Considering the rate at which I cook now, it's hard to believe that by the time I was 24, I had literally only cooked about 5 main meals across the course of my life.
That's what happens when you have a mum who is a fabulous cook and is happy to cater for all your dietary requirements, without making you lift a finger in order to eat well.
I had basically moved out by the time I was 22, but living and working in ski lodges also meant that the chef usually did all the cooking for me.
It wasn't until I set up a flat at about 25, that I had my own kitchen and finally had no one else to do the cooking but me.
As a parting gift, my mother gave me a Women's Weekly Basic Cook Book and wished me luck. As she handed it to me, she said, `If you can read, you can cook.' and she was right. Mum probably thought I would be back, but I never did return home for more than a few nights at a time. I have now lived more of my life away from my first family, than with it, which probably means, I am all grown up.
I hate to reveal my true age, but apart from all the usual suspects like how to roast a leg of lamb, or poach an egg, the basic cook book also has recipes in it, like lambs fry and tripe. I have still never tried those dishes, but I made the easy spinach pie alot back in my single days.
So when I saw some lovely bunches of English spinach on sale at Harris Farm the other day,
my mind turned to that old recipe and I thought I'd dig out the cook book I hadn't used for years.
The pie was still as fabulous as I remembered it and was such lovely comfort food on a cold Winters night. This one is a great family meal and very healthy too. Although not at all low in fat.
I have changed it out a lot since the original, but it is still delicious and completely simple.
Easy Spinach Pie with Filo Pastry
1 bunch of English spinach, or packet of baby spinach
Small knob of butter butter
1 small onion diced
220g or 3/4 cup danish feta crumbled
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 sheets filo pastry
Large knob of butter, about 60 g
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
Over a moderate heat, melt the small knob of butter and saute the onion for several minutes, until soft.
Trim the English spinach of stems and cut into 2 cm / 1 inch strips. For the baby spinach, don't bother trimming.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add cheeses, nutmeg, cooked onion and spinach. Mix well to combine.
Grease a 13cm x 23cm ovenproof dish.
Melt the large knob of butter and brush 4 sheets of pastry. Place each pastry sheet in the oven proof dish as you go, buttered side up. Carefully press it down into the dish, allowing the sides to overlap the edges of the dish.
Place the spinach mixture on top of the pastry in the dish.
Brush the remaining 4 sheets of pastry with butter and place over the top of the spinach mixture.
Crumple overlapping pastry together to form a rustic looking pie and brush well with butter.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Serve with a green side salad and enjoy.
For more easy family meals go here.
Things are hotting up here re our trip. Not long now. Connections willing, I plan to instagram, facebook and blog our trip. I hope you will follow along on our dream journey.
I have decided that I have very little ambition around house and home these days. My goals are all centred around experiences and travel is front and centre of that now. I figure it's only money and you can't take it with you. My dad died way too young, as he was just on the verge of spending a year in France. He never got to do that and it was the kick up the ass I needed, to inspire me to seize the day.
Watch this space.
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