Québécois meat pies—known as tourtieres—have been a part of my stepmother Susan's family for over three generations, the recipe passed first from her great-grandmother to her grandmother, who was an emigrant from farm life in Quebec to Holyoke, Massachusetts, seeking work in the paper mills. Originally the pies were prepared for a feast following Midnight Mass, when friends and family would gather after a long and late church service to celebrate. I imagine a feeling of total rest that settled over them, sitting at the table looking down on plates of steaming, hearty pie on a bitter New England night. I imagine the delight of being surrounded by good company, filling oneself to the brim with buttered crust stuffed with ground meat, spices, and potatoes, which were used then to stretch expensive meat a little further. I like to call up what it may have smelled and tasted like for them; luckily for me, we still make the pies every year, and I don't have to try too hard.