(Or, A Very Belated Christmas Recap, Part 2)
As I’ve mentioned in the past, Nick and I both like to cook, but we don’t cook together. Generally our worldviews on food (foodviews?) are pretty different. Remember the Chicken Maryland argument of 2009?
Sure, sometimes we’ve divvied up a meal and each worked independently on separate dishes. And we have collaborated on pizzas but that usually involves a lot of compromise and more inner turmoil on my part than you would ever imagine. I just go to my happy place and smile and nod while Nick applies the cheese in a way that goes against all my culinary and aesthetic sensibilities. (And to be fair, it turns out great.)
Somehow, however, we can make a great lasagna together. And by together I mean absolute 50/50 effort, putting things into the same pan, and having to coordinate with each other.
We did this for Christmas dinner to take over to my parents. There was a moment when Nick got impatient with my meticulous layering on the spinach, one leaf at a time. But instead of making an issue of it, he just suggested that he work on the spinach and redirected me to preparing the next noodle layer. His impatience did get the best of him later on when he grabbed a spoon from me and dumped out the rest of the sauce that I was carefully pouring out. I resisted throwing a handful of shredded mozzarella at him and simply explained I had been trying to reserve some sauce for another layer, but no problem, we’ll improvise!
So we rode out those momentary glitches. In the end we still liked each other and we produced a beautiful lasagna for dinner.
It was a Christmas miracle.
I was too excited about the lasagna to remember to take pictures until we had devoured the majority of it. For those of you who feel cheated and are terribly disappointed to not see the lasagna in its entirety, this is a different, but similar-looking and equally delicious, Nick and Sarah lasagna:
Back when I started writing this right after Christmas, I had planned on including the recipe. Now… I don’t remember the recipe, since we kinda made it up. I did not eat a lot of lasagna growing up, but I know a lot of people who are very picky about lasagna. Typically, the criterion for these individuals seems to be whether the lasagna was prepared by their mother, and if it was not, it’s no good. I’d love to hear what others think makes or breaks a lasagna, but in my limited experience, it seems like if you have decent, fresh ingredients, it’s pretty hard to mess up. We used Giada’s recipe in Everyday Italian as a guide, if you happen to be looking for a recipe.
Oh, I made an antipasti* platter for Christmas, too. And since it looked pretty, I had to share it. Best appetizer ever- no cooking and the prep is limited to finding some yummy things at Wegman’s olive bar (which you might remember that I love), cutting up some cheeses and veggies, rolling up some meats, and making it look all fancy.
*Okay, it is antipasti, antipasto, or antipasta? I came across all three when I was looking for ideas. Can someone who is familiar with the Italian language and/or cuisine explain this to me?