I don’t claim to be an amazing cook but I’m passable and always try to make every meal from scratch. My mum is the kind of Farmer’s Wife who can create a home cooked meal at a minutes notice for an army. She will always produce a cake from nowhere for those visitors or corn reps who turn up un-announced. She will often say over Sunday Dinner that everything we have eaten bar the sugar, flour and custard powder has been grown or reared on their farm. I guess I’ve had cooking from fresh instilled into me.
I love making my creamy chicken, ham and leek pie as it feels like a real farmhouse kitchen recipe. I can use our milk and cream so it satisfies me to utilise the products that we have to hand. The original recipe, that I think was a Hairy Biker recipe, doesn’t really include a lot other than ham, chicken and leeks but I’ve adapted it to cram as many vegetables in my son and farmer’s mouth as possible.
Courgettes…. everyone has a mountain of courgettes at the moment. We haven’t got our own plant this year but my mum, auntie and various milk customers are all desperate for us to take them off their hands. I find Chicken and Ham Pie a fabulous place to hide them, if chopped small enough that is. Mushrooms and carrots and any other veg that I think work also go in, along with a splash of wine and the milk and cream.
When it comes to pastry I’ve always bought it until recently (my mum doesn’t know that obviously!). I didn’t have enough faith in my ability to make it. However, since taking the plunge and having I go I’ve been really pleased and found it easier to handle than the bought variety and it tastes nicer. The left overs also provide enough entertainment for children allowing you to get the pie in the oven in peace.
I’m not very good at presentation and my pastry is rough but the best part for me is that my fussy son actually eats it and I know that unbeknown to him he’s having a mix of veg, protein and calcium.
If anyone has any recipes for courgettes, please send them this way!