Meat pie with chips and veggies
The meat pie is an Australian staple. But most Australians buy them ready-made from corner shops, supermarkets, delis and snack bars. I had never made a meat pie until I moved to Norway. I tried several recipes, but this was the closest to the real thing.
For the base, I use a quiche or other unsweetened pie crust dough. Or you can use your favourite shortcrust pastry recipe, as long as it’s not sweet.
For the top, I use store-bought puff pastry, which in Norway means crossing the border and getting it from Sweden. You can buy puff pastry in Norway (called butterdeig or smørdeig), but it comes in frozen blocks that have to be thawed and rolled out, which is painful, but doable.
For this recipe, I like to use three or four small, non-stick pie dishes, but it could also make one large pie (about 20cm in diameter).
This year, for the first time, I’ve been invited to a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner at my friend Audrey’s house. She and her husband are spending their first holiday season in Norway, and wanted to share a little piece of their home traditions with us, and we are really looking forward to it.
But it got me thinking generally about how much I have to be grateful for this year, perhaps more than ever before in my life. It’s easy to get caught feeling blue as the days get ever shorter and darker, with sunrise after nine a.m. and the daylight only lasting until a little after three in the afternoon. The first thing I think of when I see the last shreds of half-light disappear a couple of hours after lunch time: this year I am lucky enough to be escaping the dark. This year I’m spending my first Christmas at home with my family in seven years. Seven cold, dark Christmases in a row, and now I get to take my little girl home for a hot, sunny Christmas just like the ones I used to know… ♪ ♫ ♬
Which brings me to my daughter. How could I not be grateful for her? All parents are grateful for their children. But I feel she deserves special thanks for being almost freakishly well-behaved and easy-going. Who else has a two-year-old who asks if she can open a drawer to get a toy out, and then puts it back when she’s done playing with it? Who else has a two-year-old who says please and thank you mid-tantrum? I may be eating my words if and when the so-called terrible twos finally hit, but so far life with my toddler is impossibly sweet.