7 April 2015

Garden Design and a Pasty Disaster

Today has been a beautiful day. It's been sunny and calm and deliciously spring-like. The birds are busy darting here, there and everywhere finding soft things to line their nests with, I have seen bees diving in and out of the flowers in my garden and I have finally spotted blossom on my apple trees. It's fabulous and it makes me want to rush outside and start gardening and planting seeds and growing veg. With this in mind, I have been scouring the internet to find some ideas that I can use to make my growing space more effective and frankly, better looking because at the moment, it looks awful. The thing is, my garden is at the front of my house. I don't have a back garden, just a field where my llamas live so I have to make sure that my garden looks presentable .... although last year that didn't go according to plan and it looked overgrown and jungle-like for most of the year. I have massive garden envy. I know how I want it to look but I never quite manage to get it looking like that. So here are some of the ones that I totally love although I have no idea how I am going to get it to look like this but I'm certainly going to give it a go.

I love the order and neatness of this one.

And the beautiful symmetry of this one

But my absolute favourite is this one.
A perfect mix of function and cottage garden beauty . 

And so to my pasty disaster! This year, for Easter, it was just me and my youngest daughter as my middle daughter was away for the weekend and my eldest daughter, who lives in Sheffield, is now 7 months pregnant and the proud owner of a very large bump. On Easter Sunday, I made a a lovely lamb lunch for the two of us and as usual, I totally overdid it on the piece of meat that I bought. It was on special offer and was cheaper than the smaller joints in the store so, obviously, I thought it was a good idea. It was huge! Almost 2.5kg of lamb for the grand total of £9.28 with a further 10% off at the till so £8.36 .... absolute bargain. 

Needless to say, there was a lot left and after some delicious leftover soup on Monday, I was trying to come up with something different to do with some of the leftover lamb. I decided to try to make a sort of spicy lamb pasty concoction with lamb, diced potatoes, peas and various spices so, having chopped the lamb, added the potatoes and peas and some garam masala, I gave it a quick taste and added a decent squirt of tomato ketchup to give it a bit of sweetness, added some hot water and heated it in a saucepan to make sure the spices were dissolved. 

I rolled out my pastry, cut around a plate as a template, popped the hot meat mixture into the pastry circle, crimped it and then started making the next one. 

Did you spot the rookie mistake. Guess what happens when you add a hot filling to cold pastry ....... it goes soft and soggy and melts the fat in the pastry so all the filling then escapes and oozes all over the baking tray ..... and that was before I even managed to get it into the oven! It was a total disaster! I had to scrape it up off the baking tray with a spoon. 

Hey ho ..... live and learn

I'm guessing it's not a mistake I will be making again :-)

I will be trying again tomorrow. 


  1. Love those gardens , I did that the first day i made pastys , now i wait until the filling has cooled lol xxx

  2. The gardens pictured are really lovely and so neat and organized looking. The thing that you have to remember is that you are only seeing what the photographer shows you. Things could be in a perfect shambles all around them and who would know? it's hard to compete with pictured perfection but good to give them a look and copy the good parts and do the best you can.

  3. The bottom one is my favourite one too! We had lamb for eater lunch & like you had lots left. Enough for a shepherds pie & a lamb curry, so a bargain really xx