Arabella is on school holidays for two weeks but as she has exams the minute she returns to school, she has work to do. At her school the girls in Year 12 are assigned a teacher who will be their mentor. As luck would have it, the deputy principal specifically requested my daughter and so Arabella has to report to her once a fortnight. At their last one-on-one her mentor presented her with a timetable for the holidays that included studying at the local library for five hours each day and exercising every evening at the local gym.
We’re at the end of the first week of the two-week break and Arabella has neither studied nor exercised.
What she has done is see trashy movies, go to ‘gatherings’, eat fast food and stay out past her bedtime.
She is presently lolling around in her bed suffering from having over-indulged. The lights are out, the curtains are drawn and there are pitiful cries of ‘I feel sick’ coming from her room. ‘I told you Arabella you were over-doing it. You don’t need to be going to two parties a night’, I yell out as I stomp past her bedroom.
‘But mum, I have no life, all I do is study’.
‘That is rubbish Arabella, you haven’t opened a book.’
‘Can you get me an appointment for the doctor? My nose is blocked and my head hurts and I think I’ve got a stye in my eye.’
‘I told you not to go out on cold nights wearing flimsy, floaty frocks. Open those curtains and let the sunshine in then open your window and let some air in and you’ll feel better.’
‘Could you do it?’
Honestly. So I stormed into her room stepping over the mess and brightened up the room. That was when I saw all the discarded foil wrappers from consumed Easter Eggs and empty fast food containers. ‘Did you have McDonalds again last night? And who ate all those eggs?’
‘Can you pass me my computer?’
‘I think I’m a binge eater. I want to google it.’
Arabella doesn’t fear the wrath of the deputy principal but I do. So I’ve booked her on a one-week Crusader Study Camp. She leaves tomorrow. She’ll be out in the middle of nowhere with no mobile reception, no fast food outlets and no parties. Stepping up from the vice principal’s recommended five hours of study, she’ll now be doing six. She’ll be eating camp food and the only binging she can do will be from a vending machine – if she’s got the right coins.
I didn’t take Arabella to the doctor because all she really needed was some sleep, fresh air and proper food. I made Arabella this pie and she instantly felt much better; she even emerged from her room!
Mum’s Bacon and Egg Pie
My mother would make this typically on a Saturday morning. When the time came to take it out of the oven she would wrap it in a clean tea towel and we’d all get into the Holden and go on a picnic to somewhere like Pukerua Bay. Once at the beach we would sit on the picnic rug and the pie would be cut and served warm.
Mum would make this using her own homemade pastry but I have used filo because shortcuts are allowed in 2012. And I’m sure mum would have used filo too had it been available. Feel free to make this using your own pastry or sheets of frozen puff pastry work just as well!
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: A very inexpensive pie the whole family will enjoy.
- 1 tbsn olive oil
- 4 rashers of rindless bacon, finely sliced
- 1 brown onion, finely sliced
- 4 roma tomatoes
- 10 eggs
- 100ml thickened cream
- 1/2 bunch parsley finely chopped
- 10 sheets of filo pastry
- 60gms melted butter
Pre-heat oven to 180C, fan-forced, 200c if not fan-forced.
In a medium-sized frying pan gently heat olive oil. Add bacon and onion and stir until bacon becomes slightly crisp and the onion softens.
Fill a medium-sized saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add tomatoes and remove once skins have begun to split (about 1 minutes). Peel tomatoes and discard skin. Chop tomatoes and add to the bacon mixture and cook until liquid (from tomatoes) has reduced.
Crack 4 of the eggs into a medium sized bowl. Add the cream, season, then whisk. Add parsley.
Brush 6 sheets of filo pastry with butter, fold in half and use to line the bottom and sides of a large pie dish. (Mine was 27cm in diameter). Pour in bacon and tomato mixture. Pour egg and cream mixture over the top. Crack remaining six eggs on top of the cream mixture. Seal with remaining sheets of filo pastry brushed with butter.
Fold over edges of pastry to seal the pie filling.
Optional: Lightly beat an egg and brush over the top of the pastry. (I like to do this because it makes the pastry go crunchy in texture and golden in colour).
Place in oven for 40 minutes.
Serve hot or cold with a salad.
And now I must go and help Arabella pack!
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