Cotswold Cows in the Mist

Misty Cows 1

One early morning in the beautiful Cotswolds I made a cup of tea and took it into the conservatory where I was amazed to see a thick mist enveloping the field view. Instead of the usual couple of hundred yards of fields, trees and hedges I could see for only a few yards beyond the dry stone wall. As I sipped my hot tea the mist began to slowly swirl, making fantastic shapes as it curled around the edges of trees and gradually lifted a little off the ground. After a few more minutes a low moo heralded a cow, wreathed in mist, as it emerged in the field like a sepia painting in soft focus.

Misty Cows 2

Cotswold cows are among my favourite creatures and this one was enhanced even more by the soft focus treatment of this gently dissolving background.

Misty Cows 3

As more cows joined the first one Randy my husband grabbed his camera and was able to capture their images before the mist was dissolved by the warm sun. Eventually the day evolved into a glorious scorcher – perfect for a picnic on the river.

But I’ll never forget those magical, early morning moments when my lovely Cotswold cows appeared to be part of a Turner painting.

Misty Cows 4

Christmas COTSWOLDS LAMB Pie

Christmas PieFrom Diz White, the author of

COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage

Available in E-Book and Paperback on Amazon

This pie is great for Christmas evening when everybody thinks they can never eat another thing and then surprise, get peckish just before bed-time. You could even serve it for Christmas dinner!

Delicious served hot or cold!

Follow this recipe and out of the oven comes the most scrumptious-looking country pie; looking like something you’d see on the table in Downton Abbey or the kind of thing Mrs Bridges would have cooked in Upstairs, Downstairs.

INGREDIENTS IN IMPERIAL MEASURE

(Ingredients in Metric measure are at the end of the recipe)

1 1/2lb Ground or Minced COTSWOLD Lamb

Cotswolds lamb is optional – other lamb is good to use. But Cotswolds lamb tastes so good.

2 Large Onions

4 Sticks of Celery

1 lb. Mushrooms

6 Cloves of Garlic

1 Egg whisked

1 Tin of chopped tomatoes or 4 fresh blanched tomatoes

½ Tin of tomato paste (optional)

1 Table spoon herbes de Provence

1 Teaspoon fresh chopped ginger (optional)

Pinch (large) of Cajun spices

1 Package ready-made puff pastry.

Recipe designed for a 9 Inch Pie Pan

Serves 6

This is my mother’s delicious recipe and I try and cook it the same way that she did.

Have the butcher take a shoulder of lamb and put it through the meat grinder. In England this is called minced lamb. In the United States it would be ground lamb. Get COTSWOLD lamb if you can.

Sauté the lamb in a skillet. When it is about half cooked take it off the heat and drain away any extra fat. Next, in a separate skillet, sauté onions, garlic, mushrooms, celery, tomatoes. Cook until all this is done about halfway through. Drain away any extra liquid. Now add seasoning and stir in well. The seasoning should include herbes de Provence, and other seasonings can be added to taste. e.g. Cajun spices, or a touch of curry powder. Or get creative with your own ideas about seasoning. I will sometimes add a tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger and ½ tin of tomato paste, but these are optional. Combine the ingredients of both skillets; stir well and aside to cool. Now prepare the pastry.

These days it is possible to buy ready-made puff pastry quite easily.

Roll out enough puff pastry and a line the pie dish with it. Next, roll out enough pastry for the top covering of the pie and cut it a good four inches larger than the pie dish. After filling the bottom with all the sautéed ingredients drape the overlarge pastry covering on top and pull the excess back into loops, rather like a curtain valance, before thumbing the top and bottom layers together.

Heart shapes and other decorations can be made with any left over pastry and placed on the top of the pie. Next, paint the top of the pie with a whisked egg. Put the pie in a pre-warmed oven and cook for about forty minutes or until the pastry is lightly browned.

Decorate with sprigs of holly with red berries or other Christmas decoration. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS IN METRIC MEASURE

675 grams Ground or Minced COTSWOLD Lamb

Cotswolds lamb is optional – other lamb is good to use. But Cotswolds lamb tastes so good.

2 Large Onions

4 Sticks of Celery

450 grams Mushrooms

6 Cloves of Garlic

1 Egg whisked

1 Tin of chopped tomatoes or 4 fresh blanched tomatoes

½ Tin of tomato paste (optional)

30 grams herbes de Provence

5 grams fresh chopped ginger (optional)

Pinch (large) Cajun spices

1 Package ready-made puff pastry.

Recipe designed for a 22 cm Pie Pan

Serves 6

Mint Tea Mojito with Cotswold Honey

Mint Mojito

Mojito

Diz’s  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR 

Mint Tea Mojito 

with COTSWOLD HONEY

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Pour 2 1/2 cups boiling water over
5 table spoons mint leaves (or a big handful)
Steep for ten minutes
Strain through a wire mesh strainer (not plastic)
into jug with a bunch of ice cubes on bottom
Throw away mint leaves
Stir 1/2 cup of rum (I used Bicardi white rum – could be dark rum)
1/2 cup Fresh lime juice and
1/4 to 1/2 cup runny COTSWOLD honey (preferably Acacia – or other)
according to taste
into mint tea mixture
Stir thoroughly to make honey distribution even
Pour mixture over ice cubes in glasses.
Garnish with fresh mint sprigs and lemon or lime wedges,
Cocktail Parasols, multi coloured straws and other cocktail decorations.
Take photo and send it to me – I am collecting them for my website
publicitypromo@aol.com          Enjoy!