Writers at have been saving up recipes and recalling memories about their favorite dishes. If you’re writing inside or huffing and puffing outside, it’s best if you eat well. Sometimes the best foods are the simplest ones, the foods that bring you home.

Waaay back, Adrienne S Moody kicked the pin rolling with this one…


The first time I attempted to make this family traditional pie, commonly known as tourtière, was immediately upon my arrival home after my mother’s funeral. I didn’t plan it and it was early for making such a comfort food dish. My mother would make it for Christmas only. The memory and story told each year was of the year she made 25 of them lovingly prepared and wrapped carefully in tin foil in November. Her freezer was stocked full of frozen vegetables from her garden and so she used my playhouse in the backyard to store them. Smart idea one would think as in Alberta the prairie winter temperature was always below freezing often dipping as long as -30. One morning when my dad left for work using the back alley he noticed all these pies like saucers strewn about along the pathway and into the ditch. It was investigated further and the rotten little kids next door had broken into the stash, they ate most of the cookies and cakes made early and then used the meat pies as slides to whip down the icy alley. My mother was inconsolable.

I didn’t plan on stopping at the grocery store after collecting my car at the airport and driving the hour or so towards home in the darkness and snow filled grey clouds hanging heavy overhead. I wanted one thing.


I picked up the ingredients with a smile on my face. I missed my mom terribly. I hadn’t cried at the funeral nor while giving the eulogy. I needed to reach out to her somehow and so I went home with my bag of groceries, whipped off my coat, put some Nat King Cole music on (her and dad’s favorite) and prepared this comforting food.

I recommend that while the fragrant pies are cooking put on Nat’s Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.

Shopping List:

2 pounds of lean ground pork

1 onion finely chopped

salt and pepper

1 frozen pie crust (or if you’re talented make your own)


Fry the pork and drain off most of the fat. Christmas is no time to be fat conscious. Nor is cooking comfort food. Add onion and cook till tender and the meat has lost any pinkness. Add water and simmer for half an hour. You want the meat to be on the moist side. Sprinkle flour on the bottom pie shell to help absorb any excess moisture. Add the meat. Top with pie crust.

Bake at 400 for approx. 30 minutes or until pie crust is golden brown.

Serve with baked potato and sour cream. Prepare a green salad to accompany. Cheddar cheese tastes fine with this.

Light fire or put on the gas fireplace. Light candles on the table. Use your best china and silverware. I suggest Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to set the mood.

Bon Appétit!


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