Finally, Friday and my week with Letta W. Hesse and her What Shall I Serve is over. Here’s her small amount of ridiculous for week’s end:
Friday Night Menu
Tomato juice cocktail, celery, olives, fish pie, baked squash, corn southern style, shredded lettuce with Thousand Island Dressing, lemon sponge, caramelized sugar cake, and coffee
Just throw some olives and celery on a plate. I also didn’t bother with the lettuce and Thousand Island. But, fish pie sounded like just the right kind of horrible fun.
Open a tin of fresh codfish. (Oh, Letta. How can it be fresh if it’s in a tin? Sadly, tinned codfish does not seem to be in favor at my local market. I went with frozen halibut.) Season with minced parsley, pepper or paprika and sage. To each cup of fish, add 1 C white sauce (I doubled the recipe below), place in pie plate and cover with layer of mashed potatoes. Cover dish and set in moderate oven until pie bubbles and steams. Uncover and brown. Serve at once.
- 2 T butter
- 2 T flour
- 1 C milk
- ¼ t salt
- Dash of paprika or pepper
Melt butter in saucepan; add flour, salt, and pepper and stir until well blended; when smooth and bubbling, add milk gradually, stirring constantly; bring to boiling point; cook 2 minutes. (Just to let you know, don’t actually let it boil. Get it to the boiling point and cook it for a bit.)
Cut small squash in halves lengthwise; remove seed and stringy portion. Spread generously with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Do not use salt and pepper. Bake in shell in slow oven (325°) for 1½ hours. Serve in shell.
Notice how the fish pie really doesn’t have much in the way of time or temperature? I went with putting it in the oven about halfway through the squash recipe and then 10 minutes at a higher temperature for the browning portion.
I used fresh sage from the garden, so you could really taste the sage in it. Everything else tasted very white sauce, fish, potato globby. Not bad, but not something you’d need to make again—especially considering you can throw a ton of vegetables in the pie and make it a stand alone meal.
The squash was just squash… I think most of us have had some version of this family favorite:
But, I did learn something with these two challenges: Menu planners are idiots. From now on, I’m just going to stick with pulling recipes from a variety of places. I’m also giving Letta’s cookbook a bit of a rest. Maybe I’ll pick it up later for a breakfast of Eggs a la Golden Rod on Buttered Toast or Scrambled Eggs with Calf’s Brains. But, for now, I’m content to just sit back and make my own menus.