It took me a long time to learn how to pronounce “pasty” (PASS-tee, not PASTE-y) that, to this Jersey girl is a terrific hand pie, perfect when paired with a local microbrew. But it’s not easy to find a good recipe for this iconic Iron Range specialty. I’ve had to dig through musty church cookbooks to make them myself.

Now, thanks to Twin Cities chef and educator B.J. Carpenter, recipes for the eclectic, bold foods of the northern reaches of our state are collected in one volume, “Come, You Taste: Family Recipes From the Iron Range” (Minnesota Historical Society Press, $19.95).

Woven together with memories of growing up in this beautiful, remote place, Carpenter’s work is upbeat, fresh and accessible, laced with history and facts. It’s fun reading and even better cooking. The dishes are surprisingly contemporary and many can be whipped up at the last minute or made ahead.

The colloquialism “Come, you taste,” an invitation/demand that one must never refuse, is always followed by, “Is good.” Carpenter, having left her home on the Range a long time ago, brings the best of the Range into our homes.


Beth Dooley is a Minneapolis author and cooking instructor. Find her at