Ah well, it couldn’t last forever:
After several genial days of feasting, merrymaking accompanied by a goodly helping of Peace on earth & Goodwill to all mankind, tempers finally frayed somewhat this afternoon. And why? All because of a pie….
…and a goodly pie, at that; a goosey-game pie, rustled up with the Christmas & Boxing day leftovers. It’s another recipe conjured up by Fiona (the Cottage Smallholder) using up festive fayre which might otherwise end up in the compost bin if left to its own devices. And Christmas is such a time of excess it seems all-too-easy to cook Yet Another Meal from new ingredients, thus creating Yet More Waste (& waist…!) rather than using imagination & creating something equally delicious & nourishing from what we already have to hand.
Thus it was, when considering tonight’s supper I suggested I could make a pie. Tony was fired with enthusiasm at the suggestion, to the extent that he wanted to tackle it himself. Despite his undeniable talents as a professionally-qualified Gelatière Artigianale he does little main-course cooking himself, at home; preferring to work with the animals or gelato recipes whilst I enjoy the therapeutic sights, scents & sounds of any creative cookery in which I can indulge. Hence my surprise at his insistence that this would be ‘his’ dish….
Up until today he’d never made a Bechamel sauce. Admittedly I should have just trusted his innate ability & left him to it (but Men In The Kitchen = MESS); so I hovered around to the extent that he snapped; & the rest of the day was passed between us in either fuming silence or a volley of vitriolic sniping whilst he sullenly stirred his sauce & I furiously picked & plucked the plump remnants of meat from the folorn carcasses of the pheasants & goose which had so royally fed us over Christmas.
As it turned out, Tony’s Bechamel sauce was exquisite; the best, in fact, that I’ve ever tasted. I should have appreciated this would of course be the case; as we craft our gelato with what is known professionally as a ‘yellow base’ – effectively, a classic crème anglaise – & Tony invariably conjures it, to completely dreamy-creamy perfection.
Grumpily we called a truce as my carefully-prepared fresh vegetables & plump pieces of pheasant & goose were mingled with the Bechamel & topped with Tony’s lovely light puff pastry before being slid into the Rayburn’s oven. The dark clouds of moodiness soon dissipated as Tony’s decorative holly leaves deteriorated into entire Christmas trees & we collapsed in fits of giggles, opting to leave the decorations for another day after all.
And an hour or so later we were all feasting on a delicious ‘four-& -twenty’ pie; a heartwarming meal in every sense. The recipe can be found at http://www.cottagesmallholder.com/?p=559 along with plenty of other tasty dishes – I’d recommend digging into Fiona’s fantastic store cupboard if you’re hungry & in need of inspiration or are wracking your brains for interesting meals on a budget.