… so it is. No firm fixed place on the calendar, just a feeling in the air that it’s right about now and will last, tradition has it, until some point in February maybe.
Past years – this is Pie Season #4, I estimate – there’s been a motivation to open the business with a chicken one; chicken and tarragon mainly, leeks in there for greenery, that soapy old tarragon taste always reminiscent of the time I tried to make a grown-up dinner in a college house in Reading, and someone equally Northern, and, really, in hobnail boots, looked over my shoulder and said ‘bit of a flash cook, are ya?’, which left an impression because I was only so in Opposite World.
This year as it happens I am opening with Steak & Ale; the former from our local butcher, who got it from a local cow, the latter a tin of Bass – which brewery I worked for, before pretty much everything became disorganised. Slow cooking, the meat is in with potatoes and carrots and onions (white, because I never think red goes well in these situations), with mushrooms coming along in a bit, and various splashes of whatnot and that. Vague recipes, the very stuff of life affirmed.
Pastry management begins much later, when the afternoon is darkening and there’s footie on Radio Five – Man U and Arsenal, as it goes (no Gooner, but I’m SO enjoying Arsene’s coming good again) – and there’s every possibility that crumbles of Stilton (sounds like a posh furniture maker) will make it into the rolling out process. No, I do not make my own. Not yet.
Well, look, this is just to remark for the record – and with pictures of pies past – that Pie Season is, as rumours have been abounding, actually, sweethearts, open.