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Saturday, April 28, 2001

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I've noticed when I walk to work how much texture there is. It's there other times too but the sun is so low in the morning you see it highlighted. The street is a tapestry of textures as the cars have smoothed some areas more than others. I love walking early in the morning. The ocotillos are blooming with their red tipped branches looking like green candles.

It was a good bike riding day but it's getting warm for walking, especially with a backpack as my back gets all sweaty. I just rode around doing errands but I enjoyed it. I need to get some decent bike pants since my butt bones get sore too easily.

I even cooked tonight. I made Shepherds Pie since it sounded like a nice comforting thing to make. The internet is so wonderful but in just one recipe collection there were a dozen different recipes for Sheperds Pie. They were basically the same recipe but each had a small difference. Finally I just picked a fairly simple one.

Shepherds Pie

    Serving Size : 6
    1 pound lean ground beef
    1 large onion -- finely chopped
    1 stalk celery -- finely chopped
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
    1 16 oz. pkg. mixed frozen vegetables {corn, green beans, carrots, or any other variety}
    2 bay leaves
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    1 teaspoon dried marjoram
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    4 large potatoes
    1 tablespoon butter or margarine
    1/4 cup milk
    Paprika -- to taste

    * Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    * In a large saute pan or skillet, add ground beef, onion, celery, and garlic; cook over medium heat until meat is browned; drain liquid. Do not return to heat.

    * Stir in tomato sauce, vegetables, bay leaves, thyme, marjoram, and black pepper.

    Boil potatoes over high heat until soft; drain. Add butter and gradually add milk while mashing potatoes with electric mixer or hand masher. The consistency of mashed potatoes should be firm; add milk, as necessary, but remember not to make the potatoes too runny. Set aside.

    * Transfer meat and vegetable mixture to a 2- 2 1/2-quart casserole. Evenly top with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and bake for 20 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned.

Ok, I only made half a recipe and did not have celery so I put in a few more frozen veggies and I did not have thyme or paprika, so I didn't use them. I also did not have any garlic cloves so I used garlic powder. I also added some salt since I like salt and recipes nowadays just don't have salt in them. I can see using less, perhaps, but none? Yuck! Things have no taste without salt. While I wouldn't want to go back to a potatoes and meat diet, there is something very comforting about the combination.

I don't feel like I did a whole lot today but the day is already about gone. It's always frustrating for a weekend day to end with this feeling. I feel like I should pack my weekends full of accomplishments or they're wasted. I like taking it easy but I feel guilty even though I have no reason to. I guess I'll just relax and waste the rest of the day.

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Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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