* paid my annual community garden fee * finished my taxes (including my grand uncle's) and went to the post office to mail them * went to the korean grocery store in union square to look for large sized jars for making kimchi (a single low-height 1/2 gallon jar for $5, easier just to buy a large jar of kimchi and reuse the jar), left with some nori crackers * got some groceries at market basket * went to star market to get some pie crusts ($1 more) * paid some credit card bills for my parents * prepared planting cups * today's production a mirror of yesterday's, but slightly more so yet another new record


1 tsbp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
garlic cloves, chopped
2 lbs. ground beef
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 cup red wine
1 can beef stock
3 potatoes, peeled, cubed
1 cup carrots, peeled, chopped
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 ready made pie crust

i was in the mood to make something hearty for dinner. there was a sale on ground beef at market basket, and originally i thought i'd just make a simple spaghetti sauce. then i went online and did a reverse recipe search by ingredients and found some savory meat pies. the recipe i followed was for a beef and potato pie. the recipe is a little suspect, with only 3 people having ever made it before, and the instructions rife with errors, like preheating the oven before simmering the pie filling for nearly an hour, or the amount of time to add and cook certain ingredients. having said that, the final result wasn't bad at all. the only ingredients i needed was the ground beef, the pie crusts, tomato paste, and beef stock; everything else i had, including the carrots and the potatoes.

after cooking the onions and garlic in oil and butter, i added the ground beef. the original recipe called for cubed sirloin chunks, but ground beef can also be substituted. i thought the amount of beef (2 lbs.) combined with the eventual chopped potatoes and carrots seemed a lot, and a check of the recipe calls for baking in a lasagna dish, not a pie dish, even though the photo shows the pie in a round dish. i figured i'd stuffed as much as i could into the pie and save the rest for either another pie or something else.

next i added the flour, pepper, and salt. i increased the spice portions (1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp salt) because the cooked ground beef with onions and garlic tasted bland on their own. i then added a cup of red wine (merlot). that's when i began to have second thoughts about the recipe. the wine turned everything purple, and it just looked off.

after a few minutes of simmering, i added the rest of the ingredients: a can of beef stock, cubed potatoes, chopped carrots, tomato paste, and worcestershire sauce. the paste thickened everything, the beef stock turned the purple into a more pleasant brown. the red wine really adds an extra dimension that you wouldn't otherwise have without it. it smells delicious, i left everything to simmer for 30 minutes.

after 30 minutes i began scooping the filling into the pie crust. the filling was a little soupy and i was afraid it'd melt the raw crust, but nothing i could do at that point. i then put the second crust on top and sealed the edges, cutting a few slices into the crust before putting it into the oven for 45 minutes at 400°F.

the beef pie was finished by 9pm. as always the case, it was a little runny, so the first slice was easily gooey and hard to remove from the pie dish. i ate while watching an episode of altered carbon. just a single slice was very filling, but i still had room left in my stomach and went for a second slice. later i watched the good doctor.

looks like the fourth'easter will not miss us after all. there was hope over the weekend that the storm would blow off to sea, but every day since it crept a little closer inland, and now it looks like we're going to get a good amount (5-8") though nowhere as much as the third'easter. i'm hoping in the meantime the track can still change and maybe we'll get less than predicted. meteorologists always like to err on the side of caution, better to forecast more snow and get less, than forecast less and get more.

i was able to video chat with my parents, still in shenyang. a few days ago i found out my father had diarrhea, and now it was my mother's turn, along with puking. they didn't want to say over the phone was caused it but i can guess. tomorrow they take a 5pm sleeper train from shenyang to beijing, arriving at 1am. from there they will go to the airport and wait for their 8:10am flight to taipei.