Sunday, 25 January 2015

January's bake of the month

This is a quite a traditional northern bake, though I’m sure other counties will have something similar.

Like most traditional bakes there was no recipe for it. I remember asking my mam for it and said she ‘just made it’. Thankfully it only has a couple of ingredients so I was able to work out the quantities.

Whenever we see our friends from Nottingham there is always one question asked ‘will I be making any cornbeef pie.’

Chris had his first taste of it at one of our parties several years ago and has adored it ever since. If they’re coming up north then I have to make sure it’s somewhere on the menu (with lots left over for his doggy bag home) or if we visit them then I have to bring some with us.

I took the photos during Christmas so excuse the decorations....

 Cornbeef pie
  • 12 oz plain or self raising flour (either will do for the pastry)
  • 6oz block margarine or butter
  • One onion (medium to large in size)
  • Two baking potatoes
  • Large tin of corned beef
  • Tomato sauce
  • Cold water

    • Pre-heat oven 200º c/Gas Mk 6. Fan oven 180ºc.
    • You’ll need a large tin approx 13 inch by 8 inch (33cm by 20cm) - a brownie tin is perfect.
    • Make the pastry first as it has to chill in the fridge for at least half an hour. Using a food processor or your hands pulse/rub together the flour and margarine or butter until it looks like breadcrumbs.
    • Add enough cold water until the pastry forms a ball but isn’t sticky. I find when using a food processor I need less water than when I’m making it by hand. Start with a couple of tablespoons and gradually add a little more.
    • Once it’s come together in a ball wrap it in cling film and chill it for half an hour.
    • Peel and cut the potatoes into small chunks then boil them for about 10 minutes or until a knife goes through them easily.
    • While the potatoes are boiling peel and chop the onion into small pieces and roughly chop the cornbeef.
    • Once the potatoes are cooked, drain thoroughly then put them back into the pan.  Add the onion and cornbeef to the potatoes then using a potato masher, combine them together making sure there are no large bits of potatoes visible.
    • Add a good squirt of tomato sauce then give it another good mix. Have a taste to see if you need to add more tomato sauce.
    • Take two thirds of the chilled pastry (put the remaining third back into the fridge) and roll it out into a rectangle slightly larger than the tin you’re using.
    • Line the tin with the pastry, letting it overhang the edge slightly. Don’t worry if any holes appear as you can always patch it.
    • Add the cornbeef filling then dampen the edges of the pastry with a little water. Using the rest of the pastry again roll out a rectangle slightly larger than the tin you’re using.
    • Next lay the pastry over the filling, trimming away the excess pastry. To seal the edges either crimp a fancy edge or simply use a fork.
    • Brush the top of the pie with a little milk or a beaten egg then bake in the oven for about 45 minutes until the top is golden brown.

    It’s perfect eaten hot (with chips and a dash of tomato sauce) or cold (it’s great party food).

    It freezes really well so pop any left over’s in the freezer. Allow it to defrost completely then eat it cold or re-heat in the oven or microwave.

    If you find the pie has a soggy bottom remember this great tip for the next time. Sprinkle some semolina on the pastry base before you add the filling. You won’t taste the semolina as it melts into the filling.

    Have a great week.

    Gertie xx

    PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow bloggers have been up to.

    Update:   Something I should have pointed out when I first published the post. Up north 'corned beef' is always known as 'cornbeef'. It was only after reading the lovely comments that I noticed I'd used the northern word for it. Hope you weren't too confused....

    Sunday, 18 January 2015

    We’re going to need a bigger boat

    One of the things I was looking forward to when Mr Gertie retired last April was getting my hands on his work shirts.

    It’s amazing how much fabric you can get from deconstructing them. 

    I’d promised Mr Gertie I’d make him a blanket to keep in his new car – I’m a believer that every car should carry a blanket of some kind in case of emergency. To tide him over until I’ve finished knitting it I gave him the lap quilt I kept in my work room (to keep my legs and feet warm when I’m sewing).

    Not wanting to have cold feet I decided to make another lap quilt using Mr Gertie’s work shirts. The pattern and fabric were duly chosen and I set about making it. It was only after I’d finished the first block did I realise it was going to be little bigger than I was expecting. I’d inadvertently chosen a king size quilt pattern. Opps!!!!!

    I didn’t want the hassle of re-scaling the blocks so just continued making them as planned and would figure a way of making it smaller, be it making it into two quilts instead.

    Instead of splitting it into two quilts (I had no need for two anyway) I simply didn’t bother with the 12 inch border that was supposed to go around it.

    As my free motion quilting skills are still very much in their infancy (or in other words, I’m rubbish at it!!!!) I just quilted around the edges.

    Mr Gertie would like me to point out that the blue floral fabric was NOT one of his work shirts....

    Have a great week.

    Gertie xx

    PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.

    Saturday, 17 January 2015

    Three little maids

    Update: I was doing a little housekeeping on some of my blog posts and instead of updating this entry blogger has republish it as today's date.  Opps.!!!

    After my attempt at making a cosmetic bag I decided to try again.

    The first one turned out fine so I made another, only slightly bigger.

    Why stop at two when you can have three!!! Unfortunately I didn’t have enough fabric left so gathered up all the scrap bits and made a patchwork version instead.

    The fabric belonged to an old pair of shorts which used to trousers, bought in 1988... The lining for the two smaller bags came from cream bed linen my mam was getting rid of. The lining for the large bag was a white shower curtain.

    Gertie xx

    PS pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.

    Sunday, 4 January 2015

    Going, going, gone

    I’ve sold my first bag !!!!!

    It happened shortly before Christmas via eBay. I must admit that I did have my doubts about selling on eBay. It’s such a huge site and I was concerned that my bags would get lost amongst the thousands of other bags.

    However I’m receiving more viewers than I am on Folksy so it’s making me think that Folksy isn’t the site for me. It was a toss-up between Folksy and Etsy which one I used so when my listings on Folksy run out I’ll try Etsy.

    Mr Gertie found me a great book on social networking so hopefully that and the lovely advice I received following my recent posting I’ll be able to conquer my social network fear....

    Have a great week.

    Gertie xx