Saturday, February 10, 2007

Going to Pot Pie

This year, our friend Punxsutawney Phil, the Groundhog, let us know that we were in for an early spring for once. Having already had an extraordinarily balmy holiday season and a January so warm that dandelions started blooming, I took this prognostication with a hefty grain of salt, interpreting that “early spring” as what we’d already had. And given this past week’s bitterly cold temperatures and wind chills, I think I’m justified in feeling correct.

I’m not saying that I’m happy that it’s been so cold out – as one who walks everywhere, I can assure you that it hasn’t been much of a treat – but I am definitely feeling the urge to cook hearty, warming winter fare. Comfort food, if you will.

Given a fairly wide open weekend, I decided that it was time to load the refrigerator with easy-to-reheat meals (or easy-to-pack lunches) full of good local vegetables and relatively low on fat, unlike some of the lunches I’ve picked up on the go recently. And high on the list of dishes that fit that description nicely is an old favorite, the classic pot pie.

I started off with making a pot of vegetable stock in the morning, knowing that I’d need some for the “sauce” in which the vegetables cozy up to the pie crust (and knowing that I’d probably make soup later in the week). Once I was ready to start making the pot pies, I prepped all the vegetables -- potatoes, parsnips, edamame, corn, and garlic from the farmers’ market, and a carrot thrown in for color -- and simmered them in a mixture of vegetable stock, whey, tamari, and cornstarch to thicken.

While they bubbled away in the pot, I whipped up a couple of dill-laced wheat pie crusts. The pot
pie I intended for the freezer would only have a top crust, but the one I baked for tonight’s meal had crust on top and bottom. (A bit of an indulgence, I admit, but baby, it’s cold outside!)

The pot pie had plenty of time to bake before I was well and truly hungry, so while it sat in the oven, warming and turning a lovely golden brown, I sat down to enjoy a bit of reading while I waited. And when it finished, the sight and smell alone convinced me that I was, indeed, ready to eat!

Other things might not get done this weekend, but at least I’ve got a slice of comfort food fresh from the oven, with more to enjoy over the week ahead.

So bring on the cold, bring on the snow. I don’t care. (Well, OK, I do, but you know what I mean.)

As long as I can come inside for a hearty meal, I’m fine.


At 2/21/2007 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not hearty enough. The pot pie needs some protien and fat; some chicken, sausage or lamb. After all, life is a cassoulet, old chum.


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