Reubens and Repairs
Reubens and Repairs
reuben pastry

My house is the oldest house on my street. One of my neighbors found it on a map at the Historical Library. It is on the map made for the years 1878–1885. If I had a huge pile of cash, I’d be like Murphy Brown and hire Elvin as my handy man. Alas, no twenty pound bag full of fifties has landed here, so I am dependent on hungry enthusiastic friends when it comes to some of the work around here.

Due to a series of plumbing disasters I am still having nightmares about, my laundry room needed new dry wall. Our friends Katie and Adam lived with us for a few months when they came back from Africa. They know this house well, and Adam offered his services if Katie and I wore sexy heels and made a meal. Super. The laundry room is small and under the stairs- sort of, – I call it “Harry Potter’s bedroom”, Chris calls it “the place where Anne Frank wrote her diary”, Adam calls it the “Room of Doom”. The room is an afterthought, and more than once a chicken has found its way into my laundry room through the crawl space. It was in desperate need.

Chris and Adam banged around the “Room of Doom”, and used power tools in the front yard.

Katie and I got to recreate a recipe from my child hood.

My mom always made this with the leftovers from St. Patrick’s Day.

Reuben Pastries

Corned Beef Brisket, cooked and shredded or thinly sliced


Thousand Island Dressing

Swiss Cheese

Pastry Dough

2 cups sifted Flour

1/3 cup cubed frozen Butter

1/3 cup cubed frozen Cream Cheese

1 tsp Salt

1 Tbsp Caraway Seeds

4-5 Tbsp Iced Water

To make the pastry, sift the Flour into the bowl of your mixer. Dump in the Salt. Dump in the Caraway Seeds. It is important to have the butter and cream cheese very cold; So cube it in advance, and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes or so- I can’t explain it- ask Alton Brown why- but please do it. It is important. Use the paddle attachment for the mixer, and slowly add the butter and cream cheese until it is incorporated in the Flour. The Butter and Cream Cheese should be small by now, like the size of peas. Your thirsty. Have a glass of Ice Cold Water. With the mixer on low, sprinkle Water, One Tablespoon at a time into the mixture. Somewhere around the fourth one, the dough will pull together. Gather it up, flatten it into a disk, cover with Wax paper and refrigerate the Dough for at least 30 minutes.

Check to make sure your laundry room is in progress. Make sure no one is injured. Cheer on the workers!

When the dough is ready, roll it out and cut 6” squares. Brush the inside of the dough with Thousand Island Dressing. Add Corned Beef, Sauerkraut, and Swiss. Fold over and seal with a fork. Try to make it so the cheese is on top, so it can melt down into the Kraut and Corned Beef. Put your little pies on a sprayed cookie sheet.

Bake them in the oven at 350 degrees, until the pastry is a little brown on the edges. This should take about 20 minutes.

We ate them with mashed potatoes. There were not any There were not any leftovers.


Heather Saalfeld has lived and worked in downtown St. Augustine for the last 15 years.  She has a ten year old son, Leo and a bad dog named Jeffe.  Her passions are travel, food and entertaining.  She is a bartender at St. George Tavern and Cap’s on the Water, and a full time student at Flagler College. In her spare time she attempts to garden. Her best days are spent with family and friends, usually around a large table in the back yard.

Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.


  1. rob
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Very Nice Writing! Good job Heather!

  2. Katie Aleman
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Gotta love a writer with a personality! Wonderful!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *