Friday, November 03, 2017

prep and a thumbs-up

I guess I'm pulling an all-nighter, of sorts, as I've decided to bake my lasagnas now instead of waiting until later in the morning. This will take me until about sunrise: I have six lasagnas that I can bake in batches of two, with each batch taking about 50 minutes.

If I'm lucky, I'll be able to sneak in a two-hour nap before I need to wake up and finish prep (i.e., assembling the caprese, prepping and baking the garlic bread, and packing up the panna cotta, which is currently gelling in the fridge).

I'm happy with the pesto I'd made; it's got a bright, fresh taste to it. I'm also happy about the blueberry sauce that's supposed to go along with the panna cotta. As for the panna cotta itself, we'll see: I bought some maple syrup as a replacement for vanilla beans, but after digging through my cabinet, I found a package of vanilla beans that was several months old. The beans were stiff but not intractable, and after I dunked them in the heated cream (panna cotta means something like "cooked cream"), they were easy to split open and harvest for their tasty, granular goodness. I ended up adding some syrup, anyway.

Thanks to my kitchen scale, I measured out exactly 220 grams of still-liquid panna cotta per portion; I only hope I put in the right amount of gelatine: after an hour in the fridge, the dessert cups seemed too wobbly. If the texture is still wrong come morning, I'll ditch the panna cotta and buy some vanilla ice cream, on top of which people can drizzle my blueberry sauce. Not tragic. Improvise, adapt, overcome.

Earlier in the evening, while I was busily prepping, I got a text message from a coworker who very kindly said that he's been enjoying working with me on our current project. This is the second time, in as many months, that a coworker has privately told me he's been enjoying working alongside me, so I suppose I must be doing something right. Anyway, I'll take whatever affirmation I can get. And now... back to baking.

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