1607 Pie

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They do not sell stocks in the gift shops at Williamsburg, I checked. Last weekend my two younger children and I escaped Washington to Williamsburg where the weather was ten degrees warmer and the beach at Yorktown was beckoning. I packed a picnic lunch and a cooler full of food along with my electric skillet so that I could cook dinner in our hotel room in order to save money so that we can escape more often. The weather was perfect and we saw many things while there.

For one, we visited Jamestown where I was more interested in how food was cooked way back then. This man dressed in 17th century garb, I call these people Pretenders, talked to me at length about the food of the early settlers and how things were preserved and cooked. His question to the children was, “What is easier to make, a meat sandwich or a meat pie?” They answered meat pie. Good job class. The reason was of course that bread is much more time consuming to make than a pie dough. Right.

After seeing all the work that goes into even making a simple pasty (pahsty), or hand pie, I was very thankful for my own servants- dishwasher, garbage disposal, washing machine, dryer, KA mixer, oven, and cooktop. Those people worked VERY hard back then. All the food made by the Pretenders is eaten by other Pretenders who are pretending to be various people at Jamestown. I like pretending.

The night after our trip, I decided to make pasties like the Pretender and right away I wanted to march back to him and ask, “What is even easier than making hand pies?” Making one giant meat pie.

I browned some ground beef with onions and tiny diced potatoes. Seasoned it all with thyme, salt and pepper figuring I will stick to what they had back then. I made my own crust by hand using flour, salt, and butter with a little cold water. My own 1607 Pie was very good served with ketchup or barbecue sauce, which they did not have back then but I figured none of them would ever find out.

1607 is the time Jamestown was settled. Plymouth schlymouth, Virginia is where is all began.


  1. Katherine
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 7:12 AM | Permalink

    LOVE Williamsburg! Never made it to Jamestown though. Next visit we will def fit it in!

  2. Alison
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 7:59 AM | Permalink

    Oh, I like this! I hope we will get to visit Williamsburg soon. I think I could fit right in with the Pretenders.

  3. StephanieSells
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    TMI I know….LOL

  4. amy grace
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    yum!! i love meat pie! i made some for my dad's birthday with home made "chips" (fries of course) and peas with lots of gravy to ooze all over it. yummy!

  5. ~Molly~
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    One of my great-great+ grandfathers was a physician with the Virginia Company! I haven't been to Williamsburg or Jamestown since I was a teen and can't wait to take my kids there for some real history.

    Now I'm torn about what to make for dinner with my pound of ground beef. Almost Turkish just blogged a recipe for ground beef with cabbage but your pie looks tasty too! Decisions like this are tough!!LOL


  6. 12th Man Training Table
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    I love this kind of stuff.

    What makes my head hurt, though, is that you don't have to go back to 1607 to see a huge difference. My grandma grew up without electricity or running hot water. (Western Pennsylvania, coal mining country.) Can you imagine putting together a family meal without relying on refrigerated ingredients? Or, how about just having an oven whose temperature was known +/- 100°? For that matter, even having a reliable timer? Yeah, we have it pretty good these days.

  7. Ingrid
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    🙂 I wouldn't have made it back then.

    Your crust is gorgeous…perfectly browned.

  8. noble pig
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

    Have always wanted to go there! What a great time!

  9. oneordinaryday
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 2:51 PM | Permalink

    I haven't been to Williamsburg since I was a kid. We have to make plans to take the kids down. How cool that you went home and made meat pie. You are an awesome mama. That's some fun and tasty enrichment!

  10. grace
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

    i haven't been to williamsburg since i was a kid, but i always had such a fun time! your meat pie is a wonderful homage to a simpler time. hooray for virginia! 🙂

  11. biz319
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    I haven't been to Williamsburg since I was a little girl. We took the train – my Dad had to stay behind at work so it was me, my sister, my brother and our Mom – all the way from Chicago. I was only around 7 at the time but I remember thinking "am I ever going to get off this train?!"

    Love your meat pie – sans the onions, I am all over it. Your crust looks amazing – do you use an eggwhite wash on top?

  12. Robin Sue
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    Biz- I did use an egg wash over the top of the pie- one egg yolk whisked with a little water and brushed over the entire pie. I baked it in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

  13. Lori
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

    Nice vacation idea.

    I love pasties. That pie is beautifully browned.

  14. Karen
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    Looks like a fun and educational trip! I've been to Plymouth, and, in fact, Elder William Brewster is my 11th generation great-grandfather! The pie looks good, but I'd have to carve 1620 in it 😉

  15. Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

    I've never been to Williamsburg, but I loved Jamestown. Of course, it was 1982 and I was 15, so I know it's changed a lot. I loved the glassblowers. We still have the little green glass pitcher they made.

    The meat pie looks delicious. I love the idea of making individual ones too.

  16. Kirstin
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 1:33 AM | Permalink

    That sounds so fun!! I should try this.

  17. Alaine
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    Do you have your reciepe for pie crust on the site? I couldn't find it, and your crust looked so good! I'm making chicken empandas for game night this weekend, and want to try your crust with them.

  18. Robin Sue
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Alaine- I just winged the pie crust using about 2 cups flour, 2/3 cup butter, 4 pinches kosher salt, and a few T ice water. But here is a good one to try for your empanadas.


  19. Alaine
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

    Thanks Robin!

  20. Mimi
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

    What a fun vacation. Your pie looks so perfect.

  21. Christina
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 3:33 AM | Permalink

    Yay Williamsburg! I graduated from The College of William & Mary in 2006 with my BA. Ah, the fond memories… 🙂 GREAT place to visit.

  22. stephen
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    I'm from VA Beach. wow, talk about memories. my dad would leave me in the stockade all day if he could 🙂 nice color on the pie! hmmm, now you see why Aussies and Brits have meat pies in their diets. it's a colonial thing I see.

  23. Jenn@slim-shoppin
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    That's so fun! I've been to Williamsburg several times as a kid and always loved it!

  24. Sabrina
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

    wow, I am going to Jamestown/Yorktown in about 3 weeks with a bunch of 4th graders. I hope I have as much fun as you did. But I am a little unsure of it.

  25. Lisa
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 10:04 PM | Permalink

    I always loved going to Williamsburg and Jamestown when we lived out that way. I find all of that history so interesting. I think being a Pretender would be great fun.

    Your pie is gorgeous and so very clever. While pretending is fun I'd rather do the cooking your way!

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