Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dinner With My Girls

Planning and preparing meals is supposed to be a monthly homeschool event, but we haven't been on our game for a good long while.  Marianna and Rebecca each spent time cooking with Mom these past two weekends, however.

First up was Marianna.  Her dessert required the most effort:  tin roof ice cream.  One day we made the fudge ripple sauce, chocolate covered peanuts, and custard base.  On the next we froze the custard, stirred in the peanuts, and layered it with the ripple.  That's a lot of work for a heaping quart of ice cream, but it was delicious and satisfying; a little goes a long way.

Marianna also prepared what we call "super supper salad", Italian bread (a blend of different recipes), and pasta carbonara, which I had never made before.  I've always been somewhat nervous about tossing the raw eggs with hot pasta--would that really be enough heat to cook them safely?  We combined the cream, eggs, and cheese, and warmed them slightly in the microwave before tossing with the linguine.  I checked the temperature with an instant read thermometer.  I don't remember the exact number, but it was high enough to satisfy me (so over 140).

Marianna and I enjoyed our planning and cooking time, her best friend stayed for dinner, and we all tried a completely new (for us) dish.  A successful event!

On Saturday Rebecca and I worked on her meal.  I knew she had picked a labor intensive menu, so we were supposed to begin our preparations on Friday.  That never happened, so instead we spent hours (and hours and hours) cooking (and cleaning and cooking and cleaning and cooking and cleaning) on Saturday.

The most unusual and effort intensive dish was meat pasties from The Narnia Cookbook.  We mixed and rolled a boatload of pastry.  The filling required us to saute onions and garlic, blanch tiny potato cubes, and finely chop meat in the food processor.  This was put into circles of dough for individual pasties.  By the time we reached this stage it was obvious that time and energy needed conserving, so we made a few individual pies and then created a family-sized one. 

Also on the menu:  veggies and dip, pesto pasta salad, and crepes (something else I'd never made before).  We made ranch dip.  We prepared several fillings for the crepes, including fresh fruit and homemade whipped cream mixed with homemade lemon curd.  (Nutella was also available, although we didn't make that!)  By the end of the day I was exhausted!  We had a great time, though.
Rebecca cut and arranged these vegetables, and took the picture.
The pasta salad was delicious.  As the crepes were flipped out of the pan one by one, people filled them with the myriad of toppings displayed on the island (sorry, no pictures).

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