Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Eleventh Day of Christmas

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

If today's phrase was part of a Wheel of Fortune "Before & After" puzzle, it would look like this


because tonight for dinner I made a Shepherd's Pie with leftover turkey, a bag of mixed vegetables, some onion and celery and the requisite mashed potato topping. I brought out my piping bags and tips to make the top look fancy:

Years ago I took a Wilton cake decorating class and used the skills to produce birthday cakes for the family, along with a few baptism and baby shower cakes. However, somewhere along the line I stopped making elaborate cakes, so it's been a while since I got out my supplies.

I retrieved the box from the top shelf of the pantry, opened it, and took a trip down memory lane. There were plastic clown heads to stick on top of cupcakes, clusters of plastic balloons, and sleeping angels. I found the baby in a cradle ceramic figurine (with a yellow blanket, so I could use it for babies of either sex). The decorating tips were sorted carefully by categories and stored in baby food jars. A tub held a collection of paste food colors, and a dozen Wilton yearbooks, with ideas and directions for making that year's hottest cakes, were leaning against the side of the box. Some of the books were two decades old; I suspect most of the trendy cakes and cultural icons in them are obsolete.

When I was finished reminiscing, I put the largest star tip in a piping bag to pipe out the potatoes onto the top of the pie. When I had the top halfway done, the seam on the bag burst. I guess they don't last forever! I used a disposable bag to finish up, then put the whole thing in the oven to brown.


  1. I've never made my own shepherd's pie, but the frozen ones I buy look like this on top. Very fancy. I'm very visual when I eat, so this would be a good experience for me!

  2. I like it, no-one ever said that pipers piping was supposed to be musical :-) Hope you had a great christmas and new Year xx

  3. Sydney-I've never had frozen shepherd's pie. Are they any good?

    Sage-Thank you.