I love a potluck. I love hosting them and it's especially fun going to one. So when we were invited to an all-day unschooling gathering and potluck at Marcia's lovely home, we jumped at the chance.
Of course this meant I did a fair amount of hand wringing on Friday about what food we would bring to share. Deciding what to bring, maybe that's one thing I don't like about potlucks, because I can never decide on just one dish. So, that's how I ended up bringing four loaves of French bread, Alex's two apple pies, a gingerbread cake (recipe here) and two large vegetarian pot pies. Like I always say, what's the point of cooking just a little bit? The pot pie especially, was popular, and I've been asked for the recipe many times since, so here it is.
Vegetarian Pot Pie, Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook, p. 240, also here.
(Note: this pot pie can be made with entirely just vegetables. I've also made it with turkey or chicken. I imagine it would be delicious using a lot of mushrooms, but my son, Adam doesn't care for mushrooms, so I haven't tried that yet. For this particular potluck, I used a meat substitute, Quorn Tenders, hoping to make something satisfying for the many vegetarians in attendance, but as with all processed foods, some of the claims about the product require scrutiny.)
1/4 to 1/2 cup white wine or vegetable stock
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2/3 cup thinly sliced carrot
2/3 cup sliced frozen green beans
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup skim milk or soy milk
2 cups vegetable stock
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. salt or low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried sage
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Basic Biscuit Crust
1 3/4 cups unbleached or whole wheat pastry four
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. honey
2 Tbs. butter or margarine
3/4 cup buttermilk or soy milk
1.Coat an 8-inch casserole dish with vegetable cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.In heavy saucepan, heat wine or stock over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add celery, bell pepper, carrot, green beans and peas. If mixture begins to dry out, add 1/4 cup more wine or vegetable stock. Cook, stirring often, 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle flour over vegetable mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.
3.In glass measuring cup, combine milk or soy milk and 2 cups vegetable stock. Slowly add to vegetable mixture while whisking constantly. Sauce will start to thicken. Add parsley, salt or soy sauce, thyme, sage, pepper and cayenne. Cook, stirring constantly, until filling is thickened. Remove from heat, transfer mixture to prepared casserole and set aside.
4.Biscuit topping: In large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut butter or margarine into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. In measuring cup, combine buttermilk or soy milk and honey. Add liquid to flour mixture, stirring with a fork to form a stiff dough. Add more buttermilk if dough is too dry. Knead lightly in bowl, 3 to 5 minutes, until dough is no longer sticky. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Roll out into shape to cover casserole dish or cut into wedges.
5.Lay biscuit topping lightly over filling. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes.
Marcia's farm is gorgeous and it was wonderful to see other unschooling friends we haven't seen since August.
Alex with our gracious host, Marcia.
We did some of the usual things, like play Bananagrams and Werewolves, but we also took walks and met some of the farm animals. Alex made friends with one Speckled Sussex chicken who seemed to take a liking to him in particular.
Finally, Rocco, the family dog, who had been such a sport the entire day, was telling us all that he was very tired and needed his couch back, so we too, packed ourselves up and readied ourselves for the drive home in the overnight hours.
It was wonderful to spend many hours in such a warm and welcoming (and inspiring!) home, where we could play games, share food and conversation with friends. Thank you, Marica, for a very special day!
(And what did we do Sunday, besides sleep in some, after our 3am arrival home? We jumped into The Great Bedroom Swap of 2011, is what. More on that in another post.)