Last week, I happened to stumble upon a new Facebook site called the Food52 Cookbook Club. Basically, every month they pick a cookbook and cook from it. This month's pick is The Art of Pie by Kate McDermott.
Now, I have been stingy lately when it comes to buying new cookbooks. I sifted through A LOT of them before we moved to Guam and donated about 75% of my collection (they are heavy, and we have a weight-limit when it comes to moving). I vowed that I would become much more disciplined when it came to adding any more to my collection. Since then, I've only purchased 2 of them... Vivian Howards "Deep Run Roots" was a no-brainer because I love her show, I ate at both of her restaurants, and I knew it would be worth having. I also bought Alana Chernila's "Homemade Kitchen" because I had her first cookbook and really liked it.
All that to say I do not plan on buying all of the cookbooks that the Cookbook Club works through. I do, however, plan to try as many recipes from those cookbooks that I can, relying on library downloads to my kindle and also online sources for recipes. When I cook enough to determine the book can hold its own, I may buy it.
Fortunately, Kate McDermott's website has several pie recipes (you can find them here.) Unfortunately, many of them call for leaf lard for the crust, which is just not something that is readily found in this tropical paradise. So I decided to start with the "Cottage Pie" recipe because I knew all of the ingredients could be easily found.
I anticipated push-back from the family. First of all, my husband will not eat Shepherd's Pie and this isn't all that different. Secondly, the eldest daughter despises onions and, well, anything new. But I am desperate for new dinner recipes (I feel like I've been in an 18-month rut, since moving here totally changed how and what we eat) so I persisted.
I loved that I could assemble this ahead of time, prepping before the 'witching hour' when kids were home from school, whining about homework, and underfoot looking for snacks. I grumbled at having to lug the food processor out to shred the carrots, but then realized I also had to use it to shred the block of cheddar so it kind of felt like I was killing two birds with one stone.
Half and hour before we wanted to eat, I threw the pan in the oven. Complaints from the eldest ensued, even after I explained there wasn't actually any cottage cheese in the Cottage Pie, but she didn't want to make her own salad (the only other option we give them when they don't like what's put in front of them) so she begrudgingly filled her plate.
If you would like to give it a try, here's the recipe. Completely Lepper Colony approved. Next up, I may try the lemon meringue pie since I have some juice of local lemons in the fridge. "The Art of Pie" is getting great reviews on Amazon, and so far I concur!