, a juicer, and multiple hot pads handmade by my Sito’s that I use all the time. My favorite kitchen “hand me down” is my Sito and Jido’s egg pan. When I was a little girl, both of my Parents worked so I spent a ton of time with my Grandparents. Every morning my Sito Georgia would make me scrambled eggs, and she always used the same pan. A few years after my Jido passed away, my Sito moved into my Parents’ house. My Parents already had a fully stocked kitchen, so Sito donated a lot of her things to charity. She asked me if there was anything that I wanted from her house before she donated it. The only thing I really wanted was that egg pan. So I told Sito that if she wasn’t going to use it or need it, that I’d love to have the pan. She was confused as to why I’d want it, but she laughed and gave it to me anyway. I love love love that pan. I don’t actually use it, but I love it just the same. It is so nostalgic to me. It makes me think about being a little girl, and it makes me think about being fed….literally and figuratively. Sito fed me literally of course, just by making the eggs, but she fed me figuratively as well. Every time she made me eggs in that pan, she filled my tummy, but she also filled my soul. Cooking for someone is a very loving gesture, and I think my love of cooking for the ones I love, had something to do with that little egg pan, in the kitchen of my Sito’s house on Ashland. ♥
Here are links to recipes that are similar to the ones I used: