27 May 2013

Bear Stew & Magic Pie - A Brave Night

Brave. A Disney movie set in Scotland about a reluctant princess, her mum, a bear and some magic.
Will-O-the-Wisps, destiny and tartan kilts.

It's a perfect theme for a family dinner-and-movie on a chilly autumn evening.

The (hastily scribbled and fax-machine copied) invitations for the event were pinned on Agnes, Angus, Duncan & Fergus's bedroom doors the day before.
"Wear Tartan" it told them; "Use a Scottish accent"...

I dug up tartan picnic blankets and table cloths; splashed out on some new (bargain) tartan winter PJ's and a "bearskin" rug and bought the DVD with my shopping vouchers (it's a keeper) 

I planned a simple menu:
Bear Stew and Magic Pie

To set the scene we decorated with lanterns...
(green and blue jar lanterns dug up from Parties past, to suggest the Will-O-theWisps)

...and candles....

(I love how this moody painting of mine suggests the scottish highlands)

On the table, some TradeMe bargain silver goblets from Christmas 2010, more lanterns 
(and shortbread)

We drank ginger "bear" from the goblets

And gobbled up our Bear Stew with Roasted Tatties. Mmmmm.
(not a takeaway in sight; I love my slow cooker - see recipe below)

We ate Magic (Chocolate) Pie for dessert
(but none of us turned into bears. Phew. The magic was in the TASTE)

Then we put the movie on....

Snuggled under bearskin rugs...

...and tartan blankets (in our tartan PJ's)

We munched popcorn

...and enjoyed the movie. SUCH a good movie.

There are a few scary bits where the mad bad bear (not the mother bear) is chasing them, but we muted the sound during these bits. (Without the soundtrack the scary bits lose their tension and can be coped with much better by the younger family members). We'll be reviewing the movie in more detail this weekend.

Afterwards Daddy Duncan said (in his best Scottish accent): "Brilliant mummy. That was a great night!"

And it was. A theme night that was simple to set up, yummy (easy) food, making use of stuff we already had which helped set the scene and give us a wonderful Movie Night Experience. Everybody tried hard to speak Scottish.

Although Scrag Angus decided after a few minutes of banter, that he didn't want to speak Scottish, he wanted to speak ENGLISH Daddy!!!! And could instead of being Scottish, could he please be a little kiwi kid with no mum and dad who was lost in Scotland?
He he. That kid. What an imagination.

So all in all we thoroughly recommend this as a theme night for your family.
And if you want to do it, here's the recipes for Bear Stew and Magic Pie...

Slow Cooker "Bear Stew"

1kg of beef, cut into cubes
1 packet of gravy mix
1 can of tomato puree
soy sauce (a generous splash)
red wine (a generous splash)
a cup of water
a scatter of herbs (I used basil)
Cracked black pepper

Put it in your slow cooker in the morning; Simmer on low all day.
30-40 minutes before serving, put some cubes potatoes in to roast (I was lazy and used a bag of McCains frozen Potato Roasties; but you might prefer to peel and chop and roast by hand...?)

Ladle the stew into bowls and serve with Roast Tatties on the side.

Magic (Chocolate) Pie adapted from here

1 1/4 cup of sugar
3 1/2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 whole eggs
5/8 cup of Evaporated milk
50 grams butter, melted
2 sheets of ready rolled sweet short pastry

  1. Pie Crust: Line a pie plate or tart tin with baking paper; press your ready-rolled pastry into the tin; patch up any gaps with extra strips of pastry pressed in;  prick your pastry with all over the bottom with a fork
  2. Combine the sugar and cocoa powder with a whisk.
  3. Add in the eggs & melted butter; beat well
  4. Carefully measure 5/8 of a cup of evaporated Milk. (This equates to 5oz. If you can find a 5oz tin, even better). Add to your mixture and beat some more

Finally, pour your chocolatey mixture into the pastry shell and bake on 180oC for 45 minutes. (Not fan forced; just regular).

Smells so good.
Tastes even better.
Serve with Icecream or whipped cream and hope that nobody turns into a bear.
(Don't blame me if they do. This Magic Pie is just meant to taste good, not change someone's fate.)

**Have you tried doing theme nights with your family? What's your favourite?**

Our Other Theme Dinners:

Fancy Shmancy Dinner

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