Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I come from a long line of 'good cookers'. In addition to my Grandma Harriet, who I have blogged about before and is an excellent baker and inventive chef, my Grandma Lilli was an amazing cook (her roasted potatoes and lighter than air matzoh balls still are unrivaled). My mother is also very talented in the kitchen, having passed on to me some of my staple recipes and such fare as her awesome, homemade fried wontons. This pension for cooking has been passed on to me and I truly enjoy being inventive with practical ingredients.

Since I only work from home for a few hours on Mondays and Fridays, I try to make nicer meals than usual on those nights. Yesterday I was feeling both extra-ambitious and extra-guilty. A page from Bon Appetit has been posted on my fridge for the past month or so. A few weeks ago I purchased the necessary ingredients and yet they remained frozen and refrigerated.The recipe was for sweet pea and artichoke lasagna. It sounded good to me and the picture was appealing. It was vegetarian and seemed to be a good way to feed LP and me and the Hoos.

After easing LP into a nap around 4, I busted out the page and got to work. The first thing that I made was a mess. After skimming the article and starting to defrost the two main ingredients in the microwave at the same time, I learned they were to be kept separated which required using two bowls instead of the initial one. This also meant hand separating partially-defrosted peas and chopped artichokes. Also, since I don't own a regular size food processor, I employed a blender to puree peas and ricotta cheese. Well, a container of cheese, a bag of peas and a few other crucial items don't exactly fit well in a blender, meaning I had to periodically open the top (after wisely turning the blender off) and hand mix the ingredients to ensure homogeny. Each time was an opportunity to drip more light green stuff onto the counter, the newly tiled floor, and me. Hurrah!

Fortunately, the meal turned out pretty good, if a little dry. The Hoos was a bit surprised to see it and observe that no red sauce was involved (what can I say, we are culinary lightweights), but he ate it. Actually, I countered both his trepidation and the dryness by using jarred sauce as a dip. I am nothing if not creative in a pinch - in the kitchen at least. Just don't ask me to create art out of household goods and a bedazzler, that is just too much (my pudding painting fiasco should be evidence enough).

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