All posts filed under: Mastering the Basics

Sing a Song of Six-pence

Many regional cuisines and cultures make pastries but no other region that I can think of offers the home cook such a huge variety of savoury and sweet pies as Ireland and Great Britain. By way of example, the iconic ceramic “Black Bird” that acts as a vector for removing the internal steam from a covered pie could only have been conceived, created and made on the blustery shores of Old Blighty. I remember my great delight whenever Grandma made pies with the head of a black bird poking out of the middle. As a young child I loved the shiny blackness of the dinky bird with it’s neck stretched out to the heavens to sing a song of six-pence. We never ate pies in Germany. I have never been offered a pie in Belgium. French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese eateries rarely have pie on the menu. Compare this to British, Irish and North American cooking where pies are ubiquitous – pork pies, cheese pies, game pie, spinach and salmon pie, Cornish pasties, apple and blackberry pie, …