From the Field to the Table

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Yesterday I had figured on a chill day following my trip to the gym and the grocery store. I was pretty tired from all the fun we had on Friday and Saturday hanging with our good friends and staying up a bit too late as usual. Of course, those plans to chill were thwarted and as it turns out I was totally okay with it although I was tired.

So what was more important than chilling out on a Sunday?

Making Pheasant Pot Pie of course! My husband went hunting in the morning with his friend, John, and they took his young dog, Miri, for her first hunt. She did great and they guys ended up bringing home a handful of pheasants which they proceeded to pluck and clean in preparation of an afternoon of cooking.

First John made some stock by baking a few pheasants along with a base of celery, carrots and onion for about a half hour. Then he added herbs and water and simmered everything on the stove for a few hours. The stock was great and I can’t wait to reduce it and make a killer soup this week!

While John was working on the stock I was working on making the pie crusts. I’m in love with Cook’s Illustrated’s Foolproof Pie Dough recipe and use it as my go-to for all my pie crust needs. John typically only uses a top crust on his pot pies but I’m a double crust type of girl and so that’s how we made it. It’s a little bit more naughty that way but a lot more delicious (as least you’ll agree if you’re a crust-lover like myself!)

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Here’s my youngest as she protests using the word “please”.

As the stock simmered and the dough chilled I took a brief nap while the rest of the clan went on a pinball machine errand. My husband has been itching for one and so they went to the next town over to check a few out. They didn’t come home with one but at least their errand gave me a little bit of peace to recharge for the remaining hour or so of cooking and cleaning.

Once the stock was finished, John got started on the filling as I deboned the pheasants used for the stock and both of us in the kitchen were thrilled as John’s wife, Lesley, and my husband took the dogs and the kids for a hike in the back woods. It’s so much nicer to cook when you’re not being pestered by little beings tugging at your leg and insisting on being held. Of course, they all came back just as I was about to tackle the most messy, attention demanding part; rolling out the dough.

For some reason, despite following the directions completely my dough was very crumbly. I do usually add a little extra vodka or water to the dough to make it more moist but this time I wanted to see if I could make it look like the picture looked without tinkering with the liquid requirements. I should have known better. The dough was very difficult to roll out/keep together but with the help of a lot of flour and parchment paper we got the job done and put the pies in the oven. A quick 30 minutes later, in which time we were able to clean up the kitchen, dinner was served.

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I’m obviously no food photographer and I won’t be winning any awards for the aesthetic appeal of my pie crust but dang was it tasty and I’m thrilled that I have 3/4 of a pie left for lunch today! So, despite the fact that I was tired and hadn’t planned on spending the day in the kitchen I can’t complain. I love cooking with friends and I love when we are involved in every single process of getting the meal on the table.

Today could be a replacement chill day since it’s Spring break but let’s be real, if I don’t do some sort of organized activity with these kids they’re going to drive both myself and each other crazy. Guess I’d better get off my butt, get some clothes on theirs and go gallivant around town for a while. Maybe I’ll pull the car up to their favorite inflatable play place and make their morning… sounds exhausting! At least I have left overs to recharge us later.

Happy Monday, friends!

Colleen

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