Cynthia (csakuras) wrote,

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Redwall Cooking Challenge: Part 1!

So back in March, I got The Redwall Cookbook, and to honor the passing of Brian Jacques and the influence his books had on my childhood, I decided to spend this year cooking most of the foods in this book.

Conveniently, the recipes are separated into seasons, so I started off with the Spring recipes. Though, I also skipped ahead and did one Winter recipe, and now I'm starting on Summer, so there's one Summer recipe at the end of this post.

Hare's Pawspring Vegetable Soup (Made on March 5, 2011)

One thing I realized while flipping through this book is that most of the foods are vegetarian. Of course, that would make sense, since they're being cooked and eaten by peaceful woodland creatures. But this meant that we'd have to cook some sort of meat side dish to have a completely balanced meal. Here, we ate chicken kabob and a French baguette with our vegetable soup.

The soup itself was simply delicious. Seriously, my mouth is watering just remembering it. :O Very flavorful and healthy. And it was my first time using tomato paste and vegetable bouillon cubes, so that was interesting. Overall, a very encouraging first dish!

Rating: Delicious! Would definitely make this again!

Crispy Cheese'n'Onion Hogbake (Made on March 13, 2011)

This turned out to be sort of like a cheese and onion casserole. What I found interesting about it was that it had cornflakes sprinkled on top, which added a nice crunch to it. (The recipe also called for tomato slices on top, but I don't like tomato slices.)

It tasted good, but I didn't feel very healthy eating it. ^^; I mean, it's mostly just cheese and onions, so...

Rating: Good, but I don't know if I'd ever make this again.

Vegetable Casserole a la Foremole (Made on March 20, 2011)

And here, for the first time, the recipe called for leeks. I would soon learn that leeks are a common ingredient in this book. The thing about leeks is that they're delicious when cooked, but preparing them is a pain (they seem to always be covered in dirt, so I have to keep peeling and washing) and a waste (I end up throwing over half of them away because those parts are dirty or uneatable).

I probably should have cut the potatoes smaller, and I wasn't sure what the recipe meant by "arrange the vegetables in alternate layers" so I might have done that wrong. :/ Anyway, I ate it with Italian sausage, and it tasted good (I especially liked the breadcrumbs and cheese on top!), but ugh...leeks...

Rating: Good, but I don't know if I'd ever make this again.

Shrimp'n'Hotroot Soup (Made on March 27, 2011)

And here I skipped ahead to a Winter recipe, because I needed to use up the remaining vegetable stock (that I bought for the vegetable casserole) before the end of the week. It was also a pretty cold day, so that worked out.

This soup was looking pretty damn good until I added the shrimp. I don't like shrimp. :( But it wouldn't be Shrimp'n'Hotroot Soup without shrimp, so I figured I'd make it mainly for my mom. I ate some of it too, avoiding the shrimp, and I liked how it was creamy and slightly spicy, but it still had a shrimpy flavor that I couldn't ignore.

My mom, though? She loved it! I told her it was an otter specialty and she was like, "Those otters have good taste!" XD

Rating: Not my thing, but I would make it again for mom.

Gourmet Garrison Grilled Leeks (Made on April 10, 2011)

Ugh, leeks. Again, they taste good, but are a pain to prepare.

Also, I had to buy an entire jar of Dijon mustard just to use only 2 teaspoons of it here. But that's okay, I'll keep using it on sandwiches until it runs out. I'm still trying to find a use for all the remaining Parmesan cheese though...

Rating: Good, but I don't know if I'd ever make this again.

Spiced Gatehouse Tea Bread (Made on April 23, 2011)

I dunno if it's because I did something wrong, but I really didn't like how this turned out. We couldn't even get through half of it, and had to throw it out eventually. :( What a waste.

And I was actually really looking forward to this one, because the recipe called for tea, actual hot brewed tea, used as an ingredient. This sounded interesting at first, and the bread tasted like tea all right, but eh... My problem with it was that it was dry, kinda hard, and the spices were a bit strong. Maybe it's because I didn't use enough dried fruit? (The recipe called for 3 cups mixed dried fruit, but I only used like one and a half cups of raisins...)

Rating: Didn't really like it. Will not make this again.

Stuffed Springtide Mushrooms (Made on April 26, 2011)

Okay, I really didn't know what I was doing with this one. I wasn't sure if I picked the right kind of portobello mushroom (the ones I got were pretty big). I didn't know what the recipe meant by "wipe clean" (how much should I wipe before it's "clean"? should I take out all the black stuff??), and as a result I broke some parts of the mushrooms and created a mess. Also, the stuffing turned out pretty dry, and I'm not sure if it was meant to be like that or if I just messed up.

(It doesn't help that I'm kinda paranoid about mushrooms since I did that science project on molds and fungi when I was in middle, I kept thinking, "oh god this part is where all the spores come from, ew ew eww.") turned out pretty well? The mushrooms added some moisture to the stuffing while baking and it tasted good overall. Still, I'm not sure I want to go through all that again. ^^;

Rating: Good, but I don't know if I'd ever make this again.

Honeybaked Apples (Made on May 1, 2011)

Another one I was really looking forward to. This recipe suggested serving the apples with custard sauce, so the first thing I did was try making that (using a recipe from elsewhere in the book). Maybe I did something wrong though, because the result wasn't much like a "sauce," more like a lumpy pudding. But it still tasted heavenly, so we decided to use it.

The apples themselves were a bit tricky to prepare, since I had to core the apples, but not all the way (stopping half an inch short of the base, so the cores can be filled with raisins and honey). I managed to succeed with two out of the three apples, but one started leaking honey out of the bottom, so we had to plug it with tinfoil. >.>;

Anyway, the result was DELICIOUS! It tasted really...natural? It had sort of a warm, gentle sweetness. :9

Rating: Delicious! Would definitely make this again!

Afternoon Tea Scones with Strawberry Jam and Cream (Made on May 8, 2011)

And here I start on the Summer recipes. I actually was meaning to do Hotroot Sunsalad first, but mom said she was looking forward to the Afternoon Tea Scones, because it sounded like what we ate when we went to Dartmoor. And since it was Mother's Day, I decided to make this for her.

This was pretty simple to make, especially compared to Honey Scones (the only other kind of scones I'd ever made). We had a nice afternoon tea with them and it was quite delicious! :9 Also, the scent of baked scones lingered in the house for the rest of the day, and it smelled wonderful, ahaha.

Rating: Delicious! Would definitely make this again!

Recipes skipped from Spring:
-Abbot's Special Abbey Trifle (because I don't like raspberries)
-Hot Mint Tea (because mom doesn't like mint)

And that's it for now! I'll probably post the next part once I've gotten through the rest of the Summer recipes~
Tags: books, food, redwall

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