The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.
This is my 4th Daring Baker attempt and it turned out delish!! I think everyone in the Clawson household would concur with that statement. It was a perfect Sunday dinner to have on such a glorious, extra, extra snowy Sabbath. Yes, it was a bit on the snowy side today. Just to put our snow tally out for the month of March. We had 30 inches on March 9th and over the last week about 11 more. Luckily it has melted in between storms with just a bit of a teasing of spring. How cruel can Mother nature be? Anyway on to the lovely Lasagne.
As I was thinking about the challenge and lasagne in general, I have a tendency to say words in my mind exactly as they are spelled. It is one of those tricks I learned as a kid to help with spelling. An example being "lie u ten ants". It is much easier to think about the ten ants lying around than a lieutenant. La sag ne is another one of those words that I think of phonetically, but it is the next word that really started bringing back the fun memories.
When James and I were first married, we up and moved away from everything we knew and loved and went to the crazy world of California. It was an experience to say the least. We were so poor. We had no furniture save a card table and four folding chairs. Our bed was two sleeping bags on the floor, and a quilt that James' mom made us. I think of the poor single gentleman who lived below us and what he must have had to listen to at night. Sorry, I'm being graphic, but hey we were newlyweds:) Over the course of the summer we had a few visits from family to our neck of the woods. We lived in a little town called Winton, just outside of Merced. It was a great location. About 3 hours in any direction from a host of fabulous sites. San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, San Jose, Carmel, and Gilroy to name a few. We checked out somewhere different every weekend.
The visitors I am speaking of were two of James' brothers and their wife or girlfriend. Doug and his girlfriend (now wife) Jenny, and Dave and his wife (no longer) Deb. We had a fabulous time. All six of us would cram into our tiny little Honda Civic and cruised through central California. Now imagine this. James is the pee wee of his brothers and he measures in at 6 foot 1. We had six backseat drivers, and enough toots to last a lifetime, but it was a riot. One night on the way to San Francisco we stopped at a Mexican restaurant for dinner. Doug was so cheap then. He would never order anything stating he "wasn't that hungry" and then pick off of everybody else's plate. That night in the restaurant it was the way Dave, or it could have been Doug, asked what a menu item was that struck our funny bones. Dave asked the poor waitress if the "fa jie (like tie) tas" were good. The look on her face was pure shock bordering on wondering if she had just been sexually harassed. To this day that is how we at the Clawson fam refer to a fajita. Phonetically.
I know there are a few of you out there in the blogging world who have said this word too. It makes you feel a bit on the sassy side, but not like you need to repent or anything. It is almost as good as a swear word. The Clawson brother's fajita visit has gone down in history. It was a great time had by all. Even though we were poor and slept on the floor the memories from that summer in California are plentiful. It is funny to think how a Daring Baker challenge made me think of this moment in time, but great memories are brought back by all sorts of events. I am trying to plot them all out for "my posterity" and if it takes a delicious Lasagne to do that all the better!
The homemade lasagne sheets were what made the whole dish. I used a homemade marinara sauce that I bottle every summer with my homegrown tomatoes, and fresh basil, but any good pasta sauce would be yummy. This pasta was a bit different than my standard in the fact that there was no cottage cheese, or ricotta cheese layer. The creamy white layer was a delicious Lemon Garlic Bechemel sauce. It is a glorified white sauce. I got that recipe from a really fun website Hot Off the Garlic Press. For the whole Daring Baker recipe click here. It will take you to the new Daring Baker fantastic website. I hope you all enjoy the Lasagne, and the fajitas too!!