Thursday, 10 December 2009
Thankfully Thursday . . .
Today's artwork is by my favourite Christian artist, Liz Lemon Swindle. The food, well that is by moi!!
Thanks all for your happy thoughts for yesterday. I did get a few hours sleep, and I did get to the Dentist. He's put me on Anti-biotics so hopefully that will sort things out. If not, well, then we'll have to explore a different avenue, but . . . we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!
The best thing about yesterday was that I got go to our Ward's Relief Society Christmas Party Night!! Most years I don't get to go, because I normally work on Wednesday evenings, but last night I was free, and as tired as I may have been, I went because, well . . . I could!
I was so happy that I did too. It was a lovely evening of fellowshipping with my sisters in the church. The chapel was all lit with fairy lights and there was a wonderful spirit and atmosphere present. The nativity was presented to us in a beautiful way that I really enjoyed. Todd was a shepherd and he told us about the experience the shepherds had on that hill all those many years ago and of how they felt when the angel told them about the baby Jesus and how they felt when they got to Bethlehem and saw Him in person. Our stake patriarch made a most wonderful Inn Keeper and spoke to us beautifully about his experience and another fine gentleman spoke to us as one of the three wise men. Our Mary and Joseph were slightly aged, but beautiful none the less . . . the ones scheduled to play them had come down ill . . . we did not mind . . . the message was the same. One of the great love of our Heavenly Father for His children and of our Saviour who gave so much . . . and of us sisters in the gospel, one for another.
It was a wonderful evening to be sure, and the best part about it was being there together. Now tonight I have my seminary lesson to teach and afterwards the Relief Society is having a craft night. Since it is Todd's turn, as a member of the Bishopric, to attend the youth, I shall have to stay at the chapel anyways, as he won't be able to drive me home, so it just works out perfectly that I'll be able to go to the craft activity with the other ladies. Should be fun!
Yesterday I kept myself going by cooking and baking. I knew if I sat down that would be it, and I'd be gone off to lala land, and I have ever so much to do before the weekend. I have fingerfoods to do for our Scripture Study group Friday night and then we are going to Todd's brother's for a visit on Saturday during the day. But Saturday night is our Ward Christmas Party and I put down to bring potatoes and a side dish, so I'll have to get that done tomorrow afternoon and ready to bring, and then we are having a Youth Fireside and Seminary get together after church on Sunday that I promised to bring sweets to! So, looks like I have a lot of cooking to do this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon! Shouldn't be a problem eh? Not the way I ♥♥♥ to cook! ☺
I made my Christmas Tortiere yesterday afternoon. What's that you ask? Well, a Tortiere is a French Canadian meat pie, generally made of ground pork and spices and usually served at some point during the Christmas holidays. My mother always served hers on Boxing Day and it was something we always looked forward to. I suppose there are as many versions out there as there are cooks, but generally speaking they all have ground meat and spices in them . . . usually cloves and savoury, and chopped onion and some grated potato. My mother always used a mixture of ground beef and pork, and never potato. My sister makes lovely ones using a mixture of the meats, and dried potato flakes. My ex sister in law made hers in the Acadian way with chopped pork shoulder, slowly simmered with onion and spice until it was falling apart, and they were delicious. I make some pretty good ones as well, but I use only ground pork and a bit of grated raw potato as per Madame Benoit's recipe. The crust is my own. We couldn't wait for Christmas to dig in, and so we each had a slice last night for our tea.
It was good. My Christmas has now officially begun!!
*French Canadian Tortiere*
Serves 6 to 8
This delicious ground pork pie, is a French Canadian Christmas tradition. We always had this on boxing day. When cooked and frozen it will keep for up to six months; just reheat and serve. Adapted from a recipe by the late first lady of Canadian cooking, Mme Jehan Benoit. Delicious served with spiced catsup or mustard pickle.
For the filling:
1 pound (500g) lean ground pork
2 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 garlic, cloved peeled and minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp summer savoury
1/4 tsp grond cloves
pepper to taste
1/2 cup boiling water
Place all the ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring to break up the meat into small pieces. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
For the pastry:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup cold water
1 tsp lemon juice
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse pea shapes. Beat together the egg, water and lemon juice with a fork, and then slowly sprinkle this over the flour mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing gently together until mixture forms a ball. Divide into two flat discs.
On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the discs into a 12 inch circle. Use this to line a 9 inch pie plate. Spoon in the cooled filling. Roll the remaining pastry intoa circle large enough to cover the top. Seal, trim and flute the edge. Cut a few vent slits in top and then brush with an egg wash, consisting of 1 small egg beaten with 1 tsp water.
Bake in a pre-heated 200*C/400*F oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and the pastry is crisp on the bottom. Let stand 20 minutes before cutting, or allow to cool completely, wrap tightly in cling film and then foil wrap and store in the freezer until needed.
To re-heat, thaw out overnight in the refrigerator and then re-heat in a medium oven, lightly covered with foil, until heated through, uncovering the last 5 to 10 minutes.
There's a Soured Cream Blueberry Breakfast Cake on offer over on The English Kitchen this morning. It's yummo, and just perfect for these family filled occasions we're going to be having over the next few weeks!