Week 20

Lasagna Casserole

[taken from page 60 of “The Weilert Family Cookbook: 2nd Edition”]

Notes: OK, another family classic this time around. I have become somewhat of a connoisseur of lasagna over the years, but the one I usually like the best is the good ol’ homemade version. Let’s see if I can succeed in replicating it.

Lessons:
1. When you bag your own groceries at the store, make sure that you get everything. When I started cooking, it was hours after I had gotten home with my groceries and it was the point in which I realized that I had bought the garlic, but had left it at the store. I hope leaving the garlic out doesn’t change the taste too much.
2. I’m going to start adjusting the recipes I have to accommodate for the amounts of items you can actually get in stores. Turns out that grocery stores are offering you less (or more) than when these recipes were originally written. Sometimes if there are a number of packages of something, I just try to get as close as I can to the weight mentioned in the recipe.
3. Now that I’ve been cooking for many months now, I’ve started to run out of spices (like parsley flakes), so now I have decided to go with the larger containers of these spices when I replace them.
4. This recipe is excellent for someone like me, who likes to multitask. While the sauce simmers, I was able to mix the cheese layer and boil the noodles so that when the sauce was done, I could just assemble everything and be on my way. Also, I like this recipe because I was able to make it ahead of time, and just toss it in the oven before the guests came over.
5. It may have been from cooking too many noodles and piling them all on top of each other, or from refrigerating the lasagna or a combination of the two, but there was definitely a fermented taste to the dish. Maybe next time I’ll just make it and bake it.

Final Analysis: Even though cooking is not the exact science that baking is, it might help to follow the recipe a little closer next time. I’m not sure if it was because of the missing garlic or the semi-fermented noodles, but the taste was just a little off. Not that it was an awful meal, just not quite how I remember it.

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