In the Kitchen - Week of April 20th April 25 2020
It was all about the lasagna and the Tom Kha Gai (Chicken coconut soup) this past week. It was so much about the Tom Kha Gai that since that was my project, I didn't end up taking any pictures except of the spinach!
It took a case of chickens, a case of mushrooms and five cases of coconut milk plus the gorgeous local spinach from Ollin Farms to make that, plus the chicken stock and ginger and kaffir and lovely aromatics. We made fifty-one quarts and forty-six pints of soup in the end, which filled our prep tables with jars. And a delicious smell!
And I did get pictures of the seventy-six lasagnas that Andy made. Which included thirteen pounds of gorgeous, freshly-picked local Oxford Farms basil and arugula in the sauce. He's learned a ton in his first month here at the kitchen, and he cooked that full project.
It was even more fun because Andy is a talented professional multi-instrumentalist... and cajón drum maker when he's not in the kitchen... which he's been more because having all your gigs cancelled is rough. And he's moved from delivery person to cook quickly!
He is a classically trained performer and teacher of North India Tabla drums. And he also plays the drum set, cajón, udu, calabash, and a multitude of other percussion instruments from around the world.
So, when he was trying to learn the order for the lasagna layers, which is a bit tricky as it switches part way through in order to keep sauce and noodles touching, he used the various syllables they use to learn tabla (drum) rhythms. He matched a sound to each layer to make a lasagna layer rhythm (2-3-3 for any musicians). I tried to get him to record a song with it, but it hasn't happened yet. I'm going to keep trying!
I have been learning some northern Indian music vocally and on another stringed instrument, the dilruba, with the help of my beloved, who is also a professional northern Indian classical music musician. So we're combing worlds in the kitchen!
Music and cooking go together quite nicely in many ways.
And I was marveling at all the beautiful colors this week. So much variety of green as the Spring local produce comes in, the uplifting bright sun yellow of the lemon curd ingredients, and earthy tones of the spiced when mixing up pork chorizo. Even raw meat has its own loveliness.
Hope you all are finding some new beauty and creative combinations as we all adjust in this strange new world. And I hope you enjoy the food!