Piesties, Sourdough, Pain & Shit Shuffling

Please forgive me for the expletive in the post title, but there is no other way to describe things so accurately. With the back half of the house about to be removed (so I can have my long-awaited kitchen), we have a shed full of ‘stuff’ that will surely be used some day, and lots more ‘stuff’ that came back here from the property we sold at Fish Creek, I decided all we were doing was shuffling shit to different spots. OVER! Time to make decisions and get rid of ‘stuff’ that is most probably never going to get used by us. So now that we have the new little shed up,

Black Shed

and are shuffling stuff about, it is time to seriously cull anything we are never truly likely to use. Three different piles are being created –

  1. Get rid of by using either free-cycle, buy/swap/sell sites, op shops or tip
  2. Definitely should keep, in which case these items will go into the new shed
  3. Need to sort out and decide. This section includes tools and things we have acquired from others. I decided we didn’t really need 6 painting extension poles, so into the scrap metal for them! Most of this pile will probably go to the mens shed and tip I think.

It’s very exciting to know that we might actually be moving forward with this reno but I’ll hold my excitement in until it actually is underway.

Piesties, not a pie or a pastie.

I’ve given my Sat night dinner this title, it came about by starting to make shepherds pie from leftovers from our last lamb roast, I had cut the lamb up and stored it in a zip lock bag in the freezer.


I’m not a big fan of Shepherds Pie as I like meat with a gravy to be encased in a pastry shell, or served on toast. Out of the freezer came a couple of frozen pastry sheets. I mixed the chopped lamb with onion, carrot, peas, rosemary, mixed herbs and a little (shut your eyes and skip this bit!) Gravox powder, purely as a thickener with colour, it is Sat night after all! I cut the pastry into squares that would fit into my tapas dishes and filled the pastry with the lamb mix.IMG_1525

The pastry was overlapped and at this point I decided to name them piesties as it looked more like a pastie than a pie.IMG_1527


















Now here is the interesting bit! Yesterday, when I went to our great local fresh fruit and veg supplier  which we all affectionately call ‘The Spud Shed’, I got some purple potatoes (spuds).

Yes, purple. This not beetroot, it is a potato.Purple potatoes

I was keen to see how they cooked up and wondered if they kept their purple colour once cooked. I’ve grown purple beans and they turn green when cooked but had no information about how purple potatoes behave. I had an inner giggle when I pictured having purple mash on top of our Shepherd Piestie so thought I’d give it  a go. But guess what?

Purple Mashed PotatoPurple potato stays purple when cooked! I made this mash by boiling the spuds as usual and when cooked added some goat cheese, S&P and milk. I loved  it but Mr ATMT preferred the standard white mash in top of his Piestie. I sprinkled finely chopped rosemary on top and served with tomato relish. Beautiful flavour.

IMG_1532Pain-too much of it.

To all of the people I care about  who are dealing with awful situations (and there are just way too many) including death, long term physical impairment, diagnoses that are not positive and loss. I wish I could offer you a magical way of just washing all the pain away but sadly I can’t.  I can only offer support, love and a helping hand if you need it. Please ask,  it is sometimes a tonic to us both to be able to help.


I think I have just about worked out the idiosyncrasies of my new gas Pizza Oven. This weekend I tried 2 different styles of sourdough. One was Josey Baker‘s hearth sourdough but I used rye rather than whole wheat starter. This loaf was the first one I cooked in my new Sassafras La Cloche bread baker. Very happy with the result too.

I also made Chad Robertson’s basic country loaf. Im finding this is becoming a well loved staple. I make it using 80% bread flour & 20% rye flour mixed to about 68% hydration. Just always seems to work! I like that. The photo below shows from L to R Chad loaf, peek of the ‘La Cloche; behind the Josey Baker Hearth loaf and on front another loaf of Chad’s.


I have a few issues with the bottom of the loaves getting a bit overcooked but I think I have a solution to that. Stay tuned!

This week, my first phase of cutting back on my work commitments begins. Mondays are now MINE! I have reduced my hours and will continue to do so as some very exciting times are ahead of us.




19 Replies to “Piesties, Sourdough, Pain & Shit Shuffling”

    1. Thanks Glenda, appreciate it. Pretty happy with the way I’m learning to work with the new pizza oven. Might just get it sorted when I have a real kitchen and have to start the learning curve again. Oh well, keeps me off the streets and out of pokie venues, that’s got to be a plus!


  1. I love it when I find purple potatoes or purple sweet potatoes. It’s fun to play with colored food. Your mashed purple potatoes look tasty on top of the lamb piesties! Good luck with all the shuffling.


  2. A lovely post.Love the sound of your breads and now that you are free on Mondays, I hope we get the recipe of that White/Rye 68% hyrdration loaf as I am hopeless at working out these things. I am also super impressed with using those little terracotta ramekins ( the Mediterranean Wholesaler in Brunswick?) as pie dishes and the quick folding technique used. Must make these when I return to cold old Melbourne. Good luck with the back coming off your house. I once did a huge kitchen reno- it involved taking the back off the house, and living with a wall and roof or rubber tarp. The job dragged on for a year. Then the house burnt down anyway!!! No more renos for me.


    1. Thanks Francesca, appreciate it! I like the sound of that wholesaler, can you please pass on the address or name. I get so frustrated when from down her I google looking for interesting places to check out and I don’t get much in the way of results. When does cold turn to freezing? That’s where we are at the moment. Golly, hope we don’t have to endure such horrendous results to the reno that you did, I’ve been too exposed to seeing the devastation fire causes to families and loved ones down here. Still new chapters open once the grief slows and so many happy things slowly recreate positives in their lives. Steer cleat of those grey nomads! Very envious.


      1. The Medit wholesalers is in Sydney road, Brunswick. They mostly sell things from Italy. Although they use the term wholesaler, they are a retail store selling groceries, and some terracotta.
        I hope your reno speeds along nicely.


  3. Good luck with the big Shit Sort. I so understand about having stuff that you never use cluttering up your house, and your life. I love the look of the purple spuds too.


  4. Haha… I use Gravox as a thickener too for Shepherds Pie gravy and other selected things… if it’s good enough for nanna’s it’s good enough for me! I love the Piesties. And the G.O. would too. Pies and mash. What’s not to love? I’m a fan of purple potatoes. I think they have a subtle sweetness but the G.O. agrees with Mr ATMT. I have some leftover deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie filling in the freezer. But I don’t have lovely tapas dishes like yours… must go shopping 🙂


    1. LOL! I only use Gravox for this type of thing or when camping. Exactly, if good enough for the grans then why not? Got my little tapas dishes when we went to Sydney for a weekend. Bought them at Chefs Warehouse on Celia’s recommendation. That was a hoot, getting them back was a story in itself but it just makes me appreciate them more when I get them out. Thanks for getting it!


  5. Your piesties look wonderful – I always worry about them having a soggy bottom but these don’t look to have that problem!! Awesome job on the sour dough too!! Jan x p.s. good luck getting rid of the shuffled shit 🙂


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