I took the photo above in our garden a few weeks ago just as the evening was closing in. After writing the blog below all hell has broken loose here with heavy rain, thunder and lightning and a big storm. The dogs house has flooded as has the perimeter drainage channel of the house and we have been out in the dark trying to clear the drains. No damage done (so far, fingers crossed, touch wood) just all very soggy! The water is cascading down both hills towards us but happily is going where it is supposed to go although we are continually having to clear the fallen leaves that block just about everything.
At the farmers market we met some of the other stall holders, quite a fascinating lot along with their fascinating produce. Opposite us was a very nice Belgium chocolate stall man and all his produce. I was tempted to take my glasses off so I couldn’t see the shiny chocolates all crying out ‘eat me, eat me!’ He came over for a pasty late morning but we couldn’t chat as he had to run back to his customers.
Next to us a Dutch couple were selling cheeses their family produces. We indulged in a bit of old fashioned barter, cheese for a hot lamb and vegetable pasty. I now have a lovely piece of cheddar with seaweed in the fridge waiting for some nice crackers. They chatted away to each other in Dutch and also to their toddler son who didn’t seem that impressed to be there.
There was also a vegetable seller and a butcher who frequents the Llandovery market so we have friendly faces to say hello to. I make sure I buy something from the vegetable man at every market as he mainly sells what he grows. He’s a lovely man who has a kind but somehow happy smile. He is convincing us to attend the Lampeter markets next year.
I said hello to the meat lady that I was next to at the last Brecon market, Sue. She has rare breed pigs and makes a few pies and things from her meat. We are tempted to buy a couple of rare breed weeners from her and try our hand at bringing on our own meat.
Up the hall a ways is a chilli stall which sells all things chilli from jelly to the plants. They run a confirmed vegetarian kitchen. We chatted a little when he came and purchased a veggie pasty. Next to the chilli man is an apple juice stall making juices from the fruits of their orchard, also vegetarians who enjoyed a pasty from us.
Lucky for us our pasties make a handy lunch for the stall holders so we get to see many of them even if it’s briefly.
For the pasties
Please note that the squash will need to be cooked and cooled off a bit before putting the pasties together and cooking so you can do this the day the day before and keep it in the fridge until needed.
This mix makes about 6 full pasties. You may get a spoon of the filling left over.
Oven to 180 degrees C, Gas mark 4.
2 onions, peeled and diced.
A clove of garlic, crushed and peeled.
A Butter nut squash. Peeled, seeds scraped out and the flesh cut into small chunks. Or after removing the seeds, cut in the food processor using the knife blade but you have to be very careful and watch them like a hawk. As they can go from big chunks to mush in seconds. My squash left me with about 550 grams of flesh.
3 teaspoons tomato puree
2 teaspoons vegetable stock powder (I use Swiss bouillon, expensive but I believe it’s the best)
250ml of water
Twists of pepper and a bit of extra salt to taste
100 g cheddar, grated
A biggish potato, peeled
A small packet of Pumpkin seeds
You will need to make 2x batch of pastry https://glanbrydan.wordpress.com/2008/10/03/
Gently fry off the onion and garlic for 5 to 10 minutes until it begins to soften.
Add the prepared squash flesh, stir and gently fry for a few minutes more.
Pour in the water, add the stock powder and the tomato puree, stir and bring to the boil.
Simmer on a medium heat for about 10 minutes. You want the squash to be soft on the outside but not all the way through and the water should have reduced by about a third or more. Taste it and add the pepper and more salt if needed.
Take off the heat and leave to cool.
Stir in the grated cheddar to the squash mix.
Making a pasty
Flour a board, a rolling pin and your hands. Take a lump of the pastry, about 240 grams (give or take 20 grams) and roll into a ball shape with your hands.
Pat the lump to flatten it out, put it on the floured board and start to roll, turning a quarter circle after each forward and backward roll. This should help it stay round.
Keep an 8 inch plate next to you and check the pastry for size with the plate. When the pastry is just a bit bigger than the plate use the plate as a template and cut round it.
Cut out all the pasties and if you have room lay them all out on a clean surface. Egg wash the pasties and then use the blade side of a grater cut the potato into slivers.
Divide the potato between the pasty centres. You should have 4-6 slices for each pasty. Sprinkle a tiny bit of salt over the potatoes.
Divide the squash mixture between the pasties, spooning over the potatoes. Keep it all well away from the edges.
Now bring the sides of the pasty together crimping the edges between your fingers. If your not happy doing this fold the pasties in half and crimp the edges with a fork.
Egg wash the pasty surfaces you can see thoroughly and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper or greased well with oil and cook in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes.