I have spent the past 18 days in a vastly different way than I had anticipated. The day after Christmas my dad, the original creator of Orts of Sorts, had a massive stroke. The first 5 days I spent a great deal of time in his room and by his side. On the 7th day they moved him into a rehab hospital. I have visited him daily, and some days multiple times. The object of being at the rehab hospital is intensive rehabilitative therapy so I (as well as my entire family) am allowing him is three to four hours of therapy a day. He is doing physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.
The reason I am sharing this information is that I have all but stopped cooking at home. I spend my free time with my dad, or helping my mom. I hope to get into a rhythm or flow to do the things that I was previously doing (writing, reading, spending time with my girls) and still have ample time to spend with my dad. I have been working on achieving this balance over the last 10 days. I have no doubts that it will happen.
The major baking product that I have undertaken recently was on New Year’s Eve. I wanted to re-direct the focus of my household to a positive event. I made Shepherd’s Pie, as it was one of The Hubs favorite dishes from Ireland. I looked at numerous recipes online and found one that seemed the most similar to what he had enjoyed. I took the opportunity to teach Daughter Number 2 how to make homemade mashed potatoes, which may have been a mistake. She is a freak for mashed potatoes. She has made them three times since.
I followed the recipe exactly, using beef and not lamb. Everyone in the house (who can eat ground meat) loved this dish. It is absolutely 100% guaranteed to be made again. With no changes. It’s hard to improve on perfection! The Hubs wasn’t convinced that he would eat much if any. He didn’t feel into it. I’m sure he was thinking about when we took my parents to Ireland last fall. He did manage to sit down and eat a serving of the Shepherd’s Pie. Then another. And yet, another. I think that is a pretty good sign that he liked it. Another sign is the very simple fact that we ate it heated up for leftovers, and still enjoyed it! I recommend this recipe to anyone who wants to taste what a traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie tastes like. The only side dish I served was crusty bread. That’s all it needed!
I will be cooking and baking again soon so look forward to some great recipes. I will keep you informed of Dad’s progress during rehab. I am convinced all of this will be exciting!
With positive expectation~