Thursday, June 11, 2015

Brundlefly Broccoli and Maleficent Mushrooms - Just One of Those Crazy Things

NERD ALERT - I got goofy while writing this, and it is full of geeky references and puns.  I'm not going to point them all out.  Spoilers.

Before yesterday's storm, I noticed two gorgeous mushrooms which had popped up through the mulch around one of the front hibiscus. Very attractive, and completely poisonous.  I wouldn't even touch them with my bare hands.

How do I know they are poisonous?  The shape, a parasol.  Pernicious parasols, bitter bumbershoots, sinister sunshades.

Soil and green

Going to try something different in my garden.  I've already decided that next year the herbs will be planted in over-the-rail window boxes, like I've done with the strawberry plants.  Of course, after the rainstorm we endured late Tuesday afternoon, there may be no garden left to worry about this year.  Why do I have a terrible feeling that all of the seeds I planted the other day have floated away?  Could it have anything to do with the fact that it rained just as much today?

So nice and even and dry.  Especially dry.

Oy, so I went out and checked the damage ... and damaged it is.  The rain must have come in almost horizontally and washed all the soil from the front to the back.  This exposed the roots of all the established plants in the front row.  Not too bad, and when (if) the soil dries out, I can rake it forward and cover the roots.  The leaves, though - the ones that haven't been chewed on by marauding insects on a feeding frenzy have been shredded by wind whipping and/or buried in a mudslide.  I shouldn't complain. really - a little sunshine, and everything will be - well, as right as rain. (Sorry, sorry, I couldn't stop myself.  I got caught in the matrix and you know, girls just want to make puns.)

But the seeded patches - oh boy, I was wrong - those seeds didn't wash away - they washed together.  They comingled.  They did the hokey-pokey and they turned themselves around. Think of the carrot seeds as Dan Ackroyd and the onion seeds as Eddie Murphy in "Trading Places", or as strangers in a strange land.  It's as if the carrots have taken adverse possession of the onions' property.  Vegetarian squatters. I also don't know what to expect from the broccoli seeds I planted to the back of the blueberry bushes.  With dry air and sun, should I expect blue humanoid plants to sprout or something worse? This is like very bad science fiction - Jeff Goldblum goes into the transporter device and Brundlefly comes out.

Nobody told me that growing food could be so much fun.  Or so mysterious.  I promise to take pictures.

Beautiful flat leaf parsley rescued, I mean harvested, from my garden for use in the lasagna cheese filling.  I had to soak them in a sinkful of water to dislodge all the dirt, like you would do with leeks.

From the "Baby Gotta Bitch" Department:  The implications of my new prescriptions are very hard to accept.  Gotta work on that, over time, with professional guidance.  Yesterday the psychiatrist, today the therapist.  I've been spending too much time wondering why I'm spending so much time in their offices.  If you worry too much about your mental and emotional health, you could drive yourself crazy.  Ask me how I know.

Anakin and Chelsea - they share their food and their sleeping space

I woke up with a modicum of energy; I think I spent it wisely.  My moods may be occasionally disordered, but it was cheerful this morning when I woke up to the sight of cat and dog, living together, not the slightest hint of mass hysteria.  I made quite a bit of progress on the lasagna rolls.  I drove to Orlando for my appointment.  I went to Toojay's and picked up tongue, pastrami, chopped liver ... you know, the important things.

At this point, I could finish preparing the lasagna rolls, take some more pictures and wrap it up, but something is telling me that would be pushing it, whatever "it" is.  If you were planning on making this recipe, wait until tomorrow when I give the final instructions, or prepare the meat sauce and/or the cheese filling, and refrigerate until tomorrow.

Lasagna Cheese Filling:
2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese
1-8 oz. pouch shredded mozzarella
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper    
2 extra large eggs
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
pinch of cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients, cover and refrigerate until ready to form the rolls.

The Noodles:
12-14 ruffle-edged uncooked lasagna noodles

In a very large pot of boiling water, to which a tablespoon of kosher salt and a teaspoon of olive oil has been added, cook the lasagna noodles, for 8 minutes once the water comes back to a boil.  I do this in batches of 6 to 7 noodles, so they do not stick to each other.  Rinse under cool water and then lay each noodle on a flat surface.  I cover part of the counter with - you guessed it - aluminum foil, which I have brushed with a small amount of olive oil.

Additional Filling:
1 package miniature pepperoni slices
1-8 oz. box button mushrooms (from the store, not your lawn), quartered and slowly cooked in a small amount of garlic extra virgin olive oil.  Season the mushrooms with a lot of black pepper.  I prepared these several days ago and stored them in the fridge.

One perfect lasagna roll.  All shall be revealed in the fullness of time.

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