Sunday, February 15, 2015

Homemade Pot Pie - Warms the Soul and the House

As I child, I hated pot pie.  My granny made pot pie with fatty meat and very little flavor.  It was bland, and I gagged on the meat.

Then after Rod and I were married, my mother-in-law made wonderful pot pie.  I don't know if she made it the way the way I do, but what I make is "cheater pot pie".  Here's what I do. I buy a packet of McCormick's beef stew mix.  It uses 3 cups of water, and 1 pound of meat.  I use leftover roast beef, or today I'm using leftover prime rib.  Then I add the 5 cups of veggies that the stew mix calls for.  We use potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, peas, and a can of mushrooms (drained and chopped a little).  I put it all in a pot and cook it until the potatoes and carrots are tender.  Then I turn it off and let it cool.  I make this in the early afternoon and let it sit until an hour before dinner.  When I've tried to put it into the pie shell when the stew is hot, it has melted the pie shell and was a disaster.  And to make it simpler, I use refrigerator pie crusts.  Put the first pie crust onto the pie pan and then add the stew.  Put the second crust on top, crimp it, and cut a few slits in the top to let the steam escape.  One important detail - make sure that you put the pie on a sheet pan before baking it.  It will keep the pie from boiling over.  No, really.  If you put it into the oven without the sheet pan it will surely boil over.  But when I use the sheet pan, no spillage.  Better safe than sorry!

We woke up this morning to minus temperatures.  I had leftover meat and peas, and pie crust in the refrigerator and it just seemed like a pot pie was in order.  The stew is done, and the house smells wonderful.  Can't wait for dinner.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Happy Birthday to My Miracles

Flashback 35 years - my twins, Pam and Pat, are delivered 11 weeks premature.  The doctors all look very serious.  It's a very crowded delivery room - I have 4 or 5 doctors of my own and their staff of nurses, there's a neonatologist and his own crew of nurses, pulmonary technicians, and others for each baby.  And of course, Rod is there. They expected that the babies would weigh about 1-1/2 pounds each, but because of my gestational diabetes, they were a little over 3 pounds each.  But they are still severely premature and the doctors give them a 10% chance of survival.  I am devastated, Rod is strong.

Flash forward 8 weeks.  My babies are ready to come home 3 weeks earlier than expected, even though those 8 weeks haven't been easy.  Pam has done very well.  Pat has had so many setbacks.  One of her lungs have collapsed, her heart has stopped.  But she is a fighter, and nothing could keep her down. They weigh a little over 4 pounds each. They are on a three hour feeding schedule, and it seems like all I do is feed babies.  Oh, and change diapers.

And now today.  They are beautiful, confident, and loving women.  They have no children of their own, but do so much for their nieces and nephews.  You can always count on them when you need them.  They have taken Bubby for casting on his feet, they take Krissy to softball or band when needed, they take Izzy to Girl Scouts and choir practice when asked.  And I can't tell you how much they do for Rod and I.  They are a blessing for sure, and I thank God every day that they beat the odds.