Ireland is a land with great small pubs tucked into the corners of the countryside, both a traveler’s relief and a tourist destination. Enter at lunchtime and prepare to enjoy one of the several rustic dishes that Ireland is famous for – lamb stew, colcannon, peasant soup, brown bread, bangers and mash, fresh fish, or Shepherd’s Pie.
During one of our trips, Sheila and I realized that there are as many versions of Shepherd’s Pie as there are cooks in the kitchen. We had always thought that perhaps, except for spices, the ingredients would be the same everywhere. Nope. I think the only common factors we found were the peas and carrots in every bowl (or plate) served. Even the toppings varied from pub to pub – we had both pie crust and mashed potatoes covering the tasty meat and veggie dish. Some had ground lamb for the meat, instead of the beef that we use in this recipe.
Shepherd’s Pie, in whatever form, is a fairly simple dish to create. After tinkering a bit, this is what Sheila created. And, of course, taste tested by me.
Serve right away, with brown bread and butter.
*Photo by Patti Phillips
Kerrian’s Notebook has been around for 100 pages. That deserves some serious noisemakers. Maybe that should be 100 handcuffs rattling or 100 jail cells slamming shut on the bad guys, but whatever noise we use to celebrate? Make it loud. We love a party!
In honor of the 100 pages, here is a list of 100 ways to die by unnatural causes. A death certificate (which lists the cause of death) is issued after any death in the USA, whether natural or otherwise, but if the attending medical practitioner notes anything suspicious, an inquiry may or may not be conducted. Keep in mind that a law enforcement officer will only investigate these deaths if a dastardly deed is suspected. Sometimes, foul play is not always apparent.
Can you spot the ones in the list that indicate murder was afoot?
1) Drowning in bathtub
2) Drowning in ocean because of undertow
3) Drowning in a molasses spill
4) Suffocation by pillow
5) Suffocation after entire body has been painted
6) Hanging by rope
7) Electrocution for death penalty
8) Electrocution by hairdryer
9) Electrocution by electrified fence
10) Electrocution while changing light bulb
11) Hit by lightning
12) Knife in the chest
13) Knife in the leg
14) Axe to the head
15) Bleeding out because of slit wrists
17) Gas leak in house
18) Smoke inhalation
19) Bullet to the head
20) Accidental drug overdose
21) Medical malpractice
22) Tripped and hit head, cracking skull
23) Beaten to death
24) Death by roller coaster
25) Vending machine fell with your arm in it
26) Lethal mix of drugs and alcohol
27) Alcohol poisoning
28) Radiation poisoning
29) Arsenic in tea
30) Baked in an oven
31) Allergic reaction to shellfish
32) Allergic reaction to nuts
33) Attacked by wolves
34) Bitten by cobra
35) Clawed by tiger
36) Mauled by a shark
37) Attacked by alligator – C.C.J.
38) Bitten by several fire ants
39) Bitten by poisonous spiders
40) Crushed by boa constrictor
41) Thrown from a horse
42) Trampled by elephants
43) Gored by a bull
44) Bitten by scorpion
45) Bitten by mosquito during sleep – allergic reaction to bite – B.R
46) Poisoned by contact with weed killers
47) Poisoned by ingesting toxic flowers/leaves
48) Crushed by falling tree
49) Stepped on a land mine
50) Bomb explosion
51) Rocket attack
52) Hit in the head by a pitched ball
53) Death in a boxing match
54) Car accident, crushed
55) Car accident, gas tank explodes
56) Car accident – car ripped in half by telephone wire – anonymous
57) Hit by a car while crossing the street
58) Hit by commuter train
59) Propane tank on BBQ exploded
60) Chemical spill
61) Airplane crash
62) Airplane mid-air explosion
63) Parachute didn’t open
64) Parasail collided with cliff
65) Choked on food
66) Choked on bottle cap
67) Pushed off a cliff
68) Fell off a roof
69) Jumped out a window
70) Froze in a snow bank
71) Stabbed with icicle
72) Buried in an avalanche
73) Fell off a ski lift
74) Starved to death
75) Mercury poisoning
76) Asbestos poisoning
78) Strangled by another person
79) Strangled – tie caught in laminating machine while wearing it
80) Sword fight
81) Sniper bullet
82) Stabbed with knitting needle
83) Hung upside down by feet until dead
84) Death by dehydration
85) Sinkhole collapsed with person in it – C.C.J.
86) Latrine on flatbed of truck fell onto your car – J.P.M.
87) Death by barbed wire fence – J.P.M.
88) Cyanide salts in an almond cake – E.M.
89) Elevator doors malfunctioned and closed on neck
90) Walked into empty elevator shaft
91) Jumped off diving board into empty pool
92) Got stuck in a storm drain while trying to retrieve wallet
93) Trapped inside a folding bed
94) Buried under falling bookshelves
95) Mangled by farming/industrial machinery
97) Shot yourself while cleaning a gun
98) Crashed into tree while ziplining
99) Bungee cord broke while jumping
Sources? I’ve lived longer than I’d like to admit and over 90 of these deaths are ones I’ve heard about in the news or seen in the movies over the years. Some of the Kerrian’s Notebook readers have told me about a few more. Thanks to Barbara Rosario, Christy Crowley Johnson, Jessica Pettengill Messinger, and a person who prefers to remain anonymous, for their ripped-from-the-headlines suggestions. Thanks to mystery writer Edith Maxwell for an intriguing cause of death. I wonder if one of her books will include that COD? Remind me to stay away from any almond dishes at her house. 😉
*Photos by Patti Phillips, but nobody died while she was shooting them, nor is the body part in the fourth picture real flesh and blood.