‘Twas the day to make meat pies, the onions were sliced.
The ground pork was sizzling, the mushrooms were diced.
When, what to my family’s surprise should appear,
But me in an apron and snorkel mask gear!
Cyber-confessions: With Christmas looming large on the horizon, I look forward to our annual meat-pie-making ceremony. It always signifies the start of the holidays for our family. And at this ripe old age, I must confess into the blogosphere that I can’t cook. Never could. Never would. Never wanted to. But in an idiot savant kind of way – I can cook a fabulous French Canadian tourtiere (meat pie).
Practice makes perfect-pie: The truth is, I’ve had exactly 25 years experience making this one dish every Christmas. It all started in December 1991. So I should be good at it by now, with tons of beef, pork and mushrooms under my belt. Well, not literally you understand or my dress size would outnumber my age. But I digress…
Back to the pies: When I say I can’t cook, I mean I can’t cook anything that doesn’t appeal to a child under the age of ten. Over the years, I managed to make all the simple standards; enough to keep my daughter fed and the Children’s Aid from my door.
Soufflé or sauté: But when it came to dinner parties and trying recipes that required any skill at all – I didn’t know flambé from flamenco! Eating-out or catering-in was always the wisest choice back then. During my working years, Hubsey often threatened to turn our kitchen into a library. He said the wasted space taken up by the stove and cooking areas could be put to better use. I thought it was a brilliant idea, but alas he never followed through.
Hungry motivation: And so over the years it came to pass, that for reasons of pure self-preservation, Hubsey decided to take over the kitchen reins and I gladly relinquished my apron. Well it wasn’t really an apron – I never had one of those. It was more of a long silk shirt that fluttered elegantly as I wafted through the kitchen to top up my glass of wine.
Perfect pair: Now back to Hubsey’s foray into cooking. I’m happy to report that he’s done an admirable job at this cooking thing and over the years has developed into a very creative and adventurous chef. So I continue to sit back in my post retirement years; bib tucked firmly in place and my knife and fork at the ready – eager to sample anything he gets the urge to create. We make quite a team! He loves to cook and I…don’t!
Keep out: Now back to my meat pie story again. Hubsey doesn’t get involved. This is the one dish he leaves to me and my daughter to prepare and wisely stays out of the kitchen. He knows it’s been a bumpy road to get me to this exalted state of meat-pie-cooking-nirvana and he doesn’t want to upset the delicate balance of this rare mother-daughter cooking achievement. How well he remembers the first time we tried this recipe. What a disaster! But in my defense, the snorkel masks were my idea and they did help with the onions.
Check it out: Years ago I wrote an article about that first tourtiere-cooking experience. It was published in several magazine and newspaper publications and you can check out a-toast-to-tourtierehere. And for those of you who find your mouth-watering curiosity too much to bear – click here for my toutiere-recipe
I’ve passed this recipe on to scores of people over the past 25 years – with rave reviews by all. This truly is the best holiday meat pie ever. And if I can make it…well, you know the drill.
Now away I must fly like the down of a thistle.
I think I just heard my stove-timer-thing whistle.
So let me exclaim as I blog out of sight,
“It took me 2 decades…but I got it right!”
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good bite!
See you between the lines and on Twitter @PatSkene
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