Saturday, 29 November 2014

Cooking And Sharing

This week I thought I would cook something totally different and decided to make pies. Cornish Pasties to be exact - they are Chad's favourite pies. I used Google, as we all do, to search for recipes and I found the history of Cornish Pasties. Did you know the Cornish Pasty evolved for Cornish Tin Miners, who unable to return to the surface at lunchtime had a hearty, easy to hold and eat, lunch dish. Their hands were often dirty and could not be washed, so the pasty could be held by the thick pastry crust, so as not to dirty the contents. An interesting history lesson for a Friday Afternoon. Saturday morning. I found all this information over here on I didn't use their recipe, I found a different one, but it also had Swedes in it. I don't know what Swedes are, but apparently they are often confused with Turnips. Now I know why I don't like Cornish Pasties. There are two things that I will not eat ever and that is Peanut Butter and Turnips.

I made my Cornish Pasty with just meat; onion and potato. I made the dough according to the recipe, but realised that something had gone wrong when the recipe said cut dough using a dinner plate and cut out 6 discs. I barely managed eight very small side plate size discs. I made these eight small pies that came out the oven after an hour, that looked golden and delicious (I forgot to take a photo). The pastry was as hard as a rock and Chad made me laugh so much I was crying and almost wet myself over and over laughing, the way he made fun of my pies. My harshest critic. He said they tasted nice, but I should serve them with a hammer. They needed carrots and peas in them (South African Cornish Pasty, don't fit in with the real Cornish Protocols of Pasty making), but I could send the recipe to the British Army, because they could use it to jack up their army tanks when they need to do repairs on them. They also had no gravy inside them, I made gravy to pour over them, because I knew they would be dry. I kept reminding him that they were the real Traditional Cornish Pasty and miners could not have gravy pouring down their dirty hands. He said they could be used as weapons of mass destruction too. One hit to the head and that would be the end of the enemy. Next time I buy him a Cornish Pasty, I mustn't forget to ask for the tub of gravy on the side. Far too many more to remember, but just lots of side splitting laughter.

It was all in good fun and we decided I will stick to my normal easy boring foods for awhile - like pasta and stir fry. I realised that I did not roll out the dough thin enough. I thought it was thin. I did make the Rotis again on Monday night - the hottest day of the week. I had to try them again and they were really amazing, if I have to say so myself and my harshest critic said so too. I have to confess and apologise to all the Hindu Amma's, they are not that easy to make when you make the dough with the correct quantities of water and flour. They are far more difficult to roll out and get into circles and then cook. I burnt my knuckles several times on the edge of the pan, whilst flattening with the back of a spoon. OK I am not the most patient and nimble person in the kitchen, so you might not burn your fingers. They were so worth the back breaking rolling out and burnt knuckles. Flour mixed with liquid is the most fascinating thing. Well in my crazy analytically minded brain it is. Take pies, rotis and unleavened bread, all made with basically the same ingredients, but totally different taste and texture.

Both nights we finished off our meal with Caramel & Vanilla Ice Cream. Have you ever been so impatient for the ice cream to soften to make it easier to serve. We put ours in the microwave for 20 seconds and it is just long enough not to spoil the whole tub, but enough to soften it to get a spoon in.

Do you have an easy pie recipe you would care to share. I once made a chicken pie as well, that was also dry and the pastry tough. I am definitely doing something wrong, so if you are a pie maker and have any ideas, please let me know.

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