Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Hail on the roof, pie in the oven.

It was one of the coldest Saturdays in memory.  

A direct southerly, hard and fast,  dragged freezing air off the Southern Ocean or maybe even Antarctica and dumped it on us. 
Cross-country raceday at an elevated venue with a southerly aspect saw us taking the brunt of it. To get through the race, we had to keep reminding ourselves that tonight, we were to have an old-fashioned pie for dinner, one of T.'s mum's Scottish recipes.
T. had already made the filling, so assembling the pie was easy. Ground beef combined with grated carrot and onion and bound with Gravox, some tomato sauce  and a good dash of worcestershire sauce. Plus, plenty of white pepper. You want your pie filling to be peppery as well as piping hot. Homely rather than gourmet, baked simply in a pie dish with a flaky pastry lid. (T.'s mum encases the whole pie in pastry, but we only had enough for the lid.)
I soothed my tired muscles in a bath filled with hot water and Lectric Soda (sodium carbonate crystals, not sure of the science, but people swear by it for sore muscles) as the tempting smell of simmering root vegetables (potato, carrot, swede) found its way through the house, shortly followed by the totally enticing aroma of meat pie baking in the oven - is there any better?
Although it had been a chilly day, the rain had held off; and as we sat down to baked meat pie with vegetables, the skies finally opened. We could hear it beating on the roof.
Then rain turned to hail and the familiar clattering sound of hail against the window accompanied our wintry Saturday evening dinner.
As did that other great muscle relaxant.

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