Friday, October 30, 2009

The Bank Holiday and Monica’s Cooking School

Monday, October 26, 2009

Most things are closed today, and I decided to sleep in as long as I could. I’m up at 11:30 which is shameful for me – a person who has on occasion been able to sleep till 2pm (only if I have absolutely nothing to do). I heard Zach sneezing most of the night and when I saw him this morning I asked how he was feeling. He thinks that with some good rest that it won’t be bad at all. I am hoping he is right because this morning I got a call from Mrs. Kester about dinner. She wanted us to come over tomorrow night, but her one request was that if either of was feeling sick to let her know and we would reschedule for later in the week, so I guess I will be calling her back this afternoon to see if Thursday would be better. I hope it doesn’t prevent us from seeing them, but I can understand not wanting to get sick before flying home, especially when I heard that Obama was declaring the US in a state of emergency with the swine flu. Kind of glad I am over here.

When I did get out of bed, I was disturbed to find that more of my Ressee’s Cups were missing! When Ryan and I returned from France there had been three still in the kitchen, but they were all gone. I had expected Zach to eat one or maybe two, but not to devour all three, which included the last one (aside from the three I had hidden in the freezer). It’s a cardinal sin to take the last of something unless instructed to do so. I was surprised, but thankful I still had three of my favorite candy pieces (which they don’t seem to sell over here). Well, today I checked the freezer (I like to look at them every now and then, but hold off till a day I really need one since they’re in short supply). I was shocked – horrified – sad. There was one where there had been three. I looked at Zach and inquired as to their whereabouts. He apologized saying he thought I didn’t want them since they had been there for awhile. Well, first off I was gone for a week and unable to eat them then and then obviously candy keeps outside of the freezer, so they were in the freezer for a purpose…I like them frozen as well. I need to vent because I didn’t get very mad to his face (not worth it), but I was still really sad. I now know how dad felt with his Twinkies except this is a nonrenewable resource! Zach did feel bad and offered me some pizza for lunch, which I accepted not having been to the grocery store yet.

I left for Monica’s around 2:30 and spent the rest of the day over there. One of Monica’s roommates, Elana, was keeping Mojo, her boyfriend’s dog, for the day so I enjoyed playing with him before going to the SuperValue grocery store. I almost bought a pumpkin that was on sale, but I resisted after it was a little more than I thought and quite heavy. Monica and I purchased ingredients to make a cheesecake and sticky buns. She wanted me to see sticky buns (something else in Norwegian) because I have no idea what their American counterpart might be if there even is one.

We went straight to baking when we got back. While Monica prepared the dough, I made the pie crust for the cheesecake. Both desserts neither of us had ever made, so it was a trial run. The dough was set aside to rise for an hour and we started on the cheesecake mixing sugar, cream cheese, lemon gelatin, vanilla, etc. It is interesting trying to cook in another country. Monica was trying to convert things to what she knew and I was doing the same. Therefore, the measurements might not have been perfect, but about what we needed. Shopping in the store is also an adventure. When the recipe called for vanilla I picked up what I was accustomed to using as the liquid. Monica seemed confused claiming that in Norway it was powdery. Turns out we think that in Norway there is a sugar with vanilla flavoring already mixed into it, so it saves the extra step of combining the sugar and vanilla essence.

Once the crust was baked and the cheesecake ready we poured in the mixture and set it in the fridge to chill (later moved to the freezer). I have never made a cheesecake, but I would also like to try baking one sometime instead of the no-bake. Monica was not aware of this option, but I promised her that a cheesecake could also be baked. I know this because of the cheesecakes Lori seemed to mass produce when the girls lived close to me. Every time I went to their house it seemed like an ample supply of cheesecake was always coming fresh out of the oven (and then there was the ever popular gallon of cookie dough in the fridge as well!).

Once the cheesecake was set, it was time to go back to the buns. We cleared off the dining table again and rolled out 30 buns. They were set aside to rise for 20 more minutes while we prepared the custard. They have custard powder here, which you mix with heated milk and sugar. The powder I think consists of cornflour and salt. Once it cooled down we placed a dollop in the middle of the buns and baked them for 15 minutes. For the finale we drizzled icing sugar around the bun and sprinkled dried coconut on top. And yes, they were yummy!

Somewhere in all this baking we decided we were hungry, and dinner needed to be made. So, we switched to cooking and while Monica (the expert chopper) cut up carrots, zucchini, onion (yea, I cried again), celery and red pepper – I browned the meat with some garlic. We threw all this in a pot and added tomatoes and paste. We got out a baking dish and layered the meat and veg. with lasagna noodles. There was only cheese covering the top then we baked that for 40 min. It was maybe one the best lasagnas I have had and it was pretty much makeshift. We ate our lasagna while watching LadyHawke and sipping a glass of Zinfandel. The movie was pretty good, but it was a B movie Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Broderick created back in the 80s with awesome background music. Worth checking out on a rainy day…and we have a lot of those here. The weather has not eased up since we got back from London. It has rained everyday.

No comments:

Post a Comment