Thursday, March 24, 2016

Breaking rations

I took last week off, which was necessary because with the boys home, I had extra work to do. They don't think they make extra work, but BOY HOWDY! they make extra work. I do love them very much...

But I am really, really tired.

So I went back to the doctor last week to sing the praises of Flovent. All those years, and I could have--well, actually, I haven't really missed anything, and I still wouldn't qualify for certain jobs that I think would be cool to have.

I will never be a soldier of fortune, for instance.

But that's okay, like Bilbo at the beginning of the Hobbit, which I am now reading to the girl, I have brought adventure into my own home. Cooking things in the pressure cooker has become an adventure. Like running to your house and scrabbling for your key in the lock while pretending a murderer is after you, or picking a car and "losing them" as though you were a supercool spy, hubby and I like to treat the giant thing as though it were a bomb. Oh sure, there are fail-safes, but I have to have something to keep me interested in the walls sometimes.

This rarely happens.

So I've also looked to some other things to cook or make for the family. The current, er, flavor of the day is Tiramisu. My local supermarket is--not surprisingly--short on marscapone cheese, but no worries, because it's apparently a beginning cheesemaker's first project, sorta like the programmer's "Hello World!" or the tinkerer's broken clock. I did find it at Walmart, in the fancy cheese section of the deli for $3/8oz. Not a bad price, and since I couldn't actually find heavy cream that was not ultra-pasteurized, I decided to skip this step. I still included it for posterity.

I'm also experimenting with making a coffee free version for the kids and using a "sponge slab" rather than lady fingers which are stupidly expensive and not readily available where I am. So I'll include a recipe for everything, which I call "Super Experimental Coffee, egg, and alcohol-free Sponge Tiramisu." Oh and when I say that it's a "Quick recipe," I mean you'll start the night before you actually want to eat it.

Just chillin'.

And no, this is not even remotely ration friendly. It was invented in the 70s. I'll save those recipes for weeks when I am working on the garden and trying to get the kids (and me) to eat more veggies.

Sponge (sometime the day before, making it in two batches might be best):
6 oz self rising flour (sifted and left on a plate)
6 eggs
8 oz sugar
(2 tsp vanilla, optional)

Put eggs and sugar in a bowl and beat until mixture thickens. Fold flour into mix and pour half the mixture into parchment lined jelly roll pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes at , remove from oven and cool while baking second sponge with other half of batter.

Marscapone Cheese (the night before, if you don't buy it):
3 c heavy cream (NOT ultra-pasturized)
1.5 tsp lemon juice

Heat cream over medium high heat until candy thermometer reads 190 deg. Milk should be lightly simmering. Add lemon juice and stir until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Place sieve lined with fine cheesecloth or coffee filters over a bowl and pour mixture in, leaving overnight.

Tiramisu (make in the morning for nighttime enjoyment!):
2 c heavy cream, chilled
16 oz marscapone cheese
1 c confectioners sugar
1 1/2 c coffee (or chocolate milk?)
1/2 tsp vanilla
16 oz lady fingers or sponges from earlier
Cocoa powder for dusting.

In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, whip cream until stiff peaks form.

In a separate bowl, whip marscapone cheese until smooth. Add sugar, 1 c coffee (milk?) and vanilla fold whipped cream in carefully. Do not over mix.

Soak ladyfingers (sponge?) in remaining espresso (or milk?), layer into 13x9" baking dish and cover with half of creamy mix. Layer more lady fingers, then more creamy mix and chill for 4-8 hours. Dust with cocoa before serving. (Note: the sponge is super thirsty. You might want more than this. Honestly, I just poured the coffee over the sponge layer.)

I will try to post pictures later, because it will be eaten.