14 June 2007

The Full-Fat Version

My sisters being home means many things, not least of which is the chance for the three of us to catch up and be very silly together. We'll all be at my parent's place, with its lake and pool, plus all the water toys you could ever want. There's enough room for the whole fam there, and we have a great time. But it also means that there's lots and lots of good food around this weekend.

I made chocolate chip cookies on Wednesday night, not the usual hearty cookies that I'll make for DH and I with whole-wheat flour and all kinds of other things tossed in that make them more like trail mix. No, I made the two-sticks-of-butter that go straight to your thighs chocolate chip cookies. Not good for you. I can't resist the dough, but I'm better at resisting the baked cookies. Usually.

I also made lasagna. And when I tell you that I made lasagna, I mean all day in the kitchen and everything from scratch. I learned the recipe from a wise woman in Europe, and it is well worth the effort. Instead of using the ricotta cheese that you usually find in lasagna, this variation, probably northern-Italian influenced, uses a white sauce not unlike an Alfredo sauce for pasta. You can make this white sauce with skim milk and reduced fat cheese and margarine, but since I make it so rarely, why the heck would I do that? No, this was the hefty version.

It starts with a stick of butter, and a half cup of flour. You make a basic blonde roux, and then in a very long process, you add whole milk and cream, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, asiago cheese, Romano cheese, and fresh mozzarella cheese. This takes nearly an hour, and must be stirred constantly. Burn something in the bottom of the pan and you've got to start over, because you'll never get rid of that burnt taste, no matter how much doctoring you attempt. Add the cheese when the sauce is the wrong temperature and you're left with a stringy mess. Been there, done that, more than once.

It is, of course, a labor of love, I pull out the lasagna only for special occasions because of its pain-in-the-ass factor. But I won't eat more than a few bites of it myself, because it is much too high in fat to indulge in more than a wee bit.

Then there's the bratwurst that will be boiled in dark beer with sweet onions and garlic and whole black peppercorns, then tossed on the grill to sizzle. They're eaten with those onions removed from the beer bath and fried in butter. I can't resist one of those, some of the very very little red meat that I will eat.

Not to mention the potato chips that are not in MY house, ever, the scratch-made guacamole for the tortilla chips, the apple wood smoked bacon (um, bliss, I promise) and you've got a recipe for completely destroying the healthy eating that I've been doing for the past six months.

Fortunately, reason prevailed a tiny bit, and there are vegetable and fruit trays, I made my quinoa salad, which is really good for you. I brought boneless skinless chicken breasts to toss on the grill that are already in a tasty but not bad for you marinade, and I insisted on two cases of water to combat the temptation to drink soda and beer.

I don't know anything that will stop me from drinking mojitos, those will be around as well. And sangria. But we do usually wait until at least late afternoon....yeah, nothing I say here is going to help the impression you're getting right now, that we're all full-blown alkies. We're not, I promise.

I can work out at my parent's place, the community where they live has a nice exercise room. I'm not sure I'll take advantage of it, but I'm pretty sure that the potato chips I ate today while listening to babysis tell our dad stories of island life will end up coming back to haunt me unless I get on the elliptical and do my usual routine.

Middlesis gets here on Friday, and it looks like the three of us will have lots of time entirely to ourselves without anyone else around, and I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to that.

Listening to: Incubus, Light Grenades


Dawna said...

I think I gained a couple of pounds reading your method for the lasagna! My inner Italian (which really doesn't exist) squealed with ecstasy.

Lucy Arin said...

yeah, sooooo not good for you, but YUM!