We love, love, love Jamie Oliver’s Turkey and Leek Pie recipe and most often make it with Chicken instead.
It is easy, quick and incredibly tasty.
If you like a good hearty pie, then this is for you and since this june’s weather is a little unseasonal, it’s not out of place for supper with these low evening temperatures.
Don’t cheat with the ingredients as it makes all the difference.
We use our own stock because of the flavour and what it does for the gravy but a good quality stock would suffice.
Where we do cheat is we use frozen ready made flaky pastry. I think that is allowed in order to make it as easy as possible. And quite honestly, I am RUBBISH at making pastry. You don’t have to do any trimming around the pie dish either because the pastry gets tucked in around the edges to tidy it up and nothing is wasted.
I love it made in these old enamel tins just like my gran used to make her pies (that or an old plate that became unrecognisable from the crazing that the heat of the oven did to it).
The best time of the week to do this recipe is a Monday or Tuesday night when you have the left overs from a chicken sunday roast. You have the chicken bones for the stock and you have the left over chicken meat to add to the leeks. To be honest, we’ve bought a chicken specifically to make this pie and used the breast for something else.
Combine that with some tasty roasties and a glass of crisp sauvignon blanc and you have all you need.
Unlike the title might suggest, Horse Boarding is NOT a form of torture.
It is an equestrian sport and it is tremendous fun!!
And what’s more, I can’t believe I have been in the dark about this fantastic sport for the 5 years since it was originated in the UK.
There is a horse boarding association.
They have a Facebook page.
There are national horse boarding championships.
There is membership, a magazine, courses and endless videos but I still didn’t know about it until yesterday!!
We went to Burghley Game and Country Fair which we have done for a couple of years now. It is a good opportunity to stock up on all things country and country sports. There is more camo and green clothing than you can shake a stick at but there are also great fun demonstrations and competitions.
We always watch whatever is on in the main ring as we shop, we always check out the dog agility and terrier classes, the birds of prey and we always check out the food village.
We went a lot earlier today than normal and I think that may be why we caught the fly fishing demonstration, bought some (more) green clothing and most importantly managed to catch the Horse Boarding spectacle!!
I love horses and spent a lot of time around them as a kid. I wasn’t always involved in the proceedings but I was an enthusiastic spectator and helper. As a result of my close dealings with them, I love them, their smell and a lot of horsey sports are of interest to me. I don’t ride anymore, if I could do it all the time, I would take it up again (I really don’t fancy walking like a gun toting cowboy every few months because my thigh muscles have ‘forgotten’ what they are for between times!!) but I don’t have enough time for less demanding things so taking up horses again would be impossible right now.
Anyway, yesterday was soooo much fun to watch. One of the team horses is Lord Atterbury whoh is a retired race horse who was one of only 13 finishers about 4 years ago in the Grand National.
Apart from Burghley being just lovely as a venue, we already enjoy the horse trials in september and will continue to go for years to come, this country fair and the sandringham one are a great way to get close to the country sports that both JC and I have been involved with since we were kids.
We live in the city now but our weekend jaunts to the countryside allow us to dip into these lovely pass times every now and again.
We didn’t stay for the 3pm final as the sun had brought a lot of visitors out and it was getting very crowded by lunchtime but we will be looking out for it again and the teams that entertained us so well yesterday.
Good luck in the championships Do or Die, The Dead Pigeons, Kauldren & Designated Drinkers!
I was reading the UK handmade magazine summer 2013 (which I would highly recommend – you can read the online magazine or you can buy the download pdf)
And as I came to the end and page 81 presented me with a lovely image of a bug hotel project for your garden, I suddenly realised that our recent DIY project (more to come about that) had unwittingly provided us with the building blocks of the bug house and we pretty much had everything we needed around and about.
After a riffle through the recycling, chopping some lengths of bamboo up, selecting some nice short logs from the log pile and steeling a length of waste pipe from the garage I was all set to assemble them along with the slate and bricks into our own recycled version.
It won’t pass the inspection of even the most laid back structural engineer and the hotel inspector would be aghast but as Bug Hotels go, I think it is pretty fantabulous.
I’m very pleased with it and have stuck it in a little corner that does’t have much happening in it but it has been earmarked as our wild corner so couldn’t be better sited.
Fingers crossed for some creepy crawly guests )
Spring has definitely sprung.
In the last couple of days, the world has changed and there is new life and wonderful stuff everywhere.
It fair lifts the soul.
We have seen so many different birds that seem to have been hiding until now; yellow hammers, hobbies, shelducks and lapwings to name but a few. The crops are visibly growing overnight and before too long the oil seed and beans will be waist height.
There are blooms and butterflies everywhere and I could not love this time of year more.
The loveliest thing we have seen though was the arrival of 2 foals on the nearby farm and both at the same time.
They are simply gorgeous and it is such a privilege to catch them within hours of arriving in this world. This little colt and filly arrived in glorious sunshine on Monday and we have watched their gangly little legs get stronger by the day as they feed and get used to this strange & noisy place.
Imagine the challenge when all those inches of leg and neck have been folded tightly in a warm dark are suddenly sped into this bright frightening world.
The first day, the mares were a bit spaced out from the delivery and you could do just about anything you wanted with them and their offspring. But as they regain their strength and the bond between the dam and foal develops, the mare will more often than not put herself squarely between you and her precious little one.
They are getting bold and confident even after just 2 days and when they aren’t gambling about between feeds they are laid out enjoying the warming sun.
I could watch them all day and their smell is completely addictive (anyone who has spent time around our equine lovelies will know exactly what I mean).
what can I say about Agnes?
In fairness, the title does most of it for me.
She is a very lovely saluki cross lurcher from a rescue charity
she is about 2 years old
she loves chasing squirrels
she can jump higher than ANY dog I have ever seen
she is as fast as grease lightening
she is VERY, VERY gorgeous
Max adores her
and she is very well loved!!
She lives with and loves friends of ours who are local and she came to us for the day recently. She and Max have great fun tearing about the place chasing one another until neither can keep their eyes open a moment longer!!
It’s like a whirlwind but they are a treat to watch and could not be more different to one another – agnes is fine and delicate, gliding over the face of this lovely earth like a whisper, whereas max is solid and makes the noise of a heard of small elephants when he is on the move (no matter what the pace and no matter what the surface!!)
I’m not particularly keen on pigeons.
They are pests in the city and they are pests in the countryside.
They will roost almost anywhere, eat anything and make the most smelly, dirty mess. Yuck!!
I’m not alone in my disliking; my niece is unreasonably fearful of them and there are lots of people who invest a lot of hours in the pursuit of killing them.
Someone who illustrates his own disliking in a much more entertaining way is Max of course.
He diligently guards the bird feeders (when he’s not helping his greedy little self to anything that falls to the ground!!) and goes charging into the garden to skidaddle them whenever his vigilance has faltered and they’ve had the temerity to return!
His pursuit of them doesn’t stop there though, there is a barn on a walk that we do over the weekends that has doves in it and he clearly doesn’t distinguish, they’re all the same as far as he is concerned.
The noise he makes is deafening and reverberates around the barn. Bales don’t get in his way, machinery is no deterrent and once he is on his mission, he is difficult to drag away.
Needless to say, the pigeons (or doves for that matter) don’t hang around for long with that kind of din but the sight of a raging terrier stotting about on the ground below them must be more amusing than truly terrifying.
One of my favourite birds is the Wren.
This gloriously sunny weekend was very welcome and so was the sight of a Wren while we were out on a walk.
We were severely chastised by this particular Wren who I suspect is trying to build a nest near to where I had chosen to sit.
I love these pretty and perky little birds, not just for their size but how their size is completely disproportionate to their bravery.
We are vast mountainous creatures compared to a Wren but there is little, if any hesitation when it comes to telling us off .
If we have had the temerity to step over the invisible line that surrounds and protects her little haven, we will be subjected to a barage of chipping and chatting that comes with an urgency and tone that leave little doubt that she is cross!
I wasn’t disappointed.
It is completely hilarious and quite disarming. I hope she settled back to the job in hand none the worse for having to stop what she was doing to tick us off for getting too close.