cheese and onion hand pies

it wasn't just the sun and the beach and the partying with dear ones that left me sad to see this weekend go, it was also about living in each moment as if i'd travelled back in time specifically to relive it. (an idea i picked up from watching the movie about time, which i'd highly recommend.) in other words, this weekend in florida, i loosened my cord to the internet world and reevaluated what's really important in life. the humans, the bonds, the hard work. i realized that a letter from f. scott fitzgerald to his daughter, which eggboy has pinned to the wall of his man cave, hits so many things right on the nose:

august 8, 1933

dear pie:

I feel very strongly about you doing duty. Would you give me a little more documentation about your reading in French? I am glad you are happy-- but I never believe much in happiness. I never believe in misery either. Those are things you see on the stage or the screen or the printed page, they never really happen to you in life.

All I believe in in life is the rewards for virtue (according to your talents) and the punishments for not fulfilling your duties, which are doubly costly. If there is such a volume in the camp library, will you ask Mrs. Tyson to let you look up a sonnet of Shakespeare's in which the line occurs Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds....

I think of you, and always pleasantly, but I am going to take the White Cat out and beat his bottom hard, six times for every time you are impertinent. Do you react to that?...

Half-wit, I will conclude. Things to worry about:

Worry about courage
Worry about cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship...
Things not to worry about: 
Don't worry about popular opinion
Don't worry about dolls
Don't worry about the past
Don't worry about the future
Don't worry about growing up
Don't worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don't worry about triumph
Don't worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don't worry about mosquitoes
Don't worry about flies
Don't worry about insects in general
Don't worry about parents
Don't worry about boys
Don't worry about disappointments
Don't worry about pleasures
Don't worry about satisfactions
Things to think about: 
What am I really aiming at? 
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to: 
(a) Scholarship
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them? 
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it? 

With dearest love...

i had pasties on my mind last week when nothing else felt appetizing. but today these are pies, in honor of f. scott fitzgerald's daughter.

cheese and onion hand pies

makes 8 small pies

inspired by this lancashire cheese and onion pie


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

kosher salt

black pepper

1/4 cup water

flour, for dusting

one batch of pie dough*

1/2 cup shredded cheese (i like using sharp cheddar)

1 large egg, slightly beaten

*i like this pie dough recipe (with the salt cut down to 1 1/2 teaspoons), but store-bought will also work




in a large skillet, melt the butter over moderately low heat. add the onions with a good pinch of salt and a few turns of pepper and cook, stirring, until very soft, 7 to 10 minutes. increase heat to moderate, add the water, and cook until the water is evaporated and the onions are lightly caramelized. remove from heat.

preheat oven to 375º. line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

on a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough. cut out 4 1/2-inch circles and top each with 1 tablespoon of onion and 1 tablespoon of cheese. brush the edges with egg, fold them over, and seal with a fork. transfer to the baking sheet, poke a few holes in the tops, and brush the tops with egg.

bake until lightly browned, 25-30 minutes.

enjoy with mustard... for a picnic, perhaps!