Tuesday, September 24, 2013


                                           Find A Quiet Corner                        watercolour

This past year and a bit has had its challenges, and by the time mid summer rolled around when things began to quiet down, all I wanted out of life was some comfort.    ( Peace, quiet, staying home, and good health for myself and my loved ones).  I began to notice that I almost lived in my old, worn, comfy jeans and a choice of three T-shirts.  I have lots of clothes, but they stayed in the closet most of the time this summer.  I craved the soft, reassuring comfort of those old, well worn things.
We went back to our old favourite shows on DVD and watched them, almost on a loop.  The familiar voices, stories, and scenes soothed our evenings when we didn't want to think, we just wanted to chill out for a lovely change.
We spent time with friends who have been there since forever, people we love and trust and want to have in our lives always.   And we spent long, peaceful hours with our animals, just hanging out.  Is there anything more comforting than petting a dog or cat's silky fur?  They will sit with me by the hour in companionable silence while my soul heals
We sipped a lot of hot tea, that most soothing of drinks.  It starts most of my mornings and ends the day after dinner.  Serve it in a bone china cup or mug, take the time to inhale the fragrant steam coming off the tea, and sip slowly to make the world go away for a few minutes.
Let's not forget comfort food.  Everyone has their own special food for stressful times.  One of the family favourites here is Shepherd's Pie, or more correctly, Cottage Pie, because we don't eat lamb.  Hot, bubbling, and delicious, it's a go-to meal when we want to relax.  Perhaps you'd like our recipe.

                                                            COTTAGE PIE

The amounts and times are sort of vague, as this changes nearly every time I make it, but here is the standard recipe:    1)  Brown and drain one pound of extra lean ground beef.  We don't like fat, so we pat the beef                        dry as well.   Boil some potatoes while the beef is browning.
              2) slice some onion (not too much) and cook in with the drained meat.
              3)  Add cooked sliced carrots, and frozen peas, in an amount that seems adequate for  your taste
              4)  Add one tin of creamed corn  and salt to taste.  (I never added salt until it was removed                               from the creamed corn, which tastes a little less appetizing  than wall paper paste without the                         salt. .. .  in my opinion.
             5)  Add some Thyme, a bit of Sage, and some Rosemary to taste.  Mix everything well.
             6)  Mash the potatoes and spread more or less evenly on top of meat and vegetable mixture.                             Smooth out, then "flip" into waves.  Brush some margarine or butter over the hot potatoes and                        sprinkle with paprika.
             7)  Heat at 350 until hot and bubbling. (25 - 30 minutes)  Serve with your favourite sauce - ie.                            ketchup, home made chili sauce, etc.

                This gives us dinner for 4 with the addition of  a salad and crusty bread.
Oh, and be sure to relax and enjoy both the prep and the dining.  This is about Comfort. :)


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