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My diet program doesn’t leave much space for noodly goodness, so I’ve been a lasagne slacker for the past year and some. But this past weekend I finally got off the couch and made 6 lasagnes. Each (except the vegetarian one, #5 below) got a pound of sausage in the meat layer. Each (except the no-onion one, #6 below) got a share of the 9 sautéed leeks and 2 red ginormous onions. All got some pesto (note to self, buy more pesto next time, you can’t have too much) and most got mushrooms. The bottom ricotta layer was the same for each; a share of the 4 lbs ricotta with 2 oz goat cheese and 3 oz thinly sliced garlic. The meat lasagnes also got a sprinkle of fried salami. I made three pots of sauce, one with extra onions, one with extra dried mushrooms, and one with no onions and extra garlic (for a friend who hates onions with a surprising passion). I didn't get fancy with the cheeses this time, because I wanted to see what the different sausages would be like.
#1, Whole grain noodles, hot Italian sausages from Draeger’s, fresh brown mushrooms.
#2, Whole grain noodles, hot Italian sausages from Dittmer’s, fresh brown mushrooms, 1 lb smoked cheese, fresh basil and parsley.
#3, No-boil noodles, mild Italian sausages from Draeger’s, 2 cups of mushroom duxelles from the freezer, extra-mushroom sauce (we ate this one for dinner).
#4, No-boil noodles, hot Italian sausages from safeway, fresh brown mushrooms.
#5, No-boil noodles, porcini and brown mushrooms, fresh basil and parsley, extra olives, extra-mushroom sauce.
#6, No-boil noodles, sweet Italian sausages from Trader Joe’s, porcini and brown mushrooms, fresh basil and parsley, no-onion sauce.

Click the lasagne tag below if you are wondering about other lasagnes, or look here for general instructions.
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A friend wants rhubarb pie for his birthday. Does anyone know where I can get frozen rhubarb? I looked at the local Safeway last night, but veggies aren't really their thing.

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I'm thinking of teaching a class on basic feast planning and organization at A&S, or maybe at the next West Coast Culinary Symposium. If you were thinking about volunteering to cook your first feast, what would you want to know? 

Tentative class description: An in-depth discussion on the necessary steps to plan and execute an SCA feast. Topics will include planning, budgeting, basic food safety, working with your autocrat, and kitchen management. The goal of this class is to give you the tools to confidently prepare a feast so that hot food is hot, cold food is cold, and everything is served on time. We will not be discussing cooking or specific recipes.

I am thinking of including a section on "The 4 big things I did wrong at my first feast". I'll have some spreadsheet examples for the shopping  plan, and some example budgets.

Popovers!

Jan. 1st, 2011 09:36 am
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I got a popover pan for Christmas! So far it has been my favorite toy of the season. Most popover recipes are nearly identical, with a few variations I’ve listed below.
Bring ingredients to room temperature (apx 70F) before combining.
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/4 tesp salt
1 Tbl melted butter
Pre-heat oven and popover pan to 450F.
Whisk together salt and flour to aerate. In second bowl, beat eggs. Add milk. Stir. Add dry to wet and mix. The electric beater is ideal for this, although a few small lumps do not seem to create problems. Grease popover pan with butter (you can ignore this instruction if your pan is non-stick! I love non-stick pans!). Fill each cup 1/3 to 1/2 full with batter. Bake 20 min @ 450F, reduce heat and bake for another 20 min @ 350F.
  • Better Homes and Gardens (pp. 76) suggests 1 Tbl salad oil instead of butter. Bake 15 min @ 475F and 25-30min @ 350F.
  • Alton Brown uses a whopping 1 1/2 tesp salt. Bake 40 min at 400F.
  • Fannie Farmer (pp 314) bakes 20 min @ 450F and 20 min @ 350F. Bacon variant: Add 1/4 cup crumbled cooked, crisp bacon.
  • Joy of Cooking (pp 632) bakes 15 min @ 450F and 20 min @ 350F. Cheese variant: In a separate bowl grate 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar or parmesan cheese. Toss with 1/4 tesp paprika and a few grains cayenne. Put 1 Tbl batter into each cup, and 1 Tbl cheese. Fill cups as normal and bake.

November

Nov. 30th, 2009 08:20 pm
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I haven't posted all month, mostly because work has been insane. Really. I think one of my technical editors actually had kittens.
Other than that, I made 3 lasagnas (sadly I’m failing to remember enough details to list them here), one excellent cheese soufflé (thanks to mom who grated cheese and GM who whipped egg whites; I think part of getting soufflé to work is having all the ingredients ready at the same movement), my father's favorite Thanksgiving dinner and more waffles than usual. My father in law has been here all week, and he's very fond of waffles.
Mom brought me some Death of Snails, hopefully they’re finding a good home and 24x7 buffet in my herb garden. She also brought me a bunch of Hens And Chicks, which we planted along the fence outside the kitchen window. She promises me they don't need much care or water, so hopefully they will survive.
GM and I had a great anniversary dinner at The Kitchen Table in Mountain View. The “Koshuterie Plate” alone is worth the trip, and the duck two ways was fabulous. Madbaker had told me about the lamb bacon in such glowing terms I didn't believe him, but G-d as my witness, it really was better than pork.
:Q My dad can fix anything better than your dad. While here on vacation, he fixed my sink, the wall-heater in the back hall, and the kitchen light. He pulled out bamboo volunteers from the front yard, and installed a fan in the dining room. My dad's the best!
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I've been talking to LearnTeach, and we'd like to host a 14th century cook's cook-over-fire playdate at Mists Fall Coronet (Ed Levine Park, October 16th-18th). This will be in conjunction with the 14th Century Salon suggested by the fabulous CallistoToni.

So what's cooking in the 14th Century? Just on the web there's English translations of these four cookbooks:
*) The Forme of Cury, English 1390: http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/foc/
*) Le Viandier de Taillevent, French http://www.telusplanet.net/public/prescotj/data/viandier/viandier1.html
*) Ein Buch von guter Spise, German http://cs-people.bu.edu/akatlas/Buch/recipes.html
*) Le Ménagier de Paris, French (cooking sections only) http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Menagier/Menagier.html#Beginning

Right now we haven't decided on which recipes we're going to try, so if you have a favorite please let me know.

If you don't like cooking, feel free to bring a story from Chaucer or the Decameron to read to the cooks.

regards,
Crystal of the Westermark

ps/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/14th_century

ETA: I was focused on web sources and neglected to mention Book of Sent Sovi: Medieval Recipes from Catalonia avaliable from http://www.poisonpenpress.com/cookery.html.

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