Friday, September 23, 2011

Birthday Pie, Walk Down Memory Lane

"You sure know how to make a guy delirious."

It isn't every Amazon that can elicit a comment like that from her husband simply by serving mushy peas and brown gravy from a package. Perhaps it helps to provide context:

My husband loves meat in pastry. Anything remotely resembling a savoury pie gets his enthusiastic thumbs up. In our past pre-kid travels to New Zealand, we did our best to eat our weight in meat pies—evidence of this is here in a past blog.

On our more recent (two years ago recent) trip to Australia, we sampled a few pies as well, with the clear winner being a "Tiger" from Harry's Cafe de Wheels in Woolloomoolloo. This is a meat pie, topped with mashed potatoes, mushy peas and brown gravy. It was surprisingly delicious, and we still think of it fondly.

So enter hubby's true birthday, which is a bit of a let-down because we've already done the family dinner and fancy cake the previous Sunday. He has requested ground beef cooked with some kind of tomato sauce for his true birthday dinner, but what I have in the fridge are ready-made pies from The Prairie Pie Wagon. This is Saskatoon's version of Harry's Cafe de Wheels. I had four pies: pork, cherry and wild rice, turkey pot pie, steak and Guinness, and tourtiere.

I also had a good quantity of leftover buttermilk mashed potatoes. This got me thinking. Perhaps we could recreate a favourite vacation meal for his birthday? I had some green split peas, and with a quick stop at the nearby convenience store for a package of brown gravy mix (note, I NEVER buy this stuff, but in this case, it was required for authenticity's sake). I boiled up the peas, mashed them, mixed up the gravy, reheated the pies and potatoes, and voila! Nostalgic dinner extravaganza! And the resulting quote regarding delirium. Lucky me to be married to someone so easy to please. And by the way, he had the tourtiere, which I think meets his ground meat requirements. I didn't even outright ignore his request in making this dinner! A true step forward in our relationship.

Photo of the pie/peas/potatotes/gravy to come soon...promise!

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