I was restless last night and couldn't sleep so rose at 5.30 am to take a long walk by the canal. The water was so still, the skyline dark and the wind was up a little but not so much as to make it harsh and unwelcome. So many other folk wandering along the canal too, it surprised me and pleased me too, like friendly ghosts. Then Karen and her beautiful dog Luna appeared out of the gloom. Luna is the perfect French lady dog - a cross between a fox terrier and a chow (think large ginger squirrel with jodhpurs plus a keen merciless nose for the scent of any unsuspecting small rodent). Luna who answers as she pleases to any command but always (only) in French. Luna proudly sporting a large red glowing neon collar and taking the lead as the sun began to rise and a welcome sight! Walking along together in silence, enjoying the space and sense of freedom. What a curious time to be out and about, peaceful, calm and welcoming against the current back drop of COVID madness. I have found my own response to this becomes a longing to find nature, to be in and walk in nature which has become a true and dependable friend. Never under estimate the power of walking in fresh air to lift your mood - it's free, it's not time restricted and every day is different - how are you responding to COVID?
Ready-Made Grain-Free Pastry
Later, I baked and Such a simple recipe adapted to grain-free from this article by Felicity Cloake in the Guardian last week.
And the grain-free meat and potato pie we made was a beauty, helped along by having blocks of our ready made sweet potato paleo pastry ready-made in the freezer!
These blocks of pastry are so useful to have as they defrost so quickly and ensure that all the necessary ingredients are there to make your pie (or crust for custard tart, or quiche or to satisfy that urge for flat-breads to serve with chili and so on)!
Pie In The House - or How to make the perfect Pie
To make a 4 Meat and Potato Pies You Will Need:
4 clip release pie rings (diameter 12 cm)
3 blocks of grain free ready made pastry
Egg wash for top of each pie
300g of beef skirt or shin and 300 g of mutton or lamb shoulder
1 tbsp arrowroot
300g of peeled and diced par-boiled potatoes
1 onion (optional)
4 tbsp of beef stock
1 tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce (optional but great umami taste)
Pinch of marjoram
Fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste
Heat oven to 180°C
Cut meat into small chunks and place in bowl.
Dust with arrowroot and season well.
Stir in the remaining ingredients.
Grease pie tins with a little fresh butter
Roll out the pastry to fit each pie tin, keeping sufficient aside to make each lid.
Divide the filling and place into each pie shell.
Moisten the rim of the pastry crust with water
Form the remaining pastry into four lids and press firmly onto the moistened edges of each pie
Brush the tops with the egg wash or with milk
Bake in the oven for 40 - 45 mins in total turning at 20 mins for an even finish
Serve hot from the oven with mushy peas (for an extra special treat) and this delicious unsweetened BBQ sauce!