"Nanny Ogg quite liked cooking, provided there were other people around to do things like chop up the vegetables and wash the dishes afterwards."
- -- Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad
There were the typical type of discussions -recent favorite reads, why it's hard to find classic Heinlein in used bookstores and why the 147gr JHPs with a 9 mm are just better for killing bowling pins when it's about 12 degrees out. Then after a cold beer and some appetizers, the conversation wandered into the differences between Star Trek's, for one guest who had not watched a a lot of them. After going through Deep Space Nine, etc, we continued on our own, including a "southern version" of Next Generation with "John Luke Pickin" and it went from downhill from there. I about dropped the lasagna laughing when the verbal picture was painted of "John Luke" uttering the command to "sic the hound dogs on the Ferengi's!" All around, a evening of wit and fun and spark.
Barkley of course, had to join in, getting a head rub while listening to Turk demonstrate bowling pins exploding in the cold, while I looked on from the kitchen that's off the big family room. Lasagna's not that hard to make, but most people use bottled pasta sauce to which some hamburger has been added. Not at the Range, if only for the people that are like family to me. It makes a world of difference over that bottled sauce. A few ingredients, and only a few minutes to assemble before simmering. Ground sirloin, spicy hot breakfast sausage cooked up with roasted garlic, Brigid's blend of secret herbs and spices (OK, not secret - recipe will be posted shortly), some stewed tomatoes and a hour or two on low, low heat.
Layer it up with thick pieces of sliced fresh Mozzarella (not the shredded stuff) on top of another layer of two kinds of cheese whisked with eggs and fresh parley. Top with the homemade meat mixture.
Another layer of noodles cheese and finally sauce and some Parmesan. This baby weighed about 20 pounds. Enough to feed the whole posse and have leftovers. It's ready for the oven. I bought one of those huge disposable pans, as I wanted to make A LOT.
Now put it in the oven for 30 minutes while the topping on the garlic bread gets a quick broil and the last of the Portabella mushroom turnovers with cream cheese pastry appetizers are scarfed down.Hey - where did they all go? Those darn Ferengi !
Barkley tries the Vulcan Mind Meld on Tam, to no avail. He did however, get plenty of attention and a biscuit or two while everyone helped clean up, making for a perfect evening for all.