After today, we'll be halfway through the challenge. This is a good thing because I'll finally be in the home stretch of a list of topics that I'm rather ambivalent about. Take today's topic for instance. It should be something great that I can just talk about for quite a while, especially considering how much I love food. But no, "death row meal" leads not to me talking forever, but merely thinking forever about "What would I choose? Why the hell am I on death row in the first place?" and the like.
Then it came to me. I'm a Yooper, and damn proud of it. I try my damndest to represent all that is good about the UP while simultaneously leaving the bad stereotypes behind. There's no better way for me to do this than do go out with a Kromer capped, blizzard trapped, bang.
The UP isn't necessarily the best farming land in the world, so we aren't known for our crops. It's not the best for cows either, so we're not known for our beef. We do, however, have an abundance of deer. If there's a food that the UP is known for it's venison and there's no better way to have it than in a pasty. I've told you about pasties before, haven't I? They're a Cornish invention that came to the UP in the 1860's. Shortly after the first wave of Cornish miners, the Finns followed. They adopted the pasty, and over the years, it's kind of warped into a dish completely unique (in this form) to the UP. They're typically, they have cubed meat (in the UP venison is king), potato (or rutabaga), carrot, celery, onion, spices, ect. There's debate as to the proper topping for pasties. Some say ketchup, others gravy, some say nothing at all. I am in a bit of a unique category that thinks the best way to have it is with ketchup mixed with hot sauce.
In addition to the amazing pasty, it's only logical to have a beverage that it's also from the UP. If you've known me for more than five minutes since the brewery opened, you know that the only option is a big frosty glass of beer from the Keweenaw Brewing Company. Which beer? That's a tough one. Ultimately, I've got to go with their Olde Ore Dock Scottish Ale. It's a great, slightly bitter brew...and I'm Scottish. There's you go, my death row meal. Nothing fancy, but delicious, and exceedingly...me.