Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I should be baking cakes.
Instead, I am making lasagna. I hate making lasagna, and while I am making it I think I hate eating it. But it was the request of a loved one, and I am feeling generous today, perhaps because I have been a total grump, (not the first five words that came to mind), for the last few days.
I do love making the meat sauce. While making it, I can't wait to eat it. Gently cooked ground meat - (People, please only eat organic ground beef if you can. I know organic meat can be expensive, but I would just feel better all round if people ate, at the very least, organic ground beef, especially if you don't know who produced the meat your eating. I also feel quite strongly about organic pork). - red wine, a tomato sauce (made with some carrots, fennel, lots of garlic and some herbs) and a splash of milk. The milk works like magic, softening the concentrated flavour of the tomatoes to red velvet. No need for the pinch of sugar that some recipes call for when you add the milk.
Last week I had poached some figs and ate them with whipped cream and the reduced poaching syrup, and they were so dam good that I just cooked a flat off today. The house smells divine, the aroma of figs and spice dancing in the air. I could probably eat a dozen at one go. This time I also made some creme fraiche to go with them. I can't wait.
Back to the cakes. I am all set to bake off my prototype cakes so I can send them off to a restaurant friend. But the lasagna and figs have distracted me from the task.
Tomorrow I shall talk of cakes, and perhaps start listing my favorite cookbooks.

6 Comments:

Blogger mister anchovy said...

I don't really enjoy making lasagna, but I sure do enjoy eating it!

5:38 PM  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

I love making tomato meat suace.

Do NOT like lasagna, don't know why it was invented...too bland. And too many years of our mom's really bad lasagna. It took me years to figure out that lasanga was some really lame 50's recipe watered down from a watered down British recipe...

The study of pasta is a funny one, different places taking turns being the "ancient home" of pasta. Hm...I sure have a different definition of ancient. However pasta was likely created by Arabs. The old British recipe I found one time...had cinnimon and curry in 1300s' Richard II cook.

"By the 17th Century, pasta had become part of the daily diet throughout Italy because it was economical, readily available and versatile."

Here is a sweet web page about pasta...although at the end someone has tried to change the record of Mars and Venus celelstial formation into the making of noodles...hmm...see, farmers are always trying to co-opt the science of actual ancient cultures...

http://www.inmamaskitchen.com/FOOD_IS_ART/pasta/historypasta.html

4:07 AM  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Oh and speaking of tomato sauce...I still make Mister Anchovy's mom's chili recipe. She didn't use many beans...like a cup, but cut steak and ground beef...plus curry as well as red peppers for spice.

4:08 AM  
Blogger Underground Baker said...

I have read that noodles came from China, but I figure folks everywhere were making some form of noodles, spetzle and dumplings etc. since they ground flour and water together and boiled water.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

My mom always made lasagne out to be the most labour intensive, time consuming meal around. So we ate it very, very rarely, and I never really learned how to make it until I worked as a cook last year, where we made it weekly in large chafing dishes. I love lasange, but quite frankly, I still am disinclined to make it for myself or the family.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Underground Baker said...

WC, so would you say making lasagna is a pain in the ass?
When I had to make it for hundreds it only confirmed this! No matter how I assembly-lined it, it seemed everything was a mess, and tons of dishes to boot. Even the compliments afterwords could not soften my orneriness, (is that a word?), with the whole process.

10:07 AM  

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