Posted by: molly on: November 7, 2009
November is a wonderful month to be in England. It may be a bit chilly, a bit rainy, but there are plenty of ways to warm up with some lovely traditions.
I remember guy fawkes night as a kid, my whole town gathering in a local field to build a huge bonfire and light fireworks in the chilly November air. To Americans who have no clue about bonfire night, it’s sort of like the 4th of July but it’s cold and instead of hot dogs and watermelon, there’s mulled wine and toffee apples.
Thursday night brought a crowd of about 40,000 people to clapham common for their annual fireworks display – it went on for 30 minutes! We were freezing our little boots off, but it was worth it to ooh and ahh like a child again. We even got the chance to play with sparklers after the ceremonies.
Another tradition in the colder months is to make shepherd’s pie, in all its meat-and-potatoes glory. I decided recently that I wanted to make a vegan version that didn’t involve lentils or soy mince. Thankfully, waitrose has a vegetarian recipe, and with a few tweaks I created something hearty and delicious just in time for winter. Almost all the ingredients were bought at our local farmer’s market, I’m proud to say
This will fill a large casserole dish and last for days with yummy leftovers to reheat.
Lesson learned: A property of the best shepherd’s pie is the crispy top of the mashed potatoes. You don’t get this consistency when you use sweet potato. However, the flavors are fantastic and worth the lack of crunch.