Monday, May 20, 2013

Redwall Feast

Two and a half years after our last Redwall Feast, the kids took matters into their own hands. Sage put the Redwall Cookbook on hold from the library, and when it got here she chose a menu.

I shopped for the ingredients -- not always an easy or cheap task, given some of the unusual ones Brian Jacques favored -- but managed to come up with them, or at least fair substitutions. (Jicama for Jerusalem artichoke...)

And then I delegated. Last Feast, I spent hours chopping vegetables. This time, as you can see, I let the helpers do it ALL. I was there for mentorship, but they put in the labor. My dear hubby did that whole bowl of beautiful matchstick carrots and parsnips, bless his heart. In fact, he did the whole 'Sunsalad'.

Ian was in charge of the 'Hogbake', which is named after a hedgehog character who cooks it, but we aptly added bacon to this otherwise vegetarian dish (and meal). In fact, we rather modified the whole hogbake recipe, and were very pleased with the result. We've made it before with much less success, but this time we precooked the onions, added mushrooms and bacon, and left the tomatoes off because I forgot to buy any. People fought over the last bits in the pan.

Some helpers didn't put in as much elbow grease, but we're glad for their cuteness contribution.

So, this is one view of the final results. 'Hare's Haversack Crumble', 'Cheese n' Onion Hogbake', and 'Hotroot Sunsalad'. 

Along with 'Summer Strawberry Fizz'.

The one portion of leftovers from all that, a little bit of salad, got taken for lunch by S., so I'd say this year's feast was a triumph. This was more of a meal and less of an intriguing exotic sampler as in years past. 

One of the most fun parts of this tradition is reading little story-bits out of the cookbook itself. Brian Jacques spared no effort, this isn't just a tie-in book of recipes to maximize the branding -- he really wanted the food to be a part of the true Redwall experience. So there's some fairly extensive fiction (for a cookbook) that relates to each set of recipes. We took turns reading some aloud while we feasted, and enjoyed trying to approximate the many local dialects the characters use.

Yes, the crumble was that good... 

Lastly, credit where credit is due:

Sage acquired the cookbook, printed the menu, and made the fizz and the crumble.
S. chopped all those leeks and other veggies for the salad, and got them cooked; he also did the mushrooms and the grated cheese for the hogbake.
Ian practiced his egg-cracking, onion-chopping and sauteing skills, and put together all the ingredients for the hogbake; he made the dressing for the salad as well.
Lucy and Nora made place cards and set the table beautifully.
And everyone helped with dishes afterward.
It's like I got two Mother's Days in a row!!
I'm so, so grateful for my incredible family.

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