Comfort Food on a Cold Winter Evening

| 12/1/2014 12:14:00 AM

Tags: comfort food, roasted vegetables, Annie Kelley, Illinois,


When I was a child, my mom would buy those ghastly frozen individual pot pies at the grocery store when they were on sale. Chicken, turkey, beef.. all encased in a fat laden crust that turned golden brown when you baked them. I loved those things.  Every now and then, she would make big ones from scratch, usually after Thanksgiving when she was looking for ways to use up leftover turkey.  She'd get the big 9-by-13 baking pan out (there were 8 of us) and she'd put a pastry crust on the bottom, load it up with turkey and frozen peas and carrots and cooked diced potatoes in a yummy gravy and top it with more crust.  

I'm a sucker for anything in gravy to this day. Luckily, I married a man from northern Wisconsin who fell in love with me because I was the first woman he'd met that knew how to make gravy.  I wowed him over and over with these one dish pot pies.  As the years went on, I learned better ways to make that dish that were a little healthier,  most times, using my organic produce from the garden and leaner cuts of meat and sometimes no meat at all.  I make the pie crusts with butter instead of shortening, and use whole wheat pastry flour or at the very least unbleached flour to make the crust. Sometimes I make it with no bottom crust, and a biscuit crust on the top.  That's what we have today.

We belong to a discussion group that started out reading and discussing sustainability and ecology and food choices. At the end of each session, we have a big vegetarian potluck. This is fun because we have so many good cooks and there is a magnificent array of dishes.  One time I was trying to decide what to fix with what I had on hand, and it was a cold winter evening and I thought, boy...pot pie would be good. I went sleuthing around in the pantry and the cold room where we keep our root vegetables, came out with a handful of yummy things and an idea for a roasted root vegetable pot pie. 

You can make this dish with whatever you like. One secret ingredient in this added a layer of sweet richness to this that knocked everybody out.  I washed and thinly sliced an apple.  It made a world of difference in the taste.


12/4/2014 9:20:42 PM

Mary--is amasi like kefir ? I have wondered about using that in recipes...the best biscuits/scones I've ever had. Will never make them any other way. xoxoxo

12/3/2014 10:54:08 PM

Annie, how wonderful to see our recipe shared here! And I love your selection of roasted vegetables. Because I live in a fairly rural area, I often use amasi rather than buttermilk, which is a traditional sour milk fermented in a calabash and popular in poorer communities. It is a little thicker and has a rich unpasteurised taste but buttermilk works well too.

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