Beef and Stilton Pie

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No, not a recipe for it today, just a picture of my lovely lunch and the story behind it 🙂

Yes…that is a half pint of stout with my meal…they didn’t have Guinness on tap so this is Culvers.  Anyway, I have been having contractions off and on since last night, so we decided to use the morning to sleep in and rest up as much as possible before labor really starts.  John slept in the bedroom where Greer’s little bed is so that he could catch her in the morning and not let her come wake me up, so I was able to get even more sleep 🙂  Once I was up John dozed a bit on the couch since he’d already been up a few hours with Greer.  I had a protein shake for breakfast, because I really didn’t feel like eating again (yesterday morning I only had half a ricecake with peanut butter and banana on it – just can’t seem to muster an appetite in the mornings without my run!) and just relaxed and read on the couch.

It had started out sunny and bright at 9am when I first got up, but by noon was gloomy and gray again 😦  I am reading the second book in the series about the East End of London in the 1950s written by Jennifer Worth, a lady who worked as a midwife there for a long time.  This one is called Shadows of the Workhouse, and, so far, I have found it heartbreaking.  One story after another of hardship and woe.  Not that I’m saying I am sorry to be reading it – just that, combined with the hormones of impending labor and delivery, I have been shedding a lot of tears!  While reading I came across the mention of getting this lad a “pie” – which of course here means a meat pie – and that did it for me.  I suddenly wanted one.  I’d been trying to get myself out the door for a walk but couldn’t muster the desire to leave my comfy couch on such a grey day.  The pie did it for me, though!

I went upstairs to put on a decent shirt and readied myself a bit, and, book in hand, started down the hill into our little village.  It wasn’t as dreary as it had seemed from inside, though, and the cool air felt nice 🙂  The best part was all the honeysuckle and lavender everywhere, so prolific that the smells wafted towards me without even having to touch it.  Roses, too.  Beautiful smells the whole walk down the hill.  I had planned originally on picking up a frozen pie from the store at the bottom of the hill but decided instead on checking one of the local pubs which serve food on Sundays.  I ended up at The White Hart, where they had the beef and stilton pie on the menu.  Score!!  Stilton is blue cheese basically, in case you’re wondering, and the pie was homemade, hot, and delicious.  I drank about half that half-pint of stout with it, which made it doubly-delicious.  And of course anytime a waitress came around to ask me if I needed anything, my eyes were glistening with tears from this book!

Sorry the picture is crooked – cell phone picture, taken while juggling my sweater and book 🙂  There it is, old pub complete with thatched roof!  I know this was a totally odd way to spend a Sunday, but it seems like time has kind of just stopped while we wait on the arrival of this little one, and that pregnancy craving for a pie just overwhelmed me as much as the story did!!  I can’t recommend these books highly enough.  To think of the destitution of the poor in these times – often the stories are the backgrounds of her acquaintances in the 50s – so they are recounting events from the 20s and 30s when times were so hard.  I think in America it really is hard to fathom life in the slums of London  at the turn of the century.  It’s amazing to think that it was even an improvement over the days of Dickens!  And that the hardships in the 50s were such an improvement over the years before.  Anyway, start with Call the Midwife.  You won’t be disappointed!  Hopefully that long hard walk back up the hill will make something happen!

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