I just found out that one of the holiday season gatherings I’ll be attending this year will be a potluck meal. That’s awesome! I hardly ever get to cook for anyone, so this is a lot of fun for me.
I only wondered what to make for about a second and a half, maybe two seconds. As soon as I asked myself the question and picked up a pen to brainstorm for some ideas, I thought of the many delicious savoury pies I baked and froze last year. As soon as I started making a list of the ones I wanted to make again, my task got tougher, though.
The thing is, I was already planning a baking day (or two or three!) because last year’s trial was such a success. But without the 70-odd extra eggs laying around, I knew I’d be experimenting with more vegetable and cheese dishes. So I checked out my bookmarks from last year’s research and found a few I hadn’t tried that looked good, and jotted those down on my list. A quick Google search rounded it all off with a few key additions.
Here are the ones I’d most like to make this year:
Favourites From Last Year
- Yellow Squash or Zucchini Pie
- Mixed Vegetable Pie with Mashed Potato and Beet Top Crust 
- Spinach, Cheese, and Mushroom Quiche 
Garden Vegetable Ingredients
Now I don’t think I can make all that, at least, not all at once like last year. It’s no longer a space issue — we inherited a small freezer since the summer, and it’s only half-full (of berries and garden veggies!). But I’m not sure I’ll have enough time to get it all done before the holidays. Maybe I’ll save some for during the holiday lull, when there’s not much to do between Boxing Day and New Year’s. After all, we thought the timing was good last year since we got to eat all our goodies ourselves (winky face).
But this year we’re excited to share, so I’ve decided to start by comparing the ingredients we have to those needed and going from there. The fewer trips to the grocery store, the better! Thankfully, my parents’ garden was large and plentiful this year. We helped with a lot of the harvesting, so we got to keep a lot for ourselves, too.
This summer’s bounty included green and yellow beans, patty pan squash and other varieties (which crossbred and formed hybrids), green and yellow zucchinis, pumpkins, carrots, potatoes, onions, corn, and spinach. We had other stuff over the summer, of course, but this is what we managed to freeze or store.
We had a few interesting experiences with harvesting this year which taught us a lot.
In late summer or early autumn, we were picking green and yellow beans like mad, trying to get them all out before the nightly frost ruined them. We took out bushel after bushel but still many were left by the time the frost finally took over. But someone told us to pull out the plants, open the pods, and save the beans inside. No one else in the family wanted to try, so Marc and I harvested and kept them all.
We were astonished by the beautiful blue colour. Looks like we might be bringing blue Bean Pie to the potluck!
We’d also heard before that carrots can be left in the ground long after the first frost. We picked only the carrots we needed until sometime in November — by the middle of the month, we were once again harvesting like mad. It was fun despite the cold — having to use the spade to break up the frozen top layer of earth and breaking ice chunks off of the carrots, then bringing them in to scour off the mud before peeling, chopping, blanching, and freezing them. Hmm, I guess that doesn’t sound like much fun! Oops, my bad! Lol!
So I think the root vegetable pie will help us offload some of the million tons of carrots we’ve got. Plus, we offered to provide carrots for another family meal as well (smiley face).
And since we’ve got so many hybrid yellow squashes, I can imagine we’d like to bring a yellow squash or zucchini pie. We’ve slowly started freezing our squashes, zucchinis, and pumpkins. We know they can last until at least February in a cool, dry place, but we actually find it more convenient to have them cubed in advance, ready to use in small amounts.
I’m of course going to have to make a spinach quiche since we froze some spinach from the garden this year. Not much, but enough to make this long-time favourite extra special.
So I don’t think I can bring even just the top four I’ve come up with to the potluck, though, so there are still some decisions to make… Ah, holiday planning… Well, my initial instinct is to be colourful. I think the pink Mixed Vegetable Pie and the blue Bean Pie would look lovely on a holiday buffet table (smiley face).
What would you bring? Anything different from the above selection? Let me know in the comments section below!
The pies are made! Check out Freezer Cooking Week: Savoury Vegetarian Pies for the results!
Endnotes: My Recipes
- Boil potatoes first (enough to cover a pie plate)
- Add a beet towards the end
- Once fully cooked, drain and mash the potatoes and beets as usual, with milk, butter, salt, and pepper
- In a frying pan with olive oil, cook spinach, mushrooms, onions, garlic, green peppers, and carrots (or whatever combination you like, really)
- Add cooked veggies to a bowl of diced tomato
- Mix in a cup of grated cheese
- Pour the veggie/cheese mixture over a prepared pie crust
- Spread the mashed potatoes and beets above the mixture to make a top crust
- Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for about 30 minutes (everything’s already cooked, so you just want to get the top a little crispy while baking the bottom crust)
- Beat 6 eggs in a bowl
- Add 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- Add 1 cup milk
- Add cooked vegetables: a quarter cup chopped onions, a quarter cup chopped green pepper, a half cup chopped mushroom, 1 cup chopped spinach (amounts are approximate — I usually just eyeball it)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix it all up and poor into a prepared pie crust
- Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for about 30 minutes (check that the eggs have set)