Of holidays , tooth fairies and a pie…

by Sunita on January 5, 2008

By now, after the holidays, most of you must have settled down to your usual routines… gone back to the daily grind. Dinesh too has gone back to work a couple of days ago and the kids’ school will reopen on Monday.

I know it sounds a bit cliched, but time does seem to fly by in the flutter of an eyelid. The last couple of years, we have always been on holiday during this time. This is the first year all four of us have been together at home for so many days (well, a fortnight, to be precise), and we’ve really enjoyed it. We’ve taken each day as it came, lazying away, as if we had all the time in the world…no rushing, no scurrying…just whiling away the days. The other day, Dinesh noted how he had never been so relaxed after holidays, and went back to work on a high.

Around this time, there was a first for Rengoni. Just before the holidays, she lost her first baby tooth, and boy, was she glad! For the last few months, one or the other of her friends have been losing theirs, coming to school and proudly showing off their gaps. Rengoni probably thought that she was never going to lose any of hers, and kept checking constantly for any signs of dental movement. Unlike her, I was not worried…well, being August born, she is the youngest in her class and some of her mates were older to her by nearly a year, and that’s how I tried to pacify her. Anyway, she is happy now… well, in fact,I have never seen a gap toothed person so joyous before.

Rengoni and Agastya (both of whom were unwell during the last few days of their school), now look fresh and ready to start another chapter of their school life. Well, coming Monday, it’s definitely going to be quite sober round the house during the day…I hate coming back to it on such days…opening the door to find no one laughing (or squabbling!), hiding in corners and surprising me from behind…making simple demands. But then, I will probably console myself, as I always do, that, at least, they enjoy going to school and are happy there.

Now, lets get back to the eating front. I made this sweet potato and vegetable pie some time back.

It consists of an olive oiled whole wheat and spinach crust; a filling of assorted vegetables and a topping of boiled and mashed sweet potatoes with herbs and spices. The ingredients mentioned below yielded one 8inch and two 4 inc pies. It may seem to be be a long recipe, but actually, it doesn’t take much handling time and can be put together at ease.

What’s needed-

For the crust-

2 C wholewheat flour
3 handfuls of fresh leaf spinach
1/3 C of olive oil
1 tsp salt

For the filling-
1 C small broccoli florets
3/4 C sweetcorn
1 yellow pepper , chopped into small pieces
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 pods of garlic, finely choped
2 tbls olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the topping-
500 gms of sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 tblsp dried sage
1/2 tsp ( more or less) crushed red chillies
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

100 gms of cheddar cheese, grated

How to-
The crust-

  1. Pre heat oven at 190 deg C.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together and place it in a food precessor.
  3. Pulse till the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  4. Take 2/3 of the mixture and press against the bottom and up the sides of an 8 inch flan dish. Divide the rest of the mixture equally between two smaller 4 inch cases and repeat the same.
  5. Very gently, prick all over with a fork.
  6. Place in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake the cases for 10-12 minutes.

The filling-

  1. Heat the oil in a pan.
  2. Place all the ingredients and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Stir fry for a minutes or till the onions are translucent but the rest of the vegetables are still have their crunch. Keep aside.

The topping-

  1. Place the sweet potatoes along with a tblsp of water in a a microwavable bowl and prick all over with a fork.
  2. Cover the bowl loosely with cling film and microwave for about 6-7 minutes or till soft.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mash till smooth. Keep aside.

To assemble-

  1. Pre heat the oven at 190 deg cel.
  2. Divide the filling among the three pans and spread it out over the crust.
  3. Sprinkle 1/2 of the grated cheese over the filling.
  4. Top with the sweet potato mash…either pipe it or just spread it on top.
  5. Sprinkle a little more crushed pepper over it.
  6. Bake in the centre of the pre heated oven for 20-25 minutes or till the cheese melts and the top is slightly brown. (note:bake the smaller ones separately )
  7. Slice and serve hot on it’s own or with some fresh salad.

As for the results, we loved it. It was a very filling dish and the spicy sweetness of the potatoes with the crunch in the vegetables was much admired. The crust was nice and crumbly as well.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 KayKat January 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Yum! I *love* that crust :)

I know what you mean about getting back into the daily grind, I’ve been struggling with that this last week.


2 Mishmash ! January 5, 2008 at 5:43 pm

such post of yous will have a greater charm when rengoni truns a teenager….nice that u capture such chapters in ur blog :)



3 Toffeeapple January 5, 2008 at 6:00 pm

I bet she looks wonderful! Little ones with toothy gaps are most endearing.

I went back to work on Wednesday, it was really hard to get back in the mood, I was really glad that it was only a three day week.

I remember the empty feeling of getting back home after taking my daughter to school. I always left a small lamp on in the kitchen to give the appearance of having someone at home.


4 Rajitha January 5, 2008 at 6:14 pm

that pie looks delicious..you have an art of making every food look glamourous :)


5 Suganya January 5, 2008 at 6:40 pm

So these are the tarts you were talking about…The crust is a keeper. The whole recipe is like a sophisticated shepherd’s pie. Beautifully done, Sunita.


6 Sagari January 5, 2008 at 6:43 pm

yummy pie sunitha and the pic looks beautifulllllll


7 sunita January 5, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Kaykat,we loved it too…and yes, after holidays,it does take a while to fall back into routine.


8 Sig January 5, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Love the look of that pie, sweet potatoes are a great choice for the topping…
We too stayed home this year during the holidays, after a long time… It was very relaxing, but unlike Dinesh, we weren’t on a high to go back to work though, the laziness had set in way too deep :)
BTW Hope the tooth fairy was very generous to Rengoni… :)


9 sunita January 5, 2008 at 9:02 pm

Shn, thanks…well, Rengoni was soo delighted with her tooth falling off…


10 Beth G. January 5, 2008 at 9:12 pm

It’s all back to business as usual here at our home too! Congrats to your little girl on her first tooth! How exciting- the dish looks WONDERFUL, I need more veggies in my life!!


11 sunita January 5, 2008 at 9:35 pm

toffeeapple, I too love the gap toothed look :-)

As for the empty feeling, I turn on the telly and go about my work…the voices give company :-)


12 sunita January 5, 2008 at 9:41 pm

rajitha, thanks…I just try :-)


13 sunita January 5, 2008 at 9:48 pm

suganya,thanks, and you’re right on mark…they are the ones…the crust was nice…had a light feel to it…hmmm, you can call it a form of ’shepherdess pie with a crust’, because it hasn’t got any meat in it and has a crust. ;-)


14 sunita January 5, 2008 at 9:53 pm

sig, thanks…it is always nice to take things at a slow pace at times…and I agree with you, the laziness does seem to seep in :-) as for the tooth fairy, well, our little ma’am seemed to be happy enough.


15 sunita January 5, 2008 at 9:55 pm

beth,thanks…hope you had a wonderful holiday season :-)


16 musical January 5, 2008 at 10:09 pm

Such a heart-warming post! These are the moments that Rengoni will cherish when she reads these posts later…..Lovely pie and what a crust!

Happy New Year to you and your family , have a wonderful time :) .


17 sunita January 5, 2008 at 11:22 pm

musical, thanks…hope you had a wonderful start to the new year.


18 Shilpa January 7, 2008 at 12:43 am

Thats such a sweet post Sunita. LOved to read it.
I have not tried any savory pies yet, my to-do list is piling now. Great pics as usual.


19 Kalva January 7, 2008 at 1:52 am

wow great one sunitha!!


20 Roopa January 7, 2008 at 3:14 am

wow thats a nice writup dear :) the pie looks fabulous and photos i am drooling at them.
Happy new year to you and your dear ones!


21 Nags January 7, 2008 at 5:22 am

thts such a lovely looking pie. i want to get a proper oven before i can start making all these things..


22 Rachel January 7, 2008 at 7:33 am

that looks yummy..love the crust..i will make this but will substitute the sweet potatoes with something else..

lovely presentation!


23 sunita January 7, 2008 at 9:56 am

shilpa, thanks…and yes, there are so many wonderful recipes going around…sometimes, I too can’t choose which one to try first ;-)


24 sunita January 7, 2008 at 9:57 am

kalva, thanks…hope you had a nice weekend :-)


25 sunita January 7, 2008 at 9:59 am

roopa, thanks…hope and your family had a wonderful start to the new year too…nice to see you here after a long time :-)


26 sunita January 7, 2008 at 10:00 am

rachel, thanks…I’m sure you will come up with something nice…looking forward to your version :-)


27 Anamika:The Sugarcrafter January 7, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Hi sunita
Nice blog content. Loved to read them. Greetings to you from a fellow blogger from Botswana.I am into cake decoration and browse to pick new ideas.


28 Happy cook January 7, 2008 at 12:49 pm

The pie looks delicious.
It is just bursting with flavours. Yumm.
Loved reading about Rengoni. I can imagine how happy she must have been.
When Shyama was her age and she lost a tooth, she used to keep next her bed for the tooth fairy and we sneaked into her room before we went to sleep to play the tooth fairy, u can imagine the happines when she saw the money next to her bed when she woek up next day.
Ofcourse now she is 15 all her illusion of the fairy is gone. When she was 12 she found a very small box with few of her teeth which i’ve kept ;-)


29 Laavanya January 7, 2008 at 4:48 pm

That is a beautiful pie Sunita and I simply adore that crust.


30 Archana January 7, 2008 at 5:00 pm

I am in search of recipes for sweet potatoes. This one is great. I have written it down and i have all the ingredients for making it. Thanks for sharing. My children love sweet potatoes, i hope they like this one.


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