Culinary Comfort

A friend stopped by with a thoughtful baby gift on behalf of a moms group I belong to. I was touched by this kind gesture, but even more so by the meal she brought along with it: a homemade chicken dish, tasty salad, and healthy dessert. As fellow mothers they understand that what I really need right now are offers of help. We really enjoyed dinner that someone else cooked for a change.


Photo: Delia online

When I want to take a meal to a friend in need I make the traditional British recipe of cottage pie. This potato and meat creation was given its name when potatoes became widely available to the lower classes in England, cottage being a humble dwelling. At this time potato was often combined with leftover meat for a hearty supper. Often mistakenly called shepherd’s pie, this version is made with beef (shepherds pie is made with lamb). I always refer to the Delia Smith version for she is the (ageless) doyenne of British cooking. As one friend’s husband put it: “her recipes always work; she ever lies”. With it’s sweet cinnamon flavor and a creamy potato and leek topping this a perennial favorite, it’s one pot meal status making it particularly easy for the recipient.


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