Thursday, 11 December 2014

What A Dreary Day ..... A Thrifty Pie Kinda Day!

 Hello there ....
Well .. what a dreary sort of day ..
 I don't think it really ever got properly light ... and so cold.

As you can see from the top pic .. Hubby P now has good/proper lighting in his workshop ....
so that means he can work ... every hour possible ... 
Not that he would for a moment consider himself 'Driven' as they say on the Talk Shows!

But well .. he is always doing something .. and the lack of good lighting in his workshop was always a problem for him ...
Not so for me .. at least I knew he would be in for his tea when it was too dark to see..

Anyway enough of our little domestic issues ...

Whats for tea ?
Something warming and sufficiently stodgy to warm our cockles on this dreary day ...
and of course Thrifty ... money is tight over the winter months.

 I thought a gammon and egg pie would be welcome.
I had bought some very thrifty gammon pieces the other week ... 
cheap and cheerful because they were the end of the 'gammon' .. all misshapen end-y slices ..
not that it mattered to me .. they taste just the same.
So I pulled a pack from the freezer .. defrosted and chopped into small pieces .. fried up with an onion.

Made a lump of simple shortcrust pastry.
There was so much of the gammon and onion mix I made two pies .. 
I cracked a couple of eggs on to the mix and plonked on a pastry top.

I had some pastry left so I made an apple pie .. I have one or two apples hanging around.
Not that we will eat the Apple pie tonight ... two lots of pastry may be a bit much.
But we can have it tomorrow ... just lovely with some warm custard.

I switched the oven off and put one of the gammon and egg pies back in to keep warm...
we will have it for tea with some cheapo beans ..

I put the 'spare' pie in the freezer for another day.

This afternoon was so dark .... 
I had all the lights on in the house just to see where I was going ...

Just the sort of day a Girl wants to sit by a nice fire and read a comforting book.

 These are my 'go to books' when I need a comforting read.
I must re read them every winter .. to me they are like a warm comforting blanket .. they make me feel good .. its gentle escapism.
I do so love the Miss Read books .. they tell of a gentler time ... idealised life in a small village...
warm .. funny stories ... 
and I really did go to a village school just like the one in Fairacre.

But no doubt I am preaching to the converted .. a lot of you will be familiar with Miss Read.

Now just look at these wonderful illustrations ...

 Hubby P found these hardback versions of Lillian Beckwith's books ... again much treasured.
If you like stories of simple village life with all the funny .. lively .. quirky characters of a rural village .. 
then again you will love the tales of life in a Hebridian Isle.

 Well its time to go and drag Hubby P out from his workshop ....

Here he is busily repairing and renovating ... recycling and restoring ...
Make Do and Mending ...

We will have lots of new stock to take out Trading at the weekend ...
lets hope people want to buy ..
And keep us small traders in business .... keep the money flowing around our small community.
Enough of me .. what about you .. have you had the chance to snuggle up with a comfy book?

Bye for now x


  1. Ah, I have read all those books several times down the years. Lovely gentle stories about life when it was far simpler than it is today.

    I have finished one book this week, been loaned others (none really appeal), have some from the library (ditto), and so I don't know what I am reading tonight. I will try one of the loaned ones, but I don't think I am in the right mood for it. May blow the dust off a Poldark or two . . .

    Lovely baking Mrs - I buy the cooking bacon which is usually big lumps of gammon mis-shapes - then I seperate it up into bits enough for soup or whatever, and freeze it. It's so tasty and a very good buy.

    Glad your hubby has got a light on the subject now. OH needs similar, and a little heater would make a big difference, but he has my horse Fahly's old stable now and no heating in there!!

  2. Those pies look lovely. I like Miss Read books have you read the Agatha Raison ones by MC Beaton they are a hoot, I think one is being televised for Chrimbo telly.
    Twiggy xx
    PS Hope industrious hubby P had a lovely birthday xx

  3. My husband has a man shed too, with electricity and a wood burning stove. Mind you it's needed in this cold, damp and dark days. I've never known the days so dark. The chickens have put themselves to bed by 3.30 and not an egg to be seen!
    The pies look good, frugal food for cold days.

  4. Those are some yummy looking pies! Simple food always tastes the best, that's what I think anyway.

    I haven't heard of those books, but they do sound like something I would read though. I love books that draw you in as if you were actually there in the moment. A nice fire and good book, it doesn't get better than that :)

    Stay warm over there. Glad your hubby is enjoying his shed now he can see. I expect he will make and fix a lot of good stuff out there. Hope the trading goes well for you on the weekend :)


  5. Tasty looking pies, never think to add a couple if eggs to gammon pie, I will have to try that. Hubby looks content in his man shed, happily giving a new lease of life to A mirror, its a lovely shape, I hope it brings you a few pounds. Great books! I think I have read them all, I love a gentle read.
    Hope you have a profitable weekend, stay warm xx

  6. I love the Miss Read books, our library system does not have all of them, but I have read many.
    I checked after reading your post, there is one there by Lillian Beckwith.
    So I'll give that a go soon.
    I loved his shop, I would love to go in there, and rumble around a bit myself.
    He needs an awning, or small porch over the door.
    This comes from someone who needs one herself!
    Today pine shelving was my friend, I am making wainscoting for a bedroom wall with it.
    I love wood working tools and boards!

    I love pies, and yours look wonderful!! esp. the apple, wish I had a slice now!
    So good visiting over the fence with you.
    Thanks so much for all your sharing.
    I hope you do really well at the boot sale!

  7. You introduced me to Miss Read a while ago and since then I have ready many of her books.
    I love them, gentle, funny and comforting, memories of a different time.
    Thank you for sharing your stories and your life in general, I always look forward to your posts.
    Pam in TX.

  8. Love your always hauling books back to the US in my bags...the workshop looks lovely! Hopefully it has some heat. I bet he turns out some terrific finds!
    Woodstoves going here..2 days of snow and cold winds. House and barns snug!

  9. I love all your baking so simple and thrifty,I am going to look out for those books, I have got a load of Rebecca Shaw ones ready to read, they are about village life. On another note do you watch Salvage Hunters, Drew Pritchard is not so far away from you. I would love to be a salvage hunter, I find what you and hubby do very interesting.

  10. Yes, your pies look delicious. So pleased that you are writing more often; it got so bad the other week I had to re - read your whole blog. I was suffering from withdrawal symptoms. However, we all know you are all so busy with your everyday life and business. Miss Read - I have been reading about her for years, one of the things I really love about her books is that although they are simple a lot of them have a life like sting in the tail, and that stops them getting mushy. When I was younger I read a lot of Mrs Robert Henrey books, not a miss spelling of Henry. She is a French lady who married an English man. Some of her books are so warm. Glad to have you back regularly, do not mind if it is only for a short time. Have a lovely, warm Christmas and a peaceful New Year. xxxx

  11. I also have a collection of Miss Read and Lilian Beckwith, and went to a small primary school just like village school. Oh the Good Old Days!
    Yummy pies.

  12. I love all these books and have read them many times over the years. Lilian Beckwith always made me want to go and live in a Scottish croft!

  13. Your pie jogged my memory of a family favourite that I used to make, which was bacon and egg pie, exactly as you say with onions. I love the way the egg is cooked when you take it from the oven but you have to eat it quick before everyone else does. Indeed, keep the small traders going, especially now that the delivery firms probably won't deliver in time. Give the traders a chance :-)

  14. 3 books I KNOW you would love.."Hovel In The Hills", "Garden In The Hills" and "Kitchen In The Hills"...all by Elizabeth West. Set in North Wales, a couple buy and renovate an old cottage and survive on very little income..the first two are available for pennies at Amazon btw. I sent them to a friend with a smallholding near Cemaes Bay and she loved them. My copy of the recipes saw me through a few frugal years and they are funny too. :-)

  15. I have read the Elizabeth West books and the Miss Read but I don't remember reading Lillian Beckwith though I may have read the odd one. I am a mature student so have a lot to read but still like the odd escapist, no effort books when I have a moment. Books have been the one constant in my life, so comforting.

  16. I could never get into the Miss Read books for some some reason, but your Lillian Beckworth book brings back a distant memory. I read The Hills is Lonely many, many years ago, although I can't remember the story at all. Always nice to have a memory stirred perhaps it will come back to me.

    I have never made a gammon pie with an egg or two included it's something I should have a go at and like you say a nice thrifty pie, and breakfast in pastry' is bound to make my man very happy!!


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