Another home on the grange
Tonight, I’ve had to spend hours redoing things I’ve already done. It’s more than frustrating, but I really think it’s necessary, so I’ve buckled down and set to it. In the middle of migrating files, I had a break to chop onions for the freezer – we love them griddled on the bbq with burgers, hot dogs & steaks – and to make a delicious cottage pie for dinner. For my American friends, cottage pie is like shepherd’s pie, but made with minced beef instead of minced lamb (hence the name).
I’ve always wondered about the etymology of the dish’s name, I mean I get that ‘shepherd’s pie’ is connected to the lamb that it contains, it makes perfect sense to me; but what do cottages have to do with beef? Did people in ‘Olde Englande’ keep their cattle in their cottages perhaps? It just seems an oddity, so of course I had to go searching for its origins.
It turns out that cottage pie contained beef, but was so named because the potatoes were sliced and layered on top so they looked like the roof of a cottage, as opposed to shepherd’s pie, which has mashed potatoes on top. Darn it! I made my cottage pie with mash – beautifully smooth, creamy and delicious mashed potatoes mixed with mashed sweet potatoes (yum!) – instead of the more authentic slices. Next time, I’ll do it right! Still, the taste is what counts and it was scrumptious. I would have taken a photo to post, but some greedy guts ate it all before that was possible.
Whilst I was cooking, well, washing up actually, I looked out of the kitchen window to see the wagtail that visits us regularly on the garden path with its baby, clearly teaching him the ropes – ‘This garden’s fantastic for worms sweetie, wag, wag; don’t worry about the humans, they like us here, wag, wag’ and I dropped everything and ran for the camera. I’m getting old and simply don’t move as fast as I would like to, so that by the time I returned, they had both moved on to the next learning opportunity. Aye me.
And, glory of all gloriousness! YES! I have a strawberry and it is GOOD! And there’s another one too! I’m leaving them for a couple of days, hoping our feathered friends haven’t noticed it yet, so that it has time to properly ripen on the stalk. Then, I am going to pick them and eat it. Oh yum!