This was, by far, the busiest Christmas ever. It felt as though it were nonstop, go go go go! It began with our arrival, which coincided with TBIL's Christmas Party. So before we had even unpacked the car, we were whisked into activity.
The next day, TBIL had something else in store for us. This was such a welcome change from years past when his Christmas activities were those I had planned, or those he excluded us from. The day after we arrived, we headed to The Dickens Christmas Fair.
Most of the things in the shoppes were pretty hands-off for little fingers, but there were a couple of things Thatbaby was invited to investigate.
Thatbaby wanted to go and explore every store. From the one selling hairpins, to the one selling handcut men's clothing, to the one selling period baby clothing.
We didn't find the kids area until we were almost ready to leave, but we still had some time to play around.
What was Thatbaby looking at so intently? Well, he had found the carousel. And there was no way he was going to leave until he got a turn.
We grabbed dinner at the fair. Thatbaby and I shared a meat pastie - a handpie with meat inside. I use the term "shared" very loosely, since Thatbaby ate most of it. And really enjoyed it. And I can't really blame him. There's something about those old, homey foods that just warms you from the inside out. Shepherd's Pie is a similar meal that could also be found in the same time period. Historically, the recipe involves chopped/ground lamb, hence the name "shepherd's" pie. This is a modern take on the classic recipe, using ground beef instead of lamb. And cooked in a crockpot, which I'm pretty sure didn't exist back in Dickens's day. Unless that's what they called you if you stood over a pot all day stirring.
Crockpot Shepherd's Pie
1 lb ground beef
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 tsp thyme
2 Tbsp tomato paste
4 cups green beans, chopped
6 cups mashed potatoes
- Combine ground beef, olive oil, garlic, mushrooms, tomato, thyme, tomato paste, and green beans in the crockpot.
- Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the meat and veggie mixture.
- Cook on low for 4-6 hours.