As soon as the clocks change it feels like the world goes into fast forward until New Year. The days are shorter, you feel like you never see the sun, so I for one throw myself into the holiday spirit.
Watching golden hued leaves fall has made me reflective. Ten months later and I can’t remember where I wrote my new years resolutions let alone what they were! My summer bucket list was put on hold when more important things came up and with barely a second thought winter coats have been pulled out of storage.
So here I am, at a self imposed junction, remembering the last few months through the medium of instagram (my favourite memory prompt) and revealing my slightly more realistic end of 2012 bucket list.
autumn leaves // pumpkins // first pumpkin spice latte // last of the warm weather date // subway graffiti // wild blackberries // even beer companies are mocking my OH // gentle encouragement for my talented OH // mist // full moon over the cathedral // pre-skyfall martinis – shaken not stirred // bond fun with our new chalkboard tabletop // goodbye ombre hair // hello new season cut and colour
Inspired by the trees shedding their leaves, most of my bucket list is equally decluttering with a few fun seasonal traditions thrown in for good measure.
1. Visit mummies and dinosaurs – not terms of endearment for my parents
2. Introduce my burger obsessed boyfriend to Meatliquor
3. Finish making my advent calendar
4. Go up the Belfry of Bruges
5. Alphabetise/catalogue/label DVDs now they’re in storage boxes
6. Organise/declutter those embarrassing 5 boxes of junk
7. Find the perfect new decoration for our Christmas tree
8. Find a better solution for everyday stationery – it’s a mess!
9. Start recipe card project
10. Watch all the Harry Potter movies before Christmas – a new tradition I’m enforcing.
This pie is perfect for this time of year, the sauce is rich with big chunks of beef and spoonfuls of mash. I’ve made it twice already this month and it has been inhaled quickly both times!
Kate and Will Wedding Pie
adapted from Jamie’s Great Britain with inspiration from Mashed Up Pies
serves 10 (I froze ⅔)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 knob of butter
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
3 fresh bay leaves
3 medium red onions, peeled
1kg shin of beef plus bone (I used stewing beef and omitted the bone)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons tomato purée
400ml good local smooth stout (I used Whitstable Oyster Stout)
2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
1.5 litres organic beef
140g pearl barley
3 teaspoons English mustard
2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, to taste
100g good Cheddar cheese
To make a pie for 4 people using 1/3 of stew
½ pack of shortcrust pastry (approx)
4 medium large potatoes
knob of butter
splash of milk
salt and pepper
Put the oil, butter and herbs in a casserole dish on the hob at a high heat.
Rough chop the onions and add that, the salt and pepper and the beef to the pan (plus the bone if you’re using it), mix well and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the tomato puree, stock, flour and stout and stir until it comes to a simmer.
Put a lid on the pot, turn the heat right down and cook for an hour.
After 45 minutes preheat the oven to 180C butter and flour your pie dish, roll the pastry about 1cm thick and lay in the dish, cutting the excess from the sides.
Cover the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beads/rice.
Blind bake for 45 minutes.
Boil then mash the potatoes adding the butter, milk and seasoning.
When the hour is up on the filling, add the pearl barley and cook for another 30 minutes or until the beef falls apart.
Spoon away any oil from the stew then mix in the mustard, worcestershire sauce and cheese.
When the pie crust is cooked add the filling and top with mashed potatoes.
Return to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes until the top of the potatoes are slightly browned.