Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Weekend in Fabulousness

While others were busy traveling to semi-exotic locations, partying to escape the financial crisis, or commemorating our many war dead, I was busy living the title of the blog. And it was fun, though maybe next year, I will delegate some of the food preparation for the fundraiser to other people. Or at least insist on a ballpark figure for the likely number of attendees.

Anyway, I did introduce a lot of finished or semi-finished foods to the freezer this weekend. Then I got nervous when we had frequent, unexplained power outages. Fortunately, most of them were just long enough to reset all the clocks, and none of them lasted more than a couple of hours. Anyway, what you see above was the less successful batch of cheese straws. In the second, and more successful batch, I went for wafers, made in the manner of refrigerator cookies. Yummy.

Below you see the beginnings of a strawberry sorbet.

After macerating with sugar for a while, the berries got covered with red red wine, then they sat in the refrigerator for a day or two before being sent to the abattoir blender. Tonight they freeze, as does the lemon ice.

As usual, I neglected to take pictures of most of what I did, so you don't get to see the Swedish ginger thins (yum), spinach puffs (yum), apple puffs (yum), cold tomato soup (yum), almond biscotti (yum), black walnut biscotti (yum), pistachio meringues (yum), vanilla thins (yum), chocolate custard (made with ground chiles and cinnamon and destined to become a Mexican chocolate mousse, which will be very much yum), or feuilletage. I am especially disappointed that I neglected to take pictures of the puff pastry, but perhaps I will get some later. I cut it into small rectangles, which I froze. I baked some of the scraps to be sure that it was going to perform, and it did, as it always does. Puff pastry is really a lot easier to make than people say it is. There's a tutorial here, if you're into that sort of thing. These particular puff pastry rectangles will be split apart and filled with lime curd to make mini Napoleons. Is "mini Napoleon" redundant? The Bonapartes get no respect.

I may have neglected to take pictures of most of the food, but I got pictures of this view from my driveway:

Wheels on fire!

I decided to make some bowls out of flatbread for serving the hummus (yet to be made: there is still much work to do), so I started by rolling out some very stiff dough as thinly as I could.

It was quite the upper body workout to get it that thin. Then I formed the dough over a greased bowl.

If I were a sculptor... but then again, no. For the second and third bowls, I switched to a mold that I hoped would impart more structural integrity to the finished product.

The bowls came out pretty well. I'm not so sure about the cheesecake filling, though. I'd decided that I wanted a dulce de leche cheesecake filling to top my Swedish ginger thins, but instead of baking the cheesecake, I made the usual custard mixture and cooked it to about 162 degrees over a double boiler. I will have to taste it again tonight to see how it behaves when chilled. When it came off the double boiler, I thought it needed some more rum, so I added some. I'm sure it will be fine tonight, and if it's not, I can fix it. It needs to be of piping consistency by Friday evening so that we can assemble the dessert quickly.

The weather was pretty good this weekend, and I did get out with the kids some, and I did get to church for an hour to rehearse "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" with the other two guys in my pick-up trio. That'll be fabulous, too. Sadly, it won't be dull, but you can't win them all.

1 comment:

  1. Oh so many French (du feuilletage aux fraises en passant par la plaque à pâtisserie...) ; je suis - comme sans doute mes autres compatriotes lecteurs - touché... But the Frenchs are not that good on pastry.