recipe
Jan
19
2008

Baby, it's cold outside! Plus a recipe.

 winter.jpg

And apparently, there is snow just an our East of here.  How unfair does that seem?? My kiddos would love a little dusting of white just every now and again.  I really dont know how cold it was at the lowest this morning but it is just above freezing at this moment.  And according to weather.com it will be a chilly 25 tonight.  YIKES!  So happy tomorrow is Sunday and no one has to go to work early. 

Don’t forget the giveaway is Monday!! 

I think maybe finally I might be beginning to grieve a little from the loss of my mom.  I know I initially grieved as anyone does but I am “feeling” it a little more these days. When she died I told myself I a) was not sad because no one should have to live like she was living b)I had nearly 6 months to prepare myself for her passing and c) I really never saw anyone grieve before so I didn’t really know what to expect from myself. My family tended to ignore the grieving process and jump right back into things.  Good or bad, that’s just how it has always been.  And with Husband’s family as well.  Add up the lull after the holidays, the dreariness of winter time – dark and damp and dull, my husband being 6000 miles away, really feeling like I need a new focus business-wise and not knowing which way I want to turn.  I am afraid my worst days are ahead where the feeling of loss is concerned. Everything I do, make, cook, plan…I think of her. Oddly, I don’t think I thought of her this much when she was alive and just across the road. It makes me want to live my life to the fullest with no regrets yet, in the past few days I have felt it very hard to be motivated. Mom never allowed herself the pleasure of a vacation and she never considered herself good at things like sewing and crafting. She lived vicariously though me in those areas. Everything I have made since her passing, I have wished to be able to show her because she got so much pleasure from things I made. Our upcoming vacation to Europe is one she longed for but would never take the time or spend the money. I saw as she was dying that she wished for so many things. She told me over and over and over…do the things you long to do, life is too short. I think the feeling of loss and separation has taken a hold of me just a bit.  But three months in seems a little late to crawl in the bed and cry for days doesn’t it?  I have often believed that I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) but you have no idea how I hate labels.  I think these next couple of weeks might firm up that diagnosis.  I suppose if you came here for a chippy, happy post today you stopped off a the wrong blog.  I will try to do better but at this moment I just can’t.  But what I can do to make this a little less depressed is leave you with a recipe.  Then I have to go accomplish something.  The cleaning is going very very slowly.  And I have GOT to get these aprons finished and out the door!  Shame on me for dragging my feet.  Dragging my feet only makes me feel worse.  Vicious little circle isnt it?  Talk to you all soon. 

This is a recipe I have had for a long time but haven’t made.  I am going to give it a try tonight.  Don’t know how I feel about the mashed potatoes and may end up slicing them instead and layering with the leeks (or onions if I cant get leeks). It just seems like a fitting, comfort food. 

Cottage Pie 

Filling
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or stew meat cubed
2 onions, peeled and diced
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced or cooked carrot, diced
1  ounce butter
1 cup cooked English peas (optional – Husband can’t abide and English pea, I think I will serve ours on the side)
1 teaspoon dried herbs of your choice but we like thyme, chives and basil
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
8 ounces beef stock  or a couple of beef bouillion cubes in a cup of boiling water

salt  and pepper to taste

Cottage Pie Topping
2 pounds  potatoes, peeled and cut into small even sized pieces
2  large leeks, cleaned sliced into rings or sweet onions if you cant get leeks
2 ounces butter
2-4 tablespoons milk
4 ounces mature farmhouse cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

To make the pie filling:.
Fry the onions and carrots if using, in the butter until they are becoming soft.
Add the beef and cook for about 10 to 20 minutes or until the onion and carrot have browned and the beef has taken on some color and is firm.  Season well with salt and pepper, then add the mixed herbs. Stir in the flour, and mix well. Mix the tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce with the beef stock and add it to the meat mixture, bringing it all to simmering point. Simmer until the stock has reduced by about a third, add the peas if using and take off the heat. Set aside while  you make the topping.

To make the topping:
Boil the potatoes in slightly salted water then mash them well, adding half of the butter and all of the milk gradually. Season to taste. If using fresh leeks, fry the leeks gently in the remaining butter, until soft and slightly colored.  Stir the cooked leeks into the mashed potato mixture and mix well.

Assemble:.
Put the meat mixture into a large and deep well greased baking dish and spread the potato mixture on top; then sprinkle with the grated cheese. You can also use 4 – 6 smaller pie dishes if you wish.   Put into a pre-heated oven 400F for about 25 to 30 minutes until the topping is crusty, golden and bubbling.

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Jan

I’m so sorry you’re hurting. Actually, I think it’s more normal than not for grief to start months after someone dies. Initially, particularly when we’ve known it’s coming and seen a loved one suffer, there’s a feeling of relief. Then, too, we have all the “busy work” necessary after a death. But finally we start to deal with the day-t0-day missing of the person…and that’s when the grief really hits.

I’ve found it helpful to remind myself that someone worth loving is worth spending the time grieving.

Bless your heart. Grieve away. Everyone grieves in a different way. My Mom died very suddenly ( we thought she was totally healthy and she did not wake up one morning) in Oct. of 2005. I am still grieving. Not to the depths that I have, but some days I still have a really hard time. When I need to cry, I do. I know what you mean about thinking more about them than you did when they were alive. I have thought of so many things I want to ask her or tell her or show her. My son is getting married in October. She would have been thrilled to be there. I want her to hold my first grandbaby whenever it comes. I am not in a continual state of sad, but I have my moments. The Lord taught me what it means to weep with those who weep. When I hear someone tell me that someone dear to them died, I cry. I can’t help it. I weep with them, because I know that feeling. Hang in there my friend. It is a process and know one can tell you how long it will or should take.

Grief does not follow a schedule. It follows its own timetable and you need not feel that it s inappropriate at any time. Take time to cry, to grieve, to think of your mother as you move through your day.
May you be blessed and comforted.

And on a less serious note, every time I tried to type in an apostrophe (like it s) the screen would pop up to the top of your blog. Hence the lack of apostrophe.

Laura

Hi

I loss my Mom back in 1991, she was 61 & I was 27. She never got to know my husband or my children & I so know what you mean about missing her & thinking about her so much.

Your trip to Paris is one my Mom would have LOVED!! I have a postcard her brother sent her during WWII. It is of the Eiffel tower. She had always wanted to visit Paris & see that beautiful sight for herself.

There are certain things I cook now that always make me think of her & send a flood of memories back to me.

I am with you in your missing & looking back time. If you need to drop me an email & know there is a “sister” in Illinois who misses her mom too & is willing to listen when you need a n understanding ear.

Laura

Oh, gosh, no…It makes perfect sense to want to crawl into bed now. It’s winter…the holidays are over…it has been long enough for all to sink in. I will keep you in my thoughts. Be nice to yourself…you deserve it!! :o )
Martha

Hi Susan, I agree, it is so not fair that we were so close to having snow! When I looked at weatherbug this morning they made it sound like we had a good chance, but the rain disappeared =(

I’m sorry to hear about your mom. When did she pass? I lost my last Grandma this past March and I feel the same way. But just keep your head up and know that she would be so proud of you in all that you’ve done and are going to do.
Hugs to you,
~Kristi

Sherry

After my mom’s cancer came back for the 2nd time in 1994 I pretty much knew she was going to die sometime soon. Having this knowledge and being aware of it did absolutely nothing to prepare me for her death 8 months later. I hope you understand when I say this, but I actually felt some relief when she died. I didn’t know how to cope with waking up every day and knowing that she was going to die soon. And even after she died I didn’t immediately have a sense of overwhelming grief. I was still in college and I just wanted to get back to school and get on with living. Now I look back and realize that the pain and grief was so deep within me and hurt so much that I couldn’t let it out all at once. It had to come out in its own way and time. Someone had told me that it would take a year for me to really start feeling better. I remember rolling my eyes and thinking “yeah, right.” Here’s the thing – For the first year you remember, “oh, a year ago I was doing this with my mom, etc.” These memories creep up into everything you do and it’s hard! I was somewhat ok for the first year and then I started having physical symptoms because I had not let myself feel and experience grief. I realized I had come to a place in my life where I needed to deal with the pain I felt. Here is what I learned: Grief is not something that happens to you and then you get over it. Grief is a path that each of us must walk in our own time using our own abilities. So you might feel one way at three months, then feel better for two months, and then feel sad again. I don’t say this to discourage you, but to let you know that what you’re feeling is to be expected and that despite everything you will eventually feel better. It will just take time. Take care of yourself and don’t worry that you’re not grieving according to a “timeline.”

I’m very lucky in that my mom is still very much alive and with us. I am dreading the day when she is no longer here. I did lose my Aunt almost two years ago now . We were always very close and there is not a day that goes by without my thinking of her in some way. I think they are always with us, encouraging us, prodding us, willing us to go on. At first it is with sadness that we think of them, and a missing and longing, but with time those feelings are not as strong, although they never quite dissappear. I am glad that now I can think of the happy memories we built together rather then the sadness of my loss. Time is the great healer. (((hugs))) Tasty looking recipe! I Love cottage pie!

Victoria

((((((Susan))))))

Hope your days get better. I understand about your relationship with your mother. Mine is the same way and that can’t help with a loss. I am giving you a big hug across the miles. Also, I have always thought I have SAD. But, like you, hate the label. Who isn’t a little SAD in January? It’s so blah. Better days are ahead of you.

Happy thoughts your way!

Hello – and great to be visiting your site! I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. I, too, lost mine – but it’s been 10 years ago, and it still feels like yesterday. I write about her throughout my blog.

This recipe is what we call Shepherd’s Pie! I make it all the time when I have leftover mashed potatoes. And I just throw in whatever I have in my fridge.

Blessings! Things will look brighter soon … Sandy

I just stumbled across your blog from someone elses, but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am that you lost your Mom. Don’t supress your grieving – it is real and necessary.

I will be back to check out your blog some more – it looks like a good one!

I’ve been away from my computer and didn’t read your blog daily as usual. I am so very sorry. I can imagine how hard it would be for me and I can empathize even more.
Gina