I had intended this blog to include the recipe for Curried Lentil & Vegetable Pie, but I lost track of how much extra flour I was using to counteract having added too much oil!
I’m no pastry chef, but with 3 bags of different types of flour at home, I was determined to make a pie from scratch. There are so many recipes at our finger tips that you do not need another from me. Instead, I hope this serves to encourage you to try a new recipe, a dish that is outside of your comfort zone, trust yourself to give it a go, cook something different, get creative in making use of what you already have; just do something. As my big sister said, when I phoned her knee deep in flour “confidence in making pastry comes from experience”; well how can we gain experience if we don’t try eh.
I tend to be a one pot dish kinda gal; curries, soups, pasta sauces. I like being able to eat meals from it for several days, but like I said the trio of flour in my cupboard was haunting me! They were a few of many which became surplus as businesses closed suddenly with lockdown, and not one to turn down free food, I graciously accepted. I’d baked banana bread with some; were you even in lockdown if you haven’t? I was struggling to think of other recipes for flour, aside from pastry to make a pie. Well, it wasn’t going to stretch very far in my trusted one pot!
“I like a one pot, I just prefer to do things that are easy” an inner voice whined. Given that I was not long home from a 2.5 hour run, and training for a 53K race, I questioned whether this was really the case. I’m not sure that I do want the easy option, more that trying something new can feel taunting, a little overwhelming even. Is it that a one pot is that much easier, or is just that I’ve been making them for so long now that it feels safe, comforting?
“Make the pastry” came another voice, still mine, just firmer and less whiney. That was it, I couldn’t keep thinking about it, affording myself the time to talk myself out of it, I just had to do it! Pastry is pretty much flour, fat, water. I opted for wholemeal bread flour simply because it’s the packet that was already open; yep I’d used it to bake the banana bread. I used vegetable oil as it was the fat I had, and cream of tartar instead of baking powder because… you guessed it that’s what was in my cupboard.
The filling was made up of ingredients I’d collected for free using food sharing app Olio; lentils, mixed vegetables, aubergine pickle, curry powder, fresh coriander – well it was before I froze it, and a little water.
I phoned my sister to check whether she thought I should bake the pastry which was going to be the bottom of the pie; she agreed that I should to avoid it going soggy. It’s funny, it was just the day before that I’d commented on one of my Instagram posts that I was confident enough in the kitchen that I didn’t need to call upon my sister as I had when I’d started making bolognese in my earlier ‘can’t cook, won’t cook’ days; is this why influencers have a reputation for bending the truth ha ha.
In all seriousness, I don’t need my sister anymore when it comes to spag bol; I’ve told you I’ve got a one pot on lock! Yet, I clearly still need her when it comes to other dishes. And not just her, the internet when it comes to looking up ingredient substitutes, food storage guidelines. Social media for inspiration, ideas. Friends, neighbours, an online community for passing on unwanted, surplus food, and that voice in me that says “just give it a go” when it comes to pushing myself forward.
What new dish are you going to persuade yourself to make?
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