The Keeper's Kitchen @ Anni
Author: Jaim al'Bearach
It's a sunny spring morning in Placerville CA. The TarValon.Net Anni crowd is arriving at the former home of the founder and current Koyn Amyrlin for four days of catching up with old friends, making new friends, games and tests of skill and strength, as well as sightseeing, fun, drinking and of course food. Food is always a big deal where Tower folk are concerned, because they are all hungry Aes Sedai, Warders, Accepted, Soldiers, Novices, Recruits, and Citizens! So the Keeper decided to make her thread from The Apartments on the boards a reality by setting up shop in the kitchen on site (for those who don't have access to The Apartments, the Keeper's thread there is called The Keeper's Kitchen). Of course the Keeper being the Keeper, she roped in some people to help her with the work. Everyone pitched in, the food was great, no one starved, and we even accounted for members with a gluten allergy.
So why this article you might ask? Well, simple. There were two things I specifically made with help from the Keeper over the weekend which folks seemed to like, and it all vanished. Seriously, it ALL went. Subsequent requests for more were turned down due to a lack of ingredients. However, some clever members (or should that be plotsy members?) asked for recipes. Being a nice Warder, I could hardly refuse their request. So below you'll find the recipes for two fun things to make at home, one sweet, one savory. Neither is good if you're on a diet or have gluten restrictions though.
Lets start with the sweets first! Why? Because Viviana Sedai likes her desserts first, that's why. Ask her, she'll tell you it's true!
Scottish Shortbread is what we are going to make - for several reasons:
- 1 The house Anni was held at had a Scottish theme, each room was named after a place in Scotland
- 2 I'm Scottish and I like shortbread!
- 3 It's delicious!
- 4 It's easy!!!!
Just follow the instructions below to make it.
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 Stick of unsalted Butter - Soft
- 1/4 Cup of Sugar
Just double the items for a larger batch - we did at Anni and had a large amount to bake.
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Cream sugar and butter together, add flour, and stir until it all comes together. It'll still be a little crumbly, and should be soft.
- Grease a baking sheet (or line with foil first for easy cleanup).
- Press out dough until evenly spread.
- Sprinkle with sugar on top as an optional sweet touch.
- Now, place in oven for 20-25 minutes. If you rolled it really thin, or cut into cookie shapes, less cooking time will be required. So keep an eye on it.
- Once the edges start to brown up, remove from oven and let it cool. Cut into squares or fingers and serve.
If you want to get really creative, try the following.
- Let shortbread cool.
- Meanwhile whisk up a batch of caramel.
- Pour caramel over shortbread and set aside to cool.
- Melt chocolate and pour over caramel. Set aside to cool.
- Cut into squares and you essentially have home made Twix.
The second item we made for folks was finger food that is very tasty and versatile. Its also a big favorite at the Mitten parties (that's what we call our local events in Michigan) and is reasonably easy to make - Warder Sausage!! Why is it called Warder Sausage? Well I'm a Warder and its my sausage. So I'll call it that - thank you very much!
- 2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
- 3 Sticks FROZEN unsalted butter
- 2lbs of your favorite sausage - I like breakfast sage sausage but any kind will do
- Pinch of Salt
- Water to bind
- 1 Egg for egg wash (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375F-400F depending on your oven!
- First we are going to make the puff pastry. Yes, puff pastry, we make our own, because we can!
- Add flour and a pinch of salt to a mixing bowl.
- Next grate the frozen butter into the flour. Watch your fingers here!
- Stir everything together and add just enough water until everything starts to come together.
- If the dough is super soft at this point, chill it down in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
- Flour your surface and grab a rolling pin.
- Cut the dough into 4 pieces.
- Form a ball with the first piece and start to roll out the dough into as close a rectangle as you can make.
- Once it's rolled fold the dough into thirds so you are creating layers of pastry - remember we want it to puff!
- Now roll it out one last time into a rectangle shape.
- Trim the ends and sides. You should be able to half the rolled dough down the center horizontally and have two long strips of dough waiting to be stuffed.
- Repeat these steps with the remaining three balls of dough. Try and keep the dough chilled until you use it.
- Next take a piece of the dough and some of the sausage and place the sausage in the middle of the dough.
- Fold the dough around the sausage and use some water or milk to seal the edge.
- Cut the long sausage roll into bite size pieces.
- Brush with egg wash for a nice golden brown color and set onto a greased baking sheet (line with foil for easy cleanup!)
- Place into oven at 375f-400F for between 17-20 minutes or golden brown and sausage is cooked through. Remove from baking sheet onto serving tray.
Sadly, there are no pictures of the Warder Sausage because it was all gone eaten before the Keeper had a chance to get her camera. However the Keeper did supply this image from the internet and it is a very good representation of what ours looked like.
Hopefully you will have fun making and eating these snacks. As I said, they are not healthy, but very tasty!
Yours in the light,
The Keepers Kitchen Minion
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