Butternut Cottage Pie

IMG_5614The feeling of sitting down to a meal of “comfort food” is exactly that, comfort.  The senses drag up old, comfy memories, of different times and places, but all of them bring us comfort.  In our childhood home, if we ever had a roast beef or pot roast for dinner, the next day one of us kids would be sitting at the kitchen table, grinding up the leftovers, along with onions and carrots so Mom could make her Shepherd’s Pie (truly a Cottage Pie).

Move ahead 50 years, and I still love the mashed potato crust, leading through to a rich filling.   So, even though I enjoy a meat version, thought that maybe I could use my leading lady, Butternut Squash, to take on the role.  BBC Good Food suggested shallots & pecans for her supporting actors.

I invited my sister to opening night.  We swooned over the performance.  Hope you enjoy it.  I’m ready for an encore. Continue reading


IMG_2329We buy our hay from the island’s Capernwray Harbour Bible school, and from a Vancouver Island hay producer and seller, Ray.  Ray’s trucks have “Make Hay with Ray” printed cheerfully on them.  Our usual purchase is about 200 bales and it arrives early in the morning and we have about 40 minutes to get it off loaded and into the barn, so that Ray can get his truck back into the ferry line-up for the return trip.  Although we’ve done it before with no outside help (I can still hear the girls grumbling…), Capernwray offers to help most times, by arriving with a team of 8 or 10 healthy, strong young men.  They work so fast and so hard and within about 30 minutes, the truck is unloaded and the hay safe and dry in the barn.

They work so cheerfully, and take the load from our shoulders (literally), it’s the least we can do to offer them a drink and some baking for their kindness.  Late yesterday I made a batch of Butterhorns, getting them iced and topped with nuts late in the evening.

It was so fun to be able to carry out a big baking sheet full of treats to some very appreciative people.  These aren’t difficult to bake, and are so rich and yummy, that they absolutely fit the bill as a snack for hard workers, or a not so hard worker to enjoy with a cup of tea.

The original recipe was passed along to me by a friend, I believe in the late 90’s, and still gets pulled out at least once a year, and usually for our hay boys. Continue reading