Cooking by the book

Steve Kendall | Bendigo Weekly | 10-Jun-2016

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STEVE MISSED THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT

have been married in one guise or another for many years now. You think I would have learned by now.

Let me tell you a story...

Because of the dark, evenings have become a bit of a rush, feeding out sheep/horses/dog/chooks and all of the other things that need doing, so the long-suffering Mrs Kendall and I came up with a plan to bulk cook some easy winter food at the weekend, so it was ready for a quick reheat on Monday, Tuesday etc.

Chicken stews are a favourite, and if anything they taste better as the week goes on, and of course lasagne is an easy slice of reheated heaven.

There was a minor hiccup a couple of weeks ago when Mrs K had to work on a Sunday, so the cooking fell to me.

I was fine with most of the routine, but the white sauce for the lasagne had me stumped.

I had seen Mrs K do it many times, and it seemed like a bit of a fuss to get it right, so I turned to the great and mighty internet.

Donna Hay decided to tell me how to make the sauce, and she made it sound so easy.

After all there are only four main ingredients butter, milk, flour and parmesan cheese. I am sure there are varieties of this, but I followed Donna to the letter.

Mrs K’s version of the sauce seemed to be a lot more critical on timing, but I took the leisurely Donna approach without the rush to have the lasagne sheets and mix all in the right place at the right time.

Donna also suggested lasagne sheets at the bottom of the dish after a light greasing, all new in the Kendall household.

So there I was, dish greased and layered, meat mix bubbling away nicely, and the sauce ready to go.

Now I know you are expecting a disaster, but my white sauce turned into this souffle-like fluffy joy just as described. 

Admittedly I was worried during the constant whisking stage, it seemed to take forever, but once there it was great.

Donna told me to put the mix to one side. The Mrs K version insisted on immediate
pouring. 

I was able to ladle the meat, layer the pasta and layer the sauce in my own sweet time.

The oven was on preheat so it was just a case of finnessing the top with a sprinkle of mozzarella and freshly ground black pepper.

I should have kept this all to myself, and this is the big mistake I alluded to.

I said to Mrs K I thought my white sauce was better than hers...

 - Steve Kendall
Twitter@stevekendall1

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