Saturday, 18 October 2008
Just a Thought I Had . . .
"Whenever I'm disappointed with my lot in life, I stop and think ab out little Jamie Scott. Jamie was trying out for a part in his school play. His mother told me that he'd set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen. On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. "Guess what, mum," he shouted, and then said those words that remain a lesson to me: "I've been chosen to clap and cheer.""
Always remember that an entertainer would be nothing without an audience to cheer him on. For what is a Doctor without a patient, a writer without a reader, a great Chef without an eater, a teacher without a student??? We, each one of us have a role to play and no role is any less important than another. Sometimes it takes the weak to help the strong to shine!!
Just a little thought . . . but oh, what a wonderful meaning behind it.
I am so encouraged daily by the lovely words and thoughts you leave for me and I just wanted to say thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart. They're like little rays of sunshine to me and I treasure each one of them. Sometimes I do get very homesick over here, not so much for the country or land of Canada, but for people . . . my mom, dad, sister, brother, children . . . grandchildren. Because of the hours I work I don't have a lot of time to go out and socialize either, which is ok because I love my job, but it can get a bit lonely at times as well. I guess blogging fulfills that need I have to be in contact with others and the socialization most of us crave. I've always been the type of person who likes to have a lot of friends. Even when I was at school, I was a friend to all. I guess I just like people! Anyways, I just could not let another day go by without letting each of you know that you mean the world to me in a very special way!
By the way I have not forgotten about my cookbook challenge or my Make Me Bake. I've just had a lot on at work this week so it's taking me a bit longer to get to them!!!
Sometimes when I get home from work I'm too tired to do much in the way of cooking and so I like to have several of these in the freezer that I can just pull out and pop in the oven. I'd call Todd up on the phone and get him to stick one in before I got home, so a hot dinner would be waiting, but . . . he always mixes up the controls on the oven and I'm afraid it would be cremated by the time I got here, and that would be a shame. It's not diet food I'm afraid, but sometimes a gal has to do what a gal has to do . . .
*Chicken and Mushroom Pie*
Makes 8 inch pie, serving 4
This delicious pie can be made well in advance and then just reheated when you want to serve it. Make sure the chicken filling is completely cold before you place it into the pastry. I often make the filling on one day and then proceed with the pie the next. It also freezes very well, wrapped tightly in tin foil. Cook from frozen for 50 to 55 minutes at 180*C/375*F.
300ml chicken stock
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into quarters
1/4 pound mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
salt and pepper to taste
4 TBS double cream
2 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
the juice of half a lemon
enough shortcrust pastry for a double crust pie
(your own or store bought ready made)
1 medium egg beaten, or a bit of milk
Place the stock into a saucepan and add the chicken meat. Bring to the boil and then immediately reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes, until tender and cooked through. Transfer to a bowl, using a slotted spoon and then strain the stock through a fine sieve into another bowl and reserve.
Melt half of the butter in a heavy based skillet. Once it is foaming add the mushrooms, season to taste and then cook gently for 3 to 4 minutes, without browning. Scoop them out into the bowl with the chicken.
Melt the remaining butter in the pan and stir in the flour. Cook and stir gently for about a minute, then slowly stir in the reserved stock, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about five minutes, stirring occasionally until nicely thickened. Stir in the double cream and return to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for a further five minutes, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the mushrooms, chicken, parsley and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool completely while you prepare the pastry.
Pre-heat your oven to 200*C/400*F.
Once you have your pastry ready, divide it in half and use half to line the bottom of an 8 inch pie tin. Fill with the chicken and mushroom filling. Roll out the remainder of the pasty to fit on top and place on top of the cooled filling. Trim and flute the edges to seal. Cut a few slits in the top to help vent for steam. Brush with a bit of milk or beaten egg.
Place in the heated oven. (I like to put it on an oven tray just in case it spills over.) Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the crusts are nicely browned on the top and bottom. (If the top is browning too quickly cover with a piece of tinfoil) Remove from the oven and allow to settle for a few minutes before cutting into slices to serve.
*Note - If you wish you can make this with leftover cooked chicken. Use about 2 cups of chopped cooked chicken. Cook the mushrooms as outlined in the recipe and then scoop them out and mix with the cooked chicken and proceed with the same amounts of broth etc. as outlined in the recipe.