Saturday, November 2, 2013

Positively Beastly Weather and Comfort Food.

Autumn walks are beyond beautiful.
I find them to be refreshing, exhilarating and energizing.
The air is fresh and crisp and there is a bit of a chill which keeps me moving.
The trees are shedding their leaves with the change of season...
I like to listen to the crunch of the leaves as I walk on their colourful carpeting.

On one of my most recent walks I ventured into the local cemetery. It's a park like space in our neighbourhood which has many heritage trees and a wide assortment of wildlife from birds and squirrels, to raccoons and deer. There are many headstones and a few crypts. My family ancestors have a plot and are buried here.

mushrooms the size of dinner plates!

I gathered a few leaves and cones to add to the wee pumpkins.

Walking in the crisp air made me so hungry!
 A simple salad on such a chilly day would not be enough so I actioned some serious COMFORT food for lunch.

French Toast with a wee drizzle of Canadian Maple Syrup!

Seriously simple to make...
whisk and egg in a shallow dish big enough to accommodate a piece of bread.
Buy the Silver Hills Little Big Bread in the blue bag ~ 2 pieces are only 1 WW point!
Soak bread and then flip over to allow it to absorb the rest of the egg.
Place in a small fry pan with a wee and I do mean "wee" bit of butter.
Cook a few minutes and then flip until done.
Drizzle with Maple Syrup.

I ate a pear after as dessert and sipped a mug of Earl Grey Tea.
~ ~ ~
Today as I read over and edit this post it is blustery outside and I am not too keen going out for my walk.
The wind is howling outside and I am grateful to be snug in a warm Humble Bungalow keeping cozy.

The weather is really beastly out there today...the ferries have been stopped due to the high winds and many people are stranded at the terminal waiting for a break in the storm.

I have been busy in the kitchen all morning making meat pies for my daughter's fellow, who is originally from the Marlborough area of New Zealand. His family own an award winning Olive Grove.
 N has been craving the meat pies that he grew up eating...
apparently they even sell them in McDonald's in NZ!
I googled New Zealand meat pies and found a recipe in a woman's magazine so I am following it to the letter.
The pies are cooked and cooling on the counter, and a pear dessert is baking in the oven.
I plan to cook fish for my daughter and myself...
I will try one bite of the meat pies just to see what they taste like.

What family recipes do you remember loving from your childhood?
Do you still make them?

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."
 ~ Virginia Woolf ~



  1. I was wondering what you were going to do about your daily walks once the weather got bad? I've been swimming pretty much daily since last Spring, but I know that once it gets cold out, it's not going to be appealing - at all, so I've gone back to spinning classes and trying to transition for the winter to that. Do you have another option for cardio exercise?

    1. My friend and I were just perusing the local rec centre options...I do think I will keep walking on most days that there is not seawater and driftwood crashing over onto the sidewalk on my regular route. I may alter my route to one that is more protected and less dangerous when the winds are gale force. I think a well fitting hat will be in order though!

  2. Dear Hostess, I just realized who you remind me of ... (hope you're not offended) ... Ina Garten. You and your husband and your beautiful relationship and your lifestyle are so similar to hers. I'm so impressed. I was just reading your post about your anniversary "date" this past summer. Pretty sweet. Congratulations to you both. :)

    1. I love watching Ina Garten and have several of her cookbooks so I am flattered!

  3. Oh! I once had the most delicious minced beef pie (looks very much like the ones in your pictures) at my friend's house. They were from South Africa and the pies were made by my friends' grandma. I have never had a better minced beef pie since and it has been decades. If yours turn out well, please post the recipe! Thanks.

    1. Here's the link to the recipe...

    2. Thanks very much, I have one question: the recipe doesn't call for pre-baking the bottom pie shell, did it turn out dry and flaky or a little bit soggy (bottom crust, I mean)l?

    3. The crust was rolled quite thin and it cooked up very flaky, not soggy at all.
      The oven was at 425 degrees so that might be the reason.

  4. Your pies look luscious and I am sure that that your daughter's friend will be impressed and appreciative. The weather today in Upstate New York is edgy- windy, dark and threatening. The news used the "F" word (flooding) last night which sends chills up my spine. It would be especially difficult for us this time because my husband just got home from the hospital with a new hip! But now I need to keep the dark thoughts out of my consciousness.

    My grandmother's beef soup is made for raw and edgy days. That is what we will be having today with a few extra veggies thrown in to bulk it up and help Mr. K heal.

    My WW points took a hit this week and now I need to hunker down and be conscientious again. I was doing really well and there is no reason to think that this slight set back will stop my forward progress. Did you have missteps while you lost, Hostess?

    1. Of course I have missteps. If I didn't I wouldn't be human!
      WW states that weight loss expectations should be 1 pound a week and mine is more like half a pound a week on average.

  5. Those pies look delicious! I'm trying to decide what to make for dinner tonight...

    One thing about having dogs is that they need to be walked no matter the weather, so it's a built-in exercise program (of course, our weather here is rarely inclement enough to keep us indoors).

  6. Now I have my dog,like une femme I HAVE to walk him twice daily whatever the weather which today is same as yours,gales heavy showers still rather mild considering it is November.
    Your pies look delicious bet they will be well received.

  7. Hello Hostess. I found your blog a few months ago and have been checking in on a regular basis. I really enjoy your posts. My husband works on the ferries and confirmed that it was a horrendously windy day yesterday - and yet here on the West Shore we only had a lot of rain.
    Your pies look delicious!

    1. Hi Sally,
      Happy to hear that you like the blog.
      I think Saanich and the Gulf Islands really got the brunt of the storm.
      The ferry that goes to Mayne had a really hard landing and damaged the docks because of the gusty winds. I don't mind when the ferries stop running due to high winds as it would be sheer folly to try and navigate those large boats with so much freeboard in gale force winds...puts far too many peoples lives at risk.

  8. Your meat pies are very pretty--and I"m sure they are going to be scrumptious! Here is deep East Texas out on our farm, the weather is just a bit nippy. I'm out on our screen porch wrapped in a wool shawl.

    My favorite comfort food is cornbread made with stoneground yellow corn meal. It is a recipe from the deep south and is imbedded in my psyche from early childhood. I make it at least twice a week and sometimes more.

  9. It was a horrendous day, weather-wise. We were stranded on the other side at the ferry terminal. But eventually, we made it across. I didn't mind the wait too much - we were warm and safe with food and drink to hand in the terminal, and free wifi!

    Today for dinner (on Sunday we eat our large meal at noon), I made a pot roast with carrots and onions just the way my mother makes. That's comforting food for us - recipes from the past bring back memories.

    Today is brighter and I'm doing some sewing, then going out for a walk in the autumn air.

  10. Oh, I love seeing pictures of the graveyard. Isn't that Little Big Bread amazing? So tasty!

  11. The weather here has just turned cold; I needed my winter coat today. Childhood memories of food are full of routines -- Sat night = fresh baked bread, ham and baked beans; Sun dinner = roast chicken or beef with gravy, potatoes, turnip, carrots and a savory bread pudding. I don't tend to make these artery clogging meals often. But one thing I have started making again (perhaps every few months) is eggy, custardy, sweet 'n' lovely bread pudding. My Asian daughters love it. Keep warm.

  12. Love that quote from Virginia Woolf! Autumn is my favorite time of year for cooking and baking.

  13. Get a large round loaf of King's Bakery Hawaiian bread and cut it thick, soak your slice in egg wisked into whipping cream, both sides, bring to a golden brown is a good amount of butter, slather on the syrup. You only go around once . . . Ann