As a 40-year-old trampoline jumping Goddess, my world has been BUSY BUSY BUSY! Trampoline Jumping for 40-Year-Old Women, Instructional Video #1, just had its 300th hit and is officially viral, and Trampoline Jumping for 40-Year-Old Women, Instructional Video #2, is close behind, which humbles me greatly. And I have been very busy ladder-hunting for Trampoline Jumping for 40-Year-Old-Women, Instructional Video 3, getting tattooed, and responding to letters, as well as cooking up a storm, including my butternut squash lasagna with rainbow-striped noodles, its picture posted in my October 28, 2010, journal entry, I Had No Idea that Ducks Ate Acorns. It literally elicited tens to hundreds of requests for my recipe, so I have decided to take a quick break from my important work to outline how I approach another worthy Goddess endeavor, the making of the butternut squash lasagna with rainbow-striped noodles.
My step-one ingredients:
My two farmers’ market butternut squashes
My olive oil
My fistful of chopped fresh Herb sage leaves
My pinch of pink Himalayan salt
First, I peel my two farmers’ market butternut squashes. I highly recommend using a vegetable peeler…sooooo much easier than using my favorite knife as it has a tendency to become embedded in my squash, leading me on a detour from my butternut-squash-lasagna-with-striped-noodles-making into a knife extraction endeavor that has me calling upon the Goddesses for advice, adding a good 45 minutes to the already 45 minutes it takes to peel and chop the squashes. ANYWAY. I know this is a considerable amount of time, but it is truly worth it when you taste it at the end. And it doesn’t have to be boring either as you can spend the time chasing pieces of squash that go flying off the cutting board midcut while you watch the Cooking Channel and listen to Emmylou Harris, blasting from stereo speakers.
Ahem. Anyways. Once my two butternut squashes are chopped into pieces, I put them in my yellow ceramic mixing bowl and either douse or drizzle them with my olive oil (personally, I prefer the dousing to the drizzling) and add my chopped fresh Herb sage leaves and grind a pinch of my pink Himalayan salt before ceremoniously dumping them on my greased cookie sheet and popping them in my 400 degree-ish oven for 45ish minutes.
My step-two ingredients:
My sweet onion
My yellow chanterelle mushrooms that fill a third of my brown paper lunch bag
A couple of my purple garlic cloves
My farmers’ market sunflower full of seeds (not used in my butternut squash lasagna with striped-noodles recipe, but in a having-fun-while-butternut-squash-is-roasting activity)
While my two chopped butternut squashes are roasting in my oven, I spend the next 45 minutes busily extracting the seeds from my sunflower as I sauté my chopped onion, my freshly pressed garlic using my restaurant-grade garlic press, and my chopped yellow chanterelles (from Mushroom Farmer Mo, formerly Mushroom Farmer Bob) in my Country Crock butter in my stovetop wok pan until they are fragrantly glistening.
My step-three ingredients:
My box of Torino rainbow-striped lasagna noodles (imported from Italy but purchased at Cost-Plus World Market, all natural with no food coloring)
My olive oil
While my two chopped butternut squashes are roasting in my oven, in my large pot of gently boiling lightly salted water, I cook my rainbow-striped lasagna noodles until they are al dente for, oh, about 8 to 10ish minutes and gently remove them, laying them out on my red plate. I then choose to drizzle, rather than douse, them with my olive oil.
My step-four ingredients:
My roasted butternut squashes, mashed smooth with my fork
My sautéed mixture of onions, chanterelle mushrooms, and garlic
My 15-ounce container of Frigo lowfat ricotta cheese
My first container of freshly shaved parmesan cheese
My two light sagey green colored farmers’ market eggs
A twist or two of my pink Himalayan salt and my pink peppercorn grinders
I combine all my step-four ingredients in my big yellow ceramic mixing bowl until they are smooth.
My step-five ingredients:
3/4ths of my stick of Tillamook butter
My quart carton containing whole milk
My spoonful of chopped Herb sage
Two more cloves of my purple garlic
My halfish cup of flour
My pink Himalayan salt and my pink peppercorn grinders
In my saucepan, I slowly simmer my milk while in my large stovetop wok pan, I melt my butter over a lowish heat before adding my sage and my pressed purple garlic, to which I add my flour and stir. I then slooooowwly bring it to a boil, whisking with my purple whisking thingie as I slooooowwly add my milk and twist my pink salt and pepper grinders a couple of times into it…until my mixture coats my purple whisking thingie.
My step-six ingredients for my assemblage
My steps-one-through-five ingredients
My second container of shaved parmesan cheese
My package containing the log of fresh mozzarella
Now that my kitchen is sufficiently a disaster, it is time to preheat my oven to 350 to 375ish (my oven heats up hotly in a weird way, so I tend to stay on the 350ish side of the spectrum).
First I spoon in my step-five milky mixture using my orange ladle into my buttered blue-ceramic dish (I prefer the taste of my dishes cooked in ceramic as opposed to glass…plus, it is just empirically more fun to use a dish with color), then add a layer of my step-three al dente rainbow-striped lasagna noodles, smooth a layer of my butternut squash lasagna mix with my apple-green spatula, and top with some of my parmesan and slices of my mozzarella. I repeat this process, building my layers until all my ingredients are used up or I have reached the top of my blue-ceramic casserole dish. I pop my concoction covered in foil in the middle of my oven for 40ish to 60ish minutes although I do remove my foiled cover, oh, 3/4th the way through. I use my handy dandy Ove’ Glove to remove my golden and bubbling hefty dish from my oven. I let my butternut squash lasagna with rainbow-striped noodles sit for a bit while taking pictures of it with my BlackBerry camera NOT on my binoculars.
Butternut Squash Lasagna with Rainbow-Striped Noodles through BlackBerry Viewfinder Not on Binoculars
Well, it makes me wickedly happy to share my recipe for my butternut squash lasagna with rainbow-striped noodles with my community of trampoline jumping 40-year-old women! But before you put on your apron, once again I have a few remarks for you before you employ my recipe.
DO be sure that that when you are speaking of your ingredients that you use first person possessive pronouns. As you may have noticed, I freely employ this technique as I write about my own cooking.
DON’T think that you are self-centered when you employ this technique or feel like you are a seagull flying around, saying “Mine!” “Mine!” “Mine!” If you watch the Cooking Channel, you will see that speaking of your ingredients using the first person possessive pronouns is actually the part of the vaster cooking culture.
DO pronounce the “H” in the word “Herbs.”
DON’T worry when your knife becomes stuck in your butternut squash as there are several techniques in knife extraction. I have found that wrestling with the butternut squash and knife, pretending I am roping a calf in a rodeo event, to be quite effective, but the rock and wiggle technique, much like how you rock and wiggle to get your car unstuck when high centered in deep snow, works just as well. (Using two other knives to dig out the stuck knife tends to just result in THREE stuck knives.)
And lastly, DO feel free to not be concerned with exact measurements. Despite the fact that I have a serious fondness for measuring cups ( I have six sets, including my eagle set), I prefer to approach cooking with the same right-brained mindset I use in my running, except for when I am cooking rice.
So…happy cooking, my community of trampoline jumping women! I am off to figure out what to do with my newly harvested sunflower seeds…and find that ladder for Trampoline Jumping Women for 40-Year-Old Women, Instructional Video #3!
GL, 11/9/2010. Prevail.