Today I decided to make Moussaka for the first time. We ate the most wonderful one in Kefalonia where our hotelier Stavos's Mamma made it. She seemed to spend most of her time in the kitchen so really I should have been warned.
I went for the vegetarian option with green lentils. I thought, 'oh it will be like making lasagne'.
Luckily, I thought I'd get a headstart and make it early to get it in the slow cooker before tackling the ever expanding Christmas To Do list. Thank goodness I did because it took me all ruddy day to make it. And I chose the recipe from an alleged 'easy' book which usually delivers on its promise. Unusually for me I had read the ingredient list and had everything, but I didn't read the instructions.
First: cook onions & garlic, add lentils, tomatoes & tasty stuff. Cook for ONE hour. Yep, failed to read this bit.
Second: slice & soak Aubergines (eggplant if any Northern Americans are reading) in salt for 3 minutes.
Third: peel potatoes & boil whole.
Fourth: chop mushrooms. skipped this stage as Tintin doesn't like them & I was bored by now.
Fifth: wash Aubergines, pat dry (harump) and fry the living daylights out of them.
Six: Are you still here?? Layer aubergines, lentil mix a couple of times.
Seven: slice potatoes on top. Oh what, they boiled into mush? Just wing it and pretend you can cut the moosh and attempt to get them on top.
I was soo p**d off by now, I was ready to pretend it was a casserole & serve it with rice. Sadly I had announced my intentions so had to soldier on.
Eight: melt mountain of butter with token smattering of flour.
Nine: Warm milk in yet another pan.
Ten: Add milk to butter melt. Forget to stir like crazy. Strain through sieve and start again. Stir like crazy.
Eleven: Realise this recipe doesn't put cheese in the sauce that I so adore. Its why I wanted to make it in the first place. Grate cheese and add it anyway.
Twelve: separate 2 Eggs. put whites aside to make peppermint creams with kids/husband to knock over side* (*delete as you see fit)
Thirteen: Still with me. Shhesh. I wasn't. At this stage I was getting seriously grumpy. Also Bini announces that she's poorly and starts being sick. Not in the kitchen I hasten to add. One less for dinner. Anyway, add the wretched eggs to the cooling sauce,
Fourteen: Pour the sauce on top of the moussaka and throw it in the oven in disgust.
Fifteen: Get husband to trudge through the snow to buy some garlic bread because I was fed up of cooking.
Sixteen: Go nuture ailing babe.
At this point for the first time in my ahem illustrious cooking career that I was hoping for negative reviews. I DO NOT WANT TO MAKE THIS AGAIN!