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
Printable Recipe

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!


  1. Hi Marie,

    I really like the artist you featured. Very captivating images. Your Tortiere looks delcious! We have something similar when we go to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. They are called Pasties (Pah-stees). I have a feeling they originated from the Tortiere because they have the same ingredients wrapped in a crust. Except, yours looks more tasty and "authentic." Thanks for the recipe! I'll have to try my own hand at the Tortiere and surprise my hubby. :)

    Blessings to you throughout your busy week! Enjoy!

  2. Hi, dear Marie! What a busy, but festive week you have on! Hope you enjoy all the fun in the next days. So sorry your tooth is still plaguing you though... do hope the antibiotics help and you'll be feeling better soon. Hubby would love this Tortiere you have today. I've not made anything like this before. And at the moment menus have been very basic--so tired in the evening that dinner is often easy pasta or some such dishes...LOL! A busy weekend ahead for us too. Last bits before our trip the end of next week, and more family get-together. Hope we get a chance to chat early next week--miss you! LOVE YOU HEAPS, dear friend :o) ((BIG HUGS))


  4. The pie and the breakfast cake you featured today both look so good. Your house must smell wonderful this time of year with all the cooking and baking going on.

  5. Wow, Marie! You are one busy woman this week!

    So glad the tooth pain is under control and that you are on the mend! Can't have our Marie feeling low! Hopefully you can sneak in a little nap here and there!

    I love Liz Lemon Swindle, too--her work is just so warm and real...

    My Roger is our bishop--going on six years in January--my how time flies! Keeps life busy, doesn't it?! Sounds like your program was just perfect last night...ours is next week.

    And oh! That meat pie! Cannot wait to try this! I LOVE meat pies, but this recipe is quite different from things I've made before. Love your description of it.

    I've never heard of anyone using lemon juice in their pastry crust--and since I trust Marie in all things culinary (as does my anytime I'm cooking something new, they ask me if it's "a Marie"...and they know it will be amazing!)...I'm going to use your pastry recipe!

    Sorry--once again my comments are just about as long as your post! Hope you're having a marvellous, busy day and enjoying this festive time. So much love sent to you today!

  6. yes.....yes............YES. Keith is going to LURVE this pie!

    I'm exhausted just reading what you're up to this week. I suppose one little downside of being a fab cook is eeryone expecting so much of you.

    Did you see my photos of Emily?

    love, Angie, xx

  7. You tourtières looks wonderful; your hubby will be pleased. I have never made it with grated potatoes, but I'm tempted. Don't work too hard.

  8. Tortiere is one of my favourite things to eat.

    This is a lovely post filled with God's love.

    Love Renee xoxoxo

  9. Sounds like such a great evening at RS...your meat pie and cake look so good too! You are a wonder..all that you would drive me crazy! My life used to be like that raising 8 kids but now, things have settled down a bit and it is so nice to me!
    Come say hi :D

  10. I am so glad that you were able to go to your RS Christmas party. I was afraid that you might be too tired. I have been thinking of you. I have worked hard for the past few days getting ready for our luncheon today. It all went well. We had 45 ladies which is more than we expected but the weather cooperated and I was able to sit 12 at tables in the patio and sit 24 at tables in the house. The rest had to use their laps but they didn't seem to mind. I am tired but happy that it all went so well. We are rushing off to the temple now but I just wanted to drop by and see how you are doing.
    I send love. Lura

  11. Beautiful picture Marie. I am so glad you were able to go to your RS party. We had ours on Tuesday night and it was such fun.

    I hope you are having a great week my friend!


  12. about 2 years ago, joey and i(and the kids) were at the lds bookstore here in dallas and liz lemon swindle was there painting a portrait and signing books! so, i had her sign two copies of this book on motherhood and mary that had her paintings featured inside, i can't remember what the book titles were. but anyways, it was close to mother's day and i gave one to my mom and one to cyndi(mom in law). so i got to meet her-it was so cool!! she is an amazing artist.


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