Making Lasagne always looks like a daunting task to me. I get tired and feel every joule of energy has been drained out. I feel like a lemon squeeed out of its juice.
Being honest, so far I have made lasagne only three times. Every time it has turned to be a challenge for all the Italian joints. People just gorge over my culinary treat. I dedicate myself towards it. It takes good number of hours for me to set the layers and put the dish into the oven.
The sauces preparation seems easy but the amount of cutting and chopping involved takes its toll over me. I usually initiate with pressure cooking the spinach. By the time the cooker whistles I just grab chopping board and chop and chop and chop and chop. 😦 I particularly don’t like peeling off onions (who does???) and skinning garlic.
It gives me immense satisfaction when Sauce #1 gets ready and taken out in a bowl to cool over. I feel like a consumer who has paid off half of his loan amount. I then clean the pan and make another layer. Sauce #2 usually takes longer and I place the large dish to boil the sheets.
So far so good. I have come so far but the real battle is yet to be won. Yes- I know you know-The Classic White Cheese Sauce(Bechamel). People have been wondering and yelling and shrieking to know the perfect forumla to make a lumpfree, perfectly consistent and cheesy cheesy sauce. Every time I make this sauce I pray to god – ‘please free thy sauce from all the lumps for its not her fault that flour was more than butter…..O Lord! Please bless thy sauce to be consistent…thou shalt work harder‘. 🙂
When the lord passes on his blessings I look queerly at the glistening baking dish. The dish looks like crying out to me- ‘I am empty please fill me with delights of all kinds‘. And I do laugh in my conniving manner at the poor dish’s fate in hot hell a.k.a oven.
The layers are laid out reminscing me of how road roller rolls out perfectly spread out coaltar. The sauces are filled out, evened out and covered with another layers- layers after layers. Its just like how an interesting book is read pages after pages while the reader enjoys the saucy concoction served by the author.
The sauces bowls are then shifted away to the washing area. The blessed white sauce is then poured over the bed of sheets. The sin is committed- bowls and bowls of shredded cheese are spread. This reminds me of warfare where food and essential supplies are provided by helicopters. The last minute goes onto grating the mighty nutmeg on top.
The dish looks at me twitching its eyebrows and passes a sarcastic smile-‘look all your labour is in me now‘. It seems to laugh at me. I give an awful look and just try to stop its laughter by pulling his ears with my baking mittens and throwing the nasty bugger in the preheated oven.
Fifteen minutes pass by and I hear the bell. I open to check the bugger. He has mellowed down. I check it and feel its still little stubborn and toss it back inside.
The cheese starts bubbling and bursting to pop out and I now know for exactly that the bugger has been tamed.
People hover around the dish passing on their comments regarding- ‘oh you must tell me the recipe,‘ ‘you know my aunt makes it too‘ , ‘can I have a bigger portion‘, ‘the golden color is just perfect‘. The comments are halted once someone cuts out a sliver and starts devouring. Slivers after slivers, compliments after compliments I realize I just don’t feel like tasting it.
May be I am still tired? Crazy bugger– I will eat you tomorrow after heating you in the microwave.