Brrrr, thought the librarycook.  Time for some comfort food – what did the June Delicious issue have to offer?  The cover recipe looked pretty good – Thai Curry Chicken Soup, but then so did the Apulian-style Baked Rice with Potatoes and Mussels.  And the Crispy Roasted Pork Belly.  What about the Hearty White Bean Stew?  But then the librarycook turned the page, and saw the picture of the Chicken Pot Pie.  No further debate needed, a chicken pie was just what was needed on a cold winter’s night.

This one featured quite a lot of wholegrain mustard, plus some tarragon.  Cooking involved a little chopping, followed by some gentle browning and softening, before leaving to cook for half an hour or so (a couple of chapters, in librarycook-speak).  Then into the pre-heated oven, topped with some puff pastry – from the freezer, of course.  The librarycook is no Julia Child.  The twenty minutes in the oven allowed time for another chapter of Educated, by Tara Westover, who grew up grew up preparing for the End of Days in rural Idaho with radical survivalist Mormon parents, who thought sending their children to school would turn them into socialists.  (That’s working, thought the librarycook, casting her mind over recent American history.)


And how was it?  Fabulous.  The librarycook had deviated slightly from the recipe, and instead of making one big pie, had made four individual ones, which were very, very filling – six pies will be made next time, and there will be a next time, The tarragon, mustard, thyme and bay all added to the general deliciousness, and raised the pie from just nice, to something special.

The librarycook does not live by pie alone, however, and so it was served with some green veggies, and the librarycook’s Irish grandmother’s famous jacket potato recipe * – which in these troubled times should probably come with a health warning, but then the librarycook’s grandmother did live to 97, so it didn’t do her any harm.

* It’s not really a recipe, more an eating technique. Start by baking potatoes in their jackets.  Give each person a teaspoon, and a knife, with butter and salt and pepper on the table.  Cut the tops off, and use the teaspoon as a scoop – each scoop must be seasoned with the butter, and the salt and pepper.  When all that’s left is the skin, add some more butter, salt and pepper, scrunch it all up, and eat.  You might want to have your cardiologist on speed dial.

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