Main Piece: English Recipe
This was told to me by my friend Liv, who’s grandmother was born and raised in England.
“My grandmother was born in Wimbledon, England and grew up during WWII. Her father worked for the British Army putting out incendiary bombs with sand and her mother did not work, so they did not have a lot of money. Because of this, my grandmother and her siblings would often eat mashed turnips or rutabaga to fill up their stomach as they were growing children. On special occasions though, their mother would make them Shepards Pie, a recipe that is still his favorite many years later. The recipe has been passed down from her mother to my grandmother, to my mother, and finally to me. It is pretty simple as it just uses the ingredients for mashed potatoes for the top, and a lot of different fresh spices, vegetables, and ground beef for the filling.”
Liv’s grandmother passed this recipe down to her, and it is one of their families favorites. Liv likes this recipe because not only is it delicious, but has a cultural connection to where her family came from and their heritage.
This was passed to Liv’s grandmother by her mother, and it continues to be passed down through the generations, and gets brought out for family gatherings and holiday celebrations.
The present day context of this recipe is not the same as what it was used for back when Liv’s grandmother first had it, but it is still used in the same sense. It is brought out at family gatherings because they all have the same ties to the culture and heritage of England, and her family’s recipe is something she holds close to her.
This is a common recipe found with microwave options and even variations at restaurants that put a modern spin on a classic dish. The origins though are English, and the traditional recipe is something unique to different families from the region.
I’m personally a fan of Shephards Pie, and remember my favorite being sold by a street vendor I passed after surfing one day. I’ve never had a traditional Shepherd’s pie, but I hope some day to try the recipe Liv has been taught by her grandmother.