Longest lunch ever! ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

26 November 2007

Longest lunch ever!

So just about the entire day friday was given over to PARTY. We made a lot of things we'd made before, so as to ensure success as opposed to failure. Well, we mostly had success. We had so much success we've been eating the leftovers for days.

French onion soup
wheat berry and chickpea salad
red cabbage and apple salad
Santa Cruz farmer's market green salad
tons of bread and cheese
and wine and olives
and pickles
and cauliflower and mangetout and carrots
with spinach dip and tahini dip
and many cups of coffee
and the failure of the evening: ice cream.


There was so much cheese. We had: cotswold, gouda with garlic and basil, champignon brie, jarlsberg, an English hard cheese with horseradish, and a totally ridiculous French cheese in a box called epoisses. Oh yeah, and we had gruyere on the onion soup. We went through four loaves of bread and a box of water crackers. It was ridiculous.

Witness detritus!

The wheat berry salad is pretty similar to this one, but with a few surprises called "delicious chickpeas". Also "parsley". Ok ok.

Wheat berry salad for five

big pan of cooked wheat berries, from 2 cups or so dry
can and a half of good chickpeas (or soak and boil them, if you want to boil Two things)
bunch of scallions
a red pepper
handful of parsley

olive oil
salt and pepper
mustard powder
juice of a lemon

For wheat berries, you treat a grain like a dried bean. At least for hard wheat berries you do. So soak wheat berries overnight, drain, rinse a few times to get rid of overabundant gluten, cover with new water, and boil for an hour or however long you need to get them tender. Drain and rinse well.

All the vegetables can just be cut into little pieces. Throw them into the wheat berries. Use whatever proportion you like. Then open a can or two of chickpeas, drain and rinse, and put them into the salad as well. you might want a little salt and pepper as well. Mix it all up, check that ingredients are proportioned as you'd like, and dress.

Dressing: you can use whatever good bottled vinaigrette you want, or you can make our dressing. Pour several large glugs of olive oil into a measuring cup. Add several good grinds of salt and several more again of pepper. Juice a lemon and add it as well. Then mix everything with a fork to emulsify the oil and combine well. Taste and make sure it works for you; adjust proportions if you need to. Then pour it all over the salad and mix until everything is well coated.

You can clearly sub all kinds of things in or out of this salad. First, you can use other grains in place of wheat berries: rice, quinoa, bulgur, barley, whatever. You can sub in a different onion component for the scallions: red onion or shallot would work well. You can take out all the vegetables and use whatever sounds good: carrot, broccoli, other kinds of pepper, corn. You can take out the chickpeas and use lentils, black beans, white beans: whatever. Then you can add feta or parmesan. It depends totally on what you have lying around and what you think sounds delicious.

We ate and ate and ate and ate. Also we cooked. It was clearly thanksgiving.

When lunch was over, sometime around four in the afternoon, we started on grand ice cream experiment. Actually, it was a grand sorbet experiment: dark chocolate sorbet with rum raisins and hazelnuts. Actually, we'd started some bits of it the day before, such as soaking everything in dark rum.

This seemed like it was going to be a really good idea, especially since the rum would lower the freezing point of the ice cream a little bit. It would totally stay creamy and easy to scoop, instead of turning into a vast chocolate block. HA!

It certainly did lower the freezing point: it wouldn't freeze. We sat around for a long time drinking lots of coffee out of tiny little cups. Then eventually we gave up and had some very rummy chocolate soup. In the future, pour OFF the extra soaking rum and only add the soakees.

It was a good party.


bethany said...

OMG I remember that coffee set! Was it Portland we bought it?

eileen said...

it totally was! I remember some serious discussions about bright red or maybe orange clothing in that store as well.