Monday, October 19, 2009

Ugly Food and Lovely Children

This is how I spent Saturday....



Yeah, unfortunately, they seem to have inherited my singing genes.

When enjoying a lovely meal, we are enticed first of all by the smell and the appearance and later on by the taste. So when does ugly food ever stand a chance? "MMmmm, Ahh", you sigh, when that delightful smell hits your nostrils and you close your eyes for a moment in anticipation, fork and knife grasped in your greedy wee fists; here it comes and it's placed in front of you but SCREEEECHHHH...the big pile of pulchritude you fancied finding on your plate ends up looking just like the messy mud pies you made as a kid down by the abandoned nuclear power station/fireworks factory/old mine shaft.

Do you eat it? Do you close your eyes and just dive on in? Does it change your potential enjoyment of the dish? It shouldn't really, should it? Food is our friend and we should respect it, regardless of how it looks.....

...and with that in mind, we come to Helen's Steak Pie with Homemade Puff Pastry with a vowel missing; it didn't so much puff as pff....

Without further ado, I'll share the image; best to get it over with I've made it really small so as not to offend thee too much....


Now, this steak pie with homemade puff pastry made my family wince a little. Having spent many hours lovingly preparing it for the little darlings wee jobbies, I failed to notice the appearance might be a little....unappetising. The pff pastry, albeit dodgy looking in the extreme, was absolutely delicious; the beef had been stewed for hours in homemade beef stock and a red wine reduction with a hint of herbs, baby carrots, onions, baby potatoes, sausages and a few bay leaves.

I could have ate it til it was coming out my ears it was that good. I do tend to like my own creations though, even when others are running for the hills. Once the family were persuaded to try it by that I mean I said bleedin' well eat it you ungrateful wretches or I'll be putting in a call to Maggie Murphy's Home for Wayward Weans then they enjoyed it although the pff pastry was given a body swerve by all bar my husband who knows a good thing when he gets told by me sees it. So don't always judge a dish by it's cover or a book/person/animal for that matter; beauty lies within...sometimes way, waaaay within, but nonetheless.

Homemade puff pastry, incidentally, is really not that hard however on occasion, I think I would say there are times to put away the pinny, hang up the rolling pin and buy from the professionals. This is most definitely one of those times.

The beef stew was simmered in hot stock for 2 hours. I then placed it in a pie dish and covered it with my special pff pastry and baked in the oven for 25 minutes. Since the pie had potatoes in it, I served the pie, the whole pie and nothing but the pie.

I should have gone with the Yorkshire puddings as planned..

Another not entirely pleasant looking dish....

...which tasted lovely.

Salmon patties on a bed of spinach, watercress and rocket, cucumber, tomatoes, a little olive oil dressing with balsamic vinegar and leftover goats cheese pasta. A strange combination, leftovers you see, but it went really well together!

The salmon patties are the same as the fishcakes without the flour dipping and roasted in the oven after a quick fry in a pan to seal the top.

17 comments:

angelcel said...

Ha! 'Pff Pastry'. Nice! :)

Jo said...

Helen you crack me up.

Glad to see you feeling better. Loved the clip of the kids singing, is poor wee Fraser trying to sleep through it or is he rolling his head in the hope that his sisters will shut up. Lucy is very funny.

If it's any consolation I am one of those strange people who enjoys non puffed puff pastry - I like it kinda chewy!

Jo x

Helen McGinn said...

Jo, thanks for trying to make my pff pastry sound better....chewy pastry does have that unique selling point, don't you think? ;O)

Fraser was 'in the moment', enjoying the singing as it sounded in his head....poor laddie.

Vodka Logic said...

Love the singing. I hadn't heard that song in years.

Yes some foods certainly taste better than they look, but they still can't look like out right garbage... lol

Protege said...

Ah, the video was so funny! Your boy seems not to be too much into the singing.;) Lovely kids!
And seeing these pictures; now I am hungry again! So happy it is lunch time.;) But my steamed vegetables seem a bit booooring after my visit here.;)
xo

mise said...

Your steak pie looks great, and I've never dared try homemade puff pastry, so I'm full of admiration. I cut shapes out of the rolled shop-bought variety so that it puffs exotically and children might eat it (and the pie underneath) which sometimes works, and sometimes not.

Mrs. Fish aka Two Fish said...

I needed your lovely wit! How can you think your meal was a pff, when it looked so YUM. You are too hard on yourself Misses. Looks so yummy!

I too enjoyed the singing, your son was a crack up singing but not singing with the girls!

latinmomof4punks said...

OMG!! Your kiddos are hilarious. "LOved The VIdeo" and of course the SINGING!!! :0)

My kids are learning to taste before puting judgement on some of my meals. LOL!
(This was a topic @ our home last week, after I made something that didn't look to good, but the taste was "Delicious".)

~Amor, Familia Y Cultura~
Betty

Transparent Mama said...

Helen- I am hoping you are feeling better. You must be if you are still cooking up a storm.

Unknown Mami said...

I would gladly eat any of your creations no matter how ugly.

Sumandebray said...

Ugly food could be tasty too!

But isn't beauty related to how good they are at fullfilling the purpose of their existence...
A bit philosophical... :)

cat said...

That pie sounds lovely! And the salmon cakes looks lovely. Thanks for visiitng.

Tonya said...

Visiting from SITS. Have a great day!
www.tuesdaysattonyas.blogspot.com

Stephanie Faris said...

Delicious!!! I think back to a job I had in my 20s. This woman who had lost a bunch of weight was sitting in a chair in a woman's office. We were all talking but the woman in the chair was eating a candy bar. After a while, we noticed she wasn't contributing to the conversation, so we stopped to ask what was going on. She said, "I treat myself to one candy bar a month and by God, I'm going to savor every bite of it." It made me realize how often we wolf down our food...we don't even stop to really taste it.

scrappysue said...

i hear pavarotti rolling in his grave!!! too cute

Shelle said...

I'm sitting here waiting for 12.am to go pick up my coupons, and looking at your yummy food recipes. Not having eaten dinner for the past 2 days, I'll have to go get a pb sanga. (that would be peanut butter sandwich) gosh I use American & Aussie slang now. That spinach salad looks great, I've been looking for something different, can't say I like the food much here. Is the recipe for your salmon patties on your site. I make salmon & corn fritters this week, and they were a no go. I have a food blog to, in case you're interested www.sweetdimension.blogspot.com....just starting to post all my recipes. Cheers.

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