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WND/TND – I see Queen Mab hath been with you

October 28, 2010

We had an almost full house for Dinner this week – only missing one regular member of Dinner who was off chanting to the Lord (otherwise known as rehearsing for a performance of Hildegarde von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum).  I feel as though I have welcomed all my wayward ducklings home, which is such a horrifyingly Lisa Geddes kind of thought that I need to excuse myself for a moment to go scrub my brain with bleach and read something scandalous to try  and eradicate any evidence of even the transient passage of such a thought through my mind.  All this being true however, it was nice to have a full table again.  Clearly we should have moved Dinner months ago. 

To celebrate we watched the annual Sandra Lee Halloween Special.  It was a Semi-Homemade Renaissance Halloween featuring a medieval feast, and there are so many things wrong with just the title of the show that it was entirely unreasonable to expect me to resist it.  I make fun of Sandra Lee a lot more than is strictly charitable, but then again she does make it so very easy.

We spent so much of the first five minutes of the show shouting with laughter (at the costumes – the ‘middle ages’ by way of Cher) and then in pained agony at the massacre she was making of the historical timeline (no, turkeys did not roam wild in Sherwood Forest, and medieval marinade would not have included tomato paste because both of those things are from the New World and wouldn’t have been discovered for another 300 years) that we had to rewind several times just to follow the thread of what she was doing.  Along with accelerating European expansionism by several hundred years, Sandra Lee also taught us that some people, and we’d all like to know who exactly these some people are, believe that Robin Hood’s Merry Men were, “philanthropic men of the forest”.  Which just, what?

On a scale of 1 to seriously? the food in this episode was not actually all that horrifying.  The turkey legs were marinated and grilled (on ye olde medieval gas grill), and the Grilled Bow & Arrow Steaks on a Stick were just thinly sliced beef rolled around roasted red peppers and cheese (they did not, incidentally, look like either a bow or an arrow).  There was store bought frozen cheesecake for dessert made semi-homemade by the application of a white chocolate drizzle over the top.  It was graced with a giant plumed feather glued onto a popsicle stick because apparently faeries are into feathers.  I know this because the Queen of the Faeries cocktail also came with a giant feather stuck into it.  Wet feathers, even fake wet feathers, strikes me as an odd addition to a beverage, but no odder I suppose than adding a mangy stuffed cat to a tablescape.  Fortunately we watch Sandra Lee for entertainment value and not decorating tips or meal planning advice, and we were definitely entertained so this was a highly successful episode even if none of us wanted to attend that Halloween party.

Chicken Tagine with Apricots & Spiced Pine Nuts
Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower
Couscous

Chicken Tagine with Apricots & Spiced Pine Nuts

Recipe previously given:  Revenge of the Florets

Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower

If you’re ever in the market for an alien vegetable stand in, I recommend romanesco cauliflower.  I’m a little in love with all the colors that cauliflower comes in when it’s in season – purple and orange and knobby alien green.  I added some broccoli to the mix purely because I can never quite convince myself that cauliflower is really a vegetable, even though Wikipedia assures me that it is.

3+ lb assorted cauliflower and broccoli, cut into florets
1 large red onion cut into wedges and then separated
Red wine vinegar
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Garam Masala

Separate the layers of the onion.  Toss the cauliflower/broccoli/onion with a few dashes of red wine vinegar, enough olive oil to coat and generous sprinkles of salt, pepper and garam massala.

Roast in a 400 oven for 30-35 minutes until caramelized and tender.

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One comment

  1. You forgot to mention that Sandra Lee was completely drunk and trying to act like she wasn’t the entire episode. Of course, when you serve a cocktail in a vase that can happen.



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