Sunday, October 26, 2008

After the first frost, before the first hard freeze

I've been cooking up a storm lately! I peel apples nightly, and stash little containers of applesauce in my freezer. I've made a bazillion apple crisps, and I'll make another one today.

I've had my first ever gluten free party! Twenty-some people came over for steaks on the grill, a big bonfire and a few fireworks. I've had a lot of bonfires, but this was the best fire ever. Rich brought over a whole trailer full of well-seasoned pine. He'd taken it to his woodpile after my tornado, six years ago. By the end of the evening, we had a HUGE pile of glowing logs. It was hypnotic. We couldn't look away. We kept all the food outside, and my house was safe from wheat. Sorry I couldn't taste all the pitch-in dishes everyone brought, but I'm sure they were delicious as usual.

Yesterday I cooked a big brunch for a homecoming reunion at the sorority house at Butler. This is my 13th year of cooking for the Alpha Chi's. I was happy to see some old friends. Those young college girls have grown up to be lovely ladies.

I can't eat anything I fix in the wheat-kitchen at Butler. So I was hungry when I got home. I decided to treat myself to some comfort food. I still have baskets of ripening tomatoes from the garden. A few of my basil leaves were protected from the first frost. I had some mushrooms and zucchini in the fridge.

So I started with this.

I made a red marinara and a yellow one.

I sauteed sliced mushrooms and zucchini strips in brown butter with a little cayenne. I browned some ground beef and shredded some mozzarella. I assembled all my ingredients into a lasagna with a layer of creamy ricotta.

Here's my yummy lasagna. It was a puzzle to figure out the order of the layers. I wanted to keep my red and yellow sauces separate, and I wanted to to taste every ingredient in every bite. I ended up using three layers of zucchini strips, and assembled the mushrooms in a layer as well. I was thoroughly comforted by the gooey goodness.

Without cutting flowers, I've had to look underground for photo opportunities. I call this one "Carrot Britches."


Rachel said...

I don't know why I never thought to make a yellow only marinara sauce, but that's just so beautiful! Nice job with the lasagna.

Gluten Free Steve said...

I wish I could have been with you at your bonfire party and toasted good health to you and your friends. All in due time, we'll meet.

Gluten free Kay said...

Hi Rachel,

I first made my yellow tomato sauce when I discovered Sungold orange cherry tomatoes. I had BUCKETS of them! They are very sweet and made a delightful sauce. I bought a tomato press from a garden catalog that takes care of the seeds and the peels. It's a real time-saver. I only use light colored other produce in my yellow sauce - yellow sweep peppers, white or yellow onions. Then I top my dish with fresh basil ribbons.

Hi Steve,

Any snow in your neck of the woods yet?