Saturday, January 23, 2010
Hello! You must be on the home stretch of your teaching contract. I still have to make it to the store in search of buckwheat flour to make your new bread. I have left you some questions that also need to be addressed. Otherwise, I predict an emergency call in the middle of the bread-making process.
Which reminds me, I meant to tell you that my grape jelly actually does have some 'jell' to it. Do you remember last September when I called you frantically for jelly-making advice? Who knew that instruction reading and timing was so critical in the making of jelly? And who knew that 'interpretation' of a jelly recipe isn't a great idea? A few months in the freezer passed before I was able to bring myself to actually open a jar. Angels were singing the hallelujah chorus on my shoulder after I dipped a spoon in and actually met with something slightly jiggly.
Where was I? Oh yes, buckwheat- Going to the store these days is something that happens more infrequently then it used to. My little assistant chef is much better at food production and consumption than resisting the beautiful, shiny packaging at the supermarket. Despite a 'grocery shopping-with-Mommy-ban,' in the kitchen we are a team. Finn's culinary skills are becoming honed. He now asks me about finding recipes, pores over the pages of my cookbooks in search of the prettiest cookies, and has become a top-notch egg cracker. Any breakdown in this team concept he comes by honestly - like his mother he has a penchant for a sweet, buttery dough. Despite promises of bowl licking, delayed gratification is an elusive comment for a two and a half year old, and I frequently catch the little monkey with his finger in the batter.
Notice that while I have devoted a good paragraph to Finn and his foodie ways, I managed to restrain myself from actually posting pics of my children. This was difficult. It's just that they are so sweet. In 2-D photography anyway. In real life the sweetness-level is on a vastly sliding scale- Finn no longer has a light bulb in his room, and has a child-lock on the inside of his door. Coby, however, isn't old enough to be naughty yet - and now that she is starting to realize that sleep is good, it's all I can do not to nibble those cute little ears- she's so delish.
Last week I made your Six Minute Cake. It was fabulous - and while I didn't clock it I felt that the preparation time took pretty close to the promised 6. I also made the No Knead Bread. It was great, but I wasn't sure whether to take insult or pleasure when Mike's review came in- "This bread is awesome - it must be from the store."
My latest offering comes as a result of this store-avoidance and plays upon an effort to make do with my fridge and pantry offerings. A half tub of ricotta sat waiting for some loving. Combined with some neglected stalks of broccoli we had a great meal.
First I took advantage of my sleeping beauties and made the crepes during nap time. You can use your favourite crepe recipe - I did half wheat flour and half white. It's odd, but in crepes I really don't notice the whole wheat- likely because I tend to eat them slathered with something sweet. I used a cup and a half of flour which made 10 crepes. I could only use 9 because for some inexplicable reason Finn put a not-so-fresh wash cloth on one of them.
Next came the filling. I sauteed over a low, long heat a finely chopped red onion and 1 clove of garlic. I chopped up, again fairly fine, the equivalent of about 2 cups of broccoli. I steamed this in the microwave, drained and let this cool before combining the broccoli with the onion/garlic combo and the half tub of ricotta (250 g).
Cheese sauce. I made a bechamel sauce (1 T butter, 1 T flour, 2 cups milk, salt & pepper) and added maybe half a cup of old cheddar. I spread just enough to cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 dish and then got to the business of filling my pretties.
I put a little blob of the ricotta-broccoli mixture on each crepe so that I knew that I would have even filling distribution, and then rolled them up, placing them all nice and snug in the dish. I ladled the remainder of the sauce on top, sprinkled with some more cheese and put them into a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
Oh, they tasted fabulous. Combined with a salad this was a great meal. It sounds pretty fiddly, and I guess it was, but because I did it in a few steps it didn't feel like it took that long. Another nice thing is you can make this earlier in the day. I think spinach would be a great replacement for the broccoli.
I will call you soon - I feel like we haven't talked for an age - Mom and Dad gave rave reviews about Caleb's latest show. I'm hoping that it's still up in the first week of February? Can't wait to see his Cathedral Grove Pics!