I am one of these people who attracts computer crashes like a honey attracts bees.
And there is nothing more irritating to a grown woman such as myself than when the computer decides to collapse on me like a souffle and all I can do is stare at the bright blue screen talking rude gibberish in a vocabulary meant clearly for drones and not for humans.
That and the fact that I am further paralyzed from touching something lest I ruin the situation further and so I must wait for techy persons such as Mr. Hubby to come to my rescue. For some unfathomable reason Mr. Hubby like a breed of other techies seem to have this overwhelming urge to explain all that they're doing to fix the darn thing while they're doing the fixing!
I don't mean to be ungrateful but I, for one, couldn't care less because all I want is this doggone thing fixed so I can get on with it! And the more Mr. Hubby engages in techy drone talk with me the more my brain feels like its being stuffed with cotton wool.
And when I bring this fact kindly to Mr. Hubby's attention he has this to say -"Behind every successful woman is a man...providing tech support!"
So there you have it - it is under such excruciating circumstances that I have come to the realization that I now have a mere hours before I must cart a large potluck sized steak and ale pie for our community gathering.
Now for most women, this wouldn't be a problem because I suspect most women have their recipes nicely categorized in folders and such. Mine are all crammed into the computer - a computer that has only just, after extensive CPR, blinked back to life and in the interim valuable time has been lost.
Besides having to compile a grocery list, do the shopping and cooking at neck breaking speed, I have yet another challenge on my hands -
What's the challenge you ask?
Well, traditional steak and ale pie has a lovely puff pastry top that covers the whole thing but since we're going to be so many for us at the gathering I shudder to think what the state of the puff pastry will be after all the shoveling.
The question is, how to prevent the puff pastry from crumbing into smithereens and withstand the digging and prodding?
After a restless night, I had a moment of clarity!
I am channeling the concept behind chicken and dumplings and intend to do the puff pastry topping not an one humongous sheet but rather 2" circles thus making shoveling (around the pastry) all the more easier and so very potluck friendly! See for yourself!
There you have it and it worked like a charm!
Everyone could help themselves to the little puffy heaven without having a detritus of crumby pastry to deal with at the end.
By no means is this a traditional recipe. Traditional recipes do not use celery and frown at the use of mushrooms or rosemary.
I have used my artistic license freely and used this as an excuse to incorporate extra bits of celery, herbs and half used onions that were pleading to be used up. Various and countless sources of inspiration have all together in the creation of this dish.
This is definitely a rich and wholesome pie. It's amazing to taste the beer flavors in the stew mature turning from bitter to a rich and deep flavor. I hope you'll give this a try and guzzle down cold pints of Guinness with it!