Feels like winter has arrived. We are now seeing the first ice on the river. I went out and took a photo of the water with my phone before heading out to the monastery. Temps started out in the single digits and there is usually a stiff breeze up on the hill so I wore knee high boots and the coat I decided to buy after reading the description that it was made for ‘walking in Canada’s winters". I like to walk. I was cozy dressed as I was.

Came home with the idea of making comfort food.. Decided on a Cottage Pie, similar to a Shepherd’s Pie which is made with lamb.
I washed, peeled and put potatoes on to cook. Then cooked onions, meat, sweet peppers …. normally I’d add a little stock and tomato paste and veggies, etc., but I had small amounts of leftovers I’d frozen. So in went a small container of sauce with peppers and onions, another container of picadillo filling leftover from pasteles, the remaining frozen peas in a bag. The sauce and the filling had so much flavor I didn’t add any other seasoning to the mix except for a bay leaf.

While the filling was simmering I mashed potatoes, added butter and a few other things. Poured the filling into a pie pan and topped it with the potatoes, popped it all into the oven. The Italian sauce and the Latin picadillo worked perfectly together. A neighbor stopped by and although he’d had supper, I didn’t have to twist his arm (a glass of wine helped) to have him try a piece. He gave it 2 thumbs up. This neighbor has been trying to gain weight for years. Since we’ve moved in across the street from him, he’s gained a few pounds.

Back to the pie, the only problem I had with it is that I didn’t have a large pie dish to make it in. Mine was on loan and so the filling bubbled over the sides…. a little messy but good! And the nice thing about Cottage Pie is that each one is unique. Change the crust or filling ingredients and it works and is a great way to use up little bits of this and that.

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