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A few days ago, I made moussaka of the Gods, the labor-intensive recipe for which I shall post below, in a desire to share with you, friends in the computer, something other than a litany of my ongoing physical woes. To wit:

4 cloves of garlic
2 shallots or 1 onion
3-4 aubergines (sliced)
800 grams of minced meat
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
tomato puree
a few potatoes (sliced)
1 cinnammon stick
a pinch of cumin
salt, pepper, and oregano to taste
red wine
olive oil
sour cream
double cream
grated cheese

Chop the garlic and the shallots and proceed to gently fry in about 2 tbsp of olive oil, until softened. Add one tin of tomatoes, stir, leave in peace for 5-10 minutes. Add the mince, the other tin of tomatoes, a spoonful of tomato puree, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin and a cinnammon stick, pour in a glass of wine and let it simmer uncovered for about 1.5 hours.

In the meantime, take the sliced aubergines (I salted mine and left them to soak in water I changed every few hours, as Z's (possibly fictional) method for making them release bitterness and absorb less oil in cooking; the effectiveness of this is hypothetical and possibly imaginary)and fry in some olive oil, pressing down firmly on them with a spatula until both sides are golden and aubergines have released some of their liquids. Arrange these semi-cooked slices on the bottom of a baking dish, cover with a layer of mince, cover with a layer of aubergines and then another layer of mince. If this is your top layer, cover with sour cream, then cover with potatoes. You could top with a layer of aubergines instead, but in deference to Matei (who despises anything aubergine-related I used the sliced potatoes (which I also fried, for a few minutes) as the top layer.

Then I poured double cream over everything, scattered with grated mozzarella and stuck in the oven pre-heated to 190C for 25-30 minutes.

The resulting dish was a runaway gastronomic success. So much so, that it ended up being the subject of fierce and covert battle, in which my desire to keep some for myself (especially as I had been unwell the day I made it, and consequently only had a few forkfuls - enough to establish the moussaka's divinity, but not enough to appease the craving) was pitted directly against their desire to eat as much of it as possible, leading to complex games of moves and countermoves.

The crux of the final battle came last night - when coming home from a long-day of improvised coursework (one of the supervisors convened us at her house, in the absence of actual available academic premises) to find that the single piece I had taken from myself, and put in a plastic container and hidden at the back of the fridge behind a barricade of seldom-used and dubious sauces and products had been routed from its hiding place. I had just stopped short of plastering the tupperware with threatening messages to thieves, and my family had called my bluff and descended upon the delicious, unprotected thing like locusts until the last crumb had been swept away.

Coming home after a protracted tussle with the cold, inhospitable bus drivers and the North Circular, my heart sank upon sighting the clean empty gleam of the tupperware container that had held my very own beloved moussaka slice. Truly, never had I been so saddened by the sight of a washed dish, nor so depressed to hear a kin's account of praise for the dish they had just purloined enjoyed.

I would like to say that my better nature at this point shrugged sunnily and said something like: "Your delight is dearer to me than my own", but doubtlessly thanks to the exposures of corrupting influences of feminism I did no such thing. There might have been gnashing of teeth, and wringing of hands, and a solliloquy of long lament. Because while my nature IS largely composed of puppies and kittens and rainbows and unicorns, my darker nature is directly wired to my stomach and activated by Crimes and Misdemeanours against Gastronomy and once active, instantly overrides the rest of the system plunging the whole thing from Sunniness into The Mother Of All Sulks.

Nevertheless, I am maturing and mellowing with age as I have:
a) refrained from leaving Z passive aggressive notes on the subject of "I hope you enjoyed starving your UNBORN CHILD"
b) from making a video on "Moussaka piracy is a CRIME- F.A.C.T." based on my beloved, and always-hysterical offerings from the Federation Against Copyright Theft .


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 22nd, 2010 10:15 am (UTC)
Argh! My mouth is watering! My eyes brim with tears of sympathy! You have made my entire face run.
Apr. 22nd, 2010 10:54 am (UTC)
We can now make dishes, seasoned with our tears.

(And if moussaka of divinity is something you can eat, I will gladly make it for you next time I lure you to my lair)
Apr. 22nd, 2010 10:56 am (UTC)
Oh god, that sounds great! A good moussaka is a thing of glory.
Apr. 22nd, 2010 12:17 pm (UTC)
That sounds delicious, you feminist whore. I have copied the recipe because I am currently Collecting such things in preparation for becoming a good housewife.
Apr. 22nd, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)
Your recipe-collection is laudable, although you should also be using your energies to make darling centerpieces out of glitter and wondering how best to leave your career.
Apr. 22nd, 2010 01:56 pm (UTC)
If I don't get something done, my own decisions on how to leave my career may well become irrelevant!
Apr. 22nd, 2010 12:35 pm (UTC)
D'you think that would work with Quorn mince, because I want to eat it now!

Your family now owes you, at the very very least, a day of lying in bed having regular meals brought to you on a tray.
Apr. 22nd, 2010 01:45 pm (UTC)
I think it should work with Quorn mince, although if I was making a vegetarian version of it, I would be mixing the mince with chopped olives and mushrooms for extra taste. (unless you have mushroom haters in your family).
Apr. 22nd, 2010 01:46 pm (UTC)
If there are any mushroom haters in my family, fuck 'em, I say.
Apr. 22nd, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
FWIW have you tried Realeat Vegemince? In my vegetarian days I vastly vastly preferred it to Quorn mince, and even the meat-eaters I knew seemed to like it when I used it.
Apr. 22nd, 2010 01:57 pm (UTC)
No, but I'll have a look for it. My husband is a total meat lover and eats Quorn just to be nice to me, so if there was a veggie mince that he'd actually enjoy that would be wonderful.

Thanks for the tip!
Apr. 22nd, 2010 02:26 pm (UTC)
No problemo. It'll be in the frozen foods section of wherever you go. Tesco definitely stocks it, but others may as well.

I swear I'm not a Realeat Vegemince mole.
Apr. 22nd, 2010 02:24 pm (UTC)
I'm sure it's lovely, but I agree with Matei on aubergine-related issues.
Apr. 24th, 2010 05:03 am (UTC)
(Although you could make the same recipe, substituting aubergines for sliced potatoes)
Apr. 23rd, 2010 09:12 am (UTC)
God that sounds delicious!
Apr. 24th, 2010 05:03 am (UTC)
Now I want to have a moussaka party for everybody!
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:14 pm (UTC)
It wasn't me!
Apr. 24th, 2010 05:04 am (UTC)
But your icon looks so gleeful!
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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