Pot Pies And Prairie Dogs

 I was just waking up this morning, slowly. I already had opened my eyes and noticed the near black sky outside, because of that... I immediately closed them again. 

The house was quiet... not a Prairie dog or a Kakarikis was peeping. Not even a very tiny Quail...

and then...


Beep? What the heck is beeping? Something in our bedroom was beeping, letting me know it was in the process of dying. What the heck. What could be beeping? After the second beep I got up to investigate. Oh. my purse was beeping. Well, not my purse.. but the cell phone inside my purse. It was finally kicking the bucket from lack of charge and using all of it's remaining energy to beg me to plug it back in.

I ignored it and walked into the kitchen to make coffee. I know it was cruel. But honestly, how rude to start beeping and breaking the beautiful morning silence. I'm amazed that thing holds a charge as long as it does. I haven't even looked at it in over 2 weeks and completely forgot it was even there.

The second day of October arrived even colder than yesterday, just below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, windy, and rainy. I decided after a cup (alright... two cups) of vanilla hazelnut coffee, I'd probably let everyone stay inside the barn if they chose to.

Boy did they choose to. No one wanted out, not even Lila. Every morning my sheep bust through their door and knock me out of the way as fast as they can, which isn't too fast for a three legged ewe and a blind ram... and then there is Horace the wether, and he's, well, he's a little "slow."

Today they just went to the back of their pen and waited for me to feed them, they didn't even come to the door. So everyone stayed inside, warm and dry and quite happy. They would spend the entire winter inside if I'd let them. Not going to happen.

The ducks are enjoying their new indoor digs, which still need some re decorating.

We had the wood stove burning all afternoon so it's been nice and toasty warm in here. The Prairie dogs love it ... as you can see they were all enjoying a nice snooze earlier.

 Then they woke up to have some snacks...


This kind of weather calls for comfort food. So comfort food it was for dinner tonight.

Lentil and potato pot pie. Sounds good right? It did to me when I came across this recipe for it.

But I couldn't leave it alone. My favorite part of pot pie is a good flaky crust, so I decided instead of the rosemary biscuit crust this recipe called for (which I bet is delish) I'd make my traditional flaky pastry crust.

I made the filling mostly as it is written in the recipe. Except I added sweet potatoes. And ketchup. Yes, that's what I said. I climbed every shelf in my pantry, dropped endless cans and boxes on my head... I just knew I had tomato paste, I had to have tomato paste... I always have at least 6 jars or tubes of it on hand.

Nope, nothing. Everything on the stove was bubbling and threatening to splatter all over the kitchen... I was tired.... and broken hearted that I didn't have any tomato paste. So I improvised. I could think of other ways but I didn't have time. And I needed a tablespoon of something tomatoey and thick. Sometimes you just have to do, what you have to do.

As I was tasting the sauce and adding seasoning to it, I realized this would be so, so, good with peas in it.

Do you think I have any peas anywhere in this house?

My stocks are seriously low. At this rate, we won't survive the winter.

If I were you, and you make this... I'd add peas. Then you can tell me how good it tastes with them in there :)

So for the pie... First you need a pie crust, and I used my old standby flaky crust recipe which has never failed me.

It comes from this book, so how could it go wrong right?

You need:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbs sugar
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/4 cup cold shortening, cubed

Mix this together with your hands, until it resembles coarse crumbs. Then slowly add in about 1/4 cup cold water, add it a couple tablespoons at a time, just until you are able to work your dough. Roll it into a ball and put it in the fridge to get nice and cold so it's easier to use. Or so it can wait for you to come back from the barn and roll it out.

For the filling...

½ cup brown lentils- I used canned lentils which I just washed.
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 ½ teaspoons dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups vegetable broth
1 large Yukon gold potato and 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until softened. Add your carrots, rosemary, and thyme, and saute until softened. Add garlic, and saute 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium-low.  Mix flour into vegetables; cook 1 minute. Add vegetable broth.

Whisk well so you don't get lumps... as it thickens, add your soy sauce and tomato paste. Then add your potatoes and your lentils. Cook until your potatoes are soft. Season to taste.

Transfer your filling to your greased dish, you could use a casserole dish or a deep dish pie plate. Top with your pie crust. Cut a few holes for heat to escape, decorate if you wish to... and bake in a 425 degree oven for about 35 minutes or until your crust is golden.

This is the best I could do for a picture. I know, it's horrible. I was hungry and only concerned with dishing out the chow. But oh, it was good. Man lentils are so delicious... it's just so good. It tastes like a beef gravy almost and there isn't any beef within a hundred miles of this pie. I imagine the biscuit crust would be really nice on here, but I love my pie crust. It's a lovely cold weather meal, and this would easily please both meat eaters and non meat eaters alike.

With my leftover pie dough, I made mini pumpkin pies. Can't go wrong there.

Now it's off to bed for me, I'm beat. Everyone around me has been snoring for at least the past 1/2 hour, so it's my turn now.