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venturing forth

January 17, 2013

There were a few flakes of snow trying to free themselves from the  the clouds today, but they soon gave up.  It’s very cold and there’s a bitter wind, and the clouds look as if they have things to give, but we have no snow. I keep being told it’s imminent, but common sense balances these stories out – it doesn’t like to snow here. It is Devon after all – and South Devon too. If it does snow, it’s fleeting and then it thaws and starts to rain.

OK, that’s the weather moan over. Almost.  I’m heading to Axminster tomorrow and it would be just my luck to get snowed in there. Still, as Boo says, I’ll be able to wrap myself in carpet. I’ll be taking a slice of homity pie with me (just in case Hugh’s canteen is a little too pricey for me). If you are thinking of things to put in a pastry case, this is good. Uses up a nice lot of potatoes and one of the beloved’s leeks.





Weigh 400g/14oz potatoes and peel them – if they are supermarket/washed/new potatoes and don’t need peeling, use 350g/12oz. Chop then up into smallish evenly sized pieces, put them in a pan, just cover with cold water, add a teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile clean a large leek. Chop the roots off (if you are lucky enough to have a leek with such things) and the straggly leaves at the top. Slice it along the length down the middle, separate the leaves, and wash it carefully – earth can hide in the layers. You’ll need about 3oz/85g, but you can have more  – or get away with less. Finely chop two cloves of garlic – if you have less leek you can add another clove of garlic, and a small onion.  leeks-and-parsleyFry all these together in a pan with a lid in a tablespoon of olive oil, stirring occasionally. They need to be gently fried for about 5 minutes.

Add a tablespoon of finely chopped parsley to the leeks etc., and cook for a couple of minutes. In a separate pan cook 3 or 4 chopped mushrooms in a dollop of butter until they are softened – takes about 5 minutes.

past-its-best-parsleyOur parsley is still growing, which I am reliably informed is a testimony to the beloved’s gardening skills. We have two sorts, French flat leaved and English curly and they have both gone to seed – but a little careful sorting out yielded a bunch from which we selected a usable amount to chop. If you don’t have fresh parsley substitute a teaspoonful  of dried mixed herbs.

Roughly mash the potatoes and add the leek mix. Grate 4oz/100g of cheese – it needs to be a tasty one – and add most of  this (leaving a little to sprinkle on top) and mix loosely. Add the mushrooms and any juice and mix. Add a teaspoon of pepper and a tablespoon of  cream – you can use milk – and some salt if it needs it. Pile the lot into your prebaked pastry case, homity-piesprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and bake in a hot oven (200c)  for about 25 minutes.

Serve with salads.

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