I am surprised sometimes at the amount of time my family spends together. Not so much my husband and myself, but our kids mostly seem to enjoy just being around us, even though they are adults now too. I often wonder if other families have the same kind of interactions as we do, quite often in our household we will all be brought to tears laughing so hard at something one or the other of us has done, or something silly that happens and becomes a laughing disagreement between a couple of us but makes all of us giggle like we are school kids.
I can think of a couple of times this has happened but probably the most recent is my husband and I were having a disagreement on how to speak certain English words properly. I was brought up in a British household so some of my words are more British sounding than Canadian sounding, for instance school, book, look, and cook, for me they are all pronounced with a slightly longer OO sound than is normal here in Canada, where for some reason, book, cook, and look all sound like they have a U sound in the center of the words when my husband and kids say them. My husband and I were in laughing disagreement about the proper pronunciation and my kids heard us laughing and sort of shouting at each other (not in a nasty way) and came down to see what was going on.
As you have no doubt figured out, my kids took his side. The laughing fight went on for about an hour and we were all sitting cross-legged and had to make mad dashes for the bathroom at some point during that hour, which just made us laugh harder. This kind of thing happens a lot in my family and I often think how lucky I am to have my kids interested enough that they participate in even the silliest things.
When Willie came into our lives, he added a whole new level of enjoyment to the family
and a whole new level of laughter and fun, not to mention a whole new level of mess to clean up. Do you see that stuffed dog with his ear chewed off and the little place just over the eye that looks like its missing its furry coating, well inside there is a whole bunch of white stuffing, which right after this picture was taken was ripped out of the poor thing and made my whole house look like it had snowed inside. Between the stuffies with their stuffing on the outside rather than on the inside, and the balls that Willie likes to play with, my house always seems to look like a hurricane went through it. So, I have taken to just leaving everything throughout the day and then at night going around and picking up either the balls and putting them away, or what’s left of the stuffies and throwing it out. Although I am thinking about holding onto all that fluff and just keep making him some kind of sausage looking thing that he can rip apart and then start all over again.
Let me know what it’s like at your house, I would love to hear that other families have the same kind of fun with their grown up kids that are still at home.
And now, for todays recipe, in honour of St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to make
For those of you who are new to cooking, that is essentially a fry up of vegetables and lamb (or the ground meat of your choosing), put in a baking dish and covered with mashed potatoes, and then popped back into the oven with either breadcrumbs on top or, I like to brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle cheddar on top. This recipe could feed 8 easily, unless you have, like me, a 6’5″ monster who can eat half in a single sitting. Here is what you will need:
- 2 lbs ground Lamb (or any ground meat of your choice, to make it lighter use chicken or turkey, for full on flavour use ground beef)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2-3 stalk celery, chopped
- 2-3 carrots, peeled & chopped
- 1 Cup ea. frozen peas and corn
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste (or if you don’t have this, you can use a couple of Tbsp of ketchup)
- 1 Cup water
- 12 Cups water
- 6-8 potatoes, peeled and cut in half
- 1/4 lb butter
- 1/2 Cup milk
- 1/2 Cup Cheddar cheese, grated
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 doz. Buns
- Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
- Peel potatoes and cut in half if small, or in quarters if large
- Rinse in cold water and then put in large pot and fill pot with water until it completely covers the potatoes
- Add salt to the water then put the pot on the stove and turn it to high. To stop the pot from boiling over and making a mess of your stove top, lay a wooden spoon across the top of the pot so the bubbles have something to break against.
- While the potatoes are cooking, pull out a large frying pan and add about 1 Tbsp of oil to the pan, turn to medium high.
- Once the pan has warmed up, put the ground lamb into the pan and begin to break it up into small pieces.
- Keeping an eye on the lamb, begin chopping up your other ingredients, you want them all to be about the same size so think about the size of a pea and chop them all to that size, or if you hate peas and are not putting them in, about the size of your pinky nail (as you can see Willie gets some too, just without the onions).
- Throw the veggies in with the lamb and start frying them all up together.
- Once the lamb is cooked and the onions are becoming translucent, add the tomato paste, salt & pepper, then the cup of water, fry for a couple of minutes more, then pull from the heat.
- In a 9 x 13 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray, pour the meat mixture in.
- When the potatoes are done (you can tell by putting a fork into them and if there is any resistance, put them back on the heat for a few more minutes, once the water has come to a boil, it usually only takes about 15 -20 minutes for the potatoes to be cooked through) drain them and then put them back in the pot for a couple of minutes to dry out.
- After the potatoes have sat for a few minutes, take your masher and begin breaking the potatoes down, add 3 Tbsp of butter and the 1/2 Cup of milk and keep mashing until you have the texture you like. We like ours with still some texture (meaning there are still small chunks in it), but some people prefer them whipped, if you like the whipped ones, then pull out your beaters and have at it until you get the texture you like.
- Put the potatoes on top of the meat mixture once you have them mashed and flatten out with a spatula. Then take a fork and runs it softly over the potatoes to rough them up, you want to have little peaks to them, they get kind of brown and nutty tasting once you have cooked them in the oven.
- Melt the remaining butter in the microwave or in a small pot on top of the stove and brush it over the top of the mashed potatoes, then sprinkle on the cheddar cheese. I add chives and parsley to the top as well but it isn’t necessary.
- Place the pan into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes (keep an eye on it, you want the cheese to melt but not burn), the cheese will have melted and there will be little brown peaks all over the top of the pan.
- Bring out of the oven and let stand for about 15 minutes, so that it can cool down enough to eat.
- Serve with buns and if you wish a green salad.
I want to say thank you to all of you who come by for a peek, and maybe just to see what’s cooking. I haven’t received any comments on any of the posts that I have published here in the last couple of weeks. If you don’t like the new format, please let me know , or if you do, I would be thrilled to hear from you.
Remember, my email is down the side, if you email me I will send you a copy of my “How to Cook Book” that has five easy to make recipes and the grocery list that goes with them.
Take care and I will talk to you on the weekend, the recipe will be for Maple Porkloin.