Sunday, January 08, 2017

today's lunch

Instead of saying anything at first, I'll just let the pics do the talking. Think of this visual narrative as a comic strip with no words. I'll explain everything after. Ready?


I knew I was going to the office on Sunday, and I knew I had lasagna leftovers, but only in a meager amount. So I devised a plan: take my leftovers to the office, but while there, go down to the building's basement grocery and buy mozzarella and a small jar of spaghetti sauce. Mix the purchased cheese and sauce with the cheese and sauce brought from home, and voilà: I'd have enough to make a decent 4-layer lasagna that I could microwave.

Using the cleaver my boss had gotten for me as a gift, I snapped three rectangular sheets of lasagna pasta into squares (as it turned out, I didn't need to do this, but whatever) and packed those in a Ziploc bag. My cheese and sauce were already containerized, so I toted everything to the office. Once there, I knew I wouldn't be able to use the pasta while dry: I had to let it soak in hot water to soften it up, so I placed the pasta squares in the stoneware pot I keep in my office, covered the squares with scalding-hot water from the dispenser, and waited fifteen minutes. With the pasta nicely softened and plausibly microwavable, I began the build.

1. In the first image, you see the cheese-like pasta squares.

2. In this picture, we've got our sauce (homemade + bottled), as well as our cheese (original mix + store-bought mozzarella).

3. Pasta, laid out and ready for stacking.

4. The build begins in earnest. This is looking plausible, but I'm worried about the differences between microwaving and regular baking.

5. A completed lasagna. I'll be microwaving this for six minutes on high. How will it turn out? Will the exposed pasta harden and/or burn around the edges? Will the cheese burn? I had no idea what was going to happen.

6. We're done microwaving. The thing smells like an actual lasagna, which gives me hope. My hand pauses, gripping the lid. Suspense. The moment of truth is upon us.

7. Relief! While microwaving doesn't "suntan" the cheese in the same way that baking does, this looks like a legitimate lasagna, so I'm happy with what I see. I am, however, a bit taken aback by the huge pools of grease on either side of the lasagna, so I dab most of the grease away before taking this picture. The lasagna cuts surprisingly well: it's melted but still firm.

8. A final food-porn shot of a steaming, melty chunk of lasagna heading for my gullet. What can I say? Lunch was pure bliss.

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