The elusive lasagna PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 April 2015 14:45


BY Christine Y. Guinacaran


My daughter, Tina, was just a very peaceful girl, until she received a package from Germany.

The package came from the aunt of her boyfriend, who took much fondness of her, together with her German husband, because, according to the husband, Tina always smiled, and as for the aunt, Tina, was a good cook.

And so one night, her boyfriend proudly brought a package to the house, with the inscription,  “ To Tina, I hope you will like everything here. Lots of love, Aunty Elsa.”

Inside, was a very big Nutella, which was received with much squeals of delight by the children, since it was everybody’s favorite, lots and lots of Earl Gray tea, coffees, gummies, two boxes of lasagna and many more.

But it was the lasagna which had a specific instruction from the aunt, “Bake it, and send me the photo in Facebook.”

Then, my daughter promptly messaged her thanks, and added, that she was very excited to bake the lasagna, and indeed, would send her the picture right away.

The following day, Tina studied the procedure and realized that the instructions were not easy to understand. Whether the lasagna should be pre-boiled (like an ordinary spaghetti pasta), or not, was not mentioned in the box. The instructions just said arrange the pasta. Tina’s concern was if the lasagna would come out hard and toasted after the fillings have been cooked.

Also, the spices were all in German, and she and my sister, had to consult other recipe books for this. There was also an ingredient of wine, “Can that be substituted”, Tina wondered. Should she buy the expensive wine or just any wine. And will it not give a different smell if she used the cheap wine?

After understanding some of its mysteries, Tina decided to cook the lasagna, the following night.  I promptly invited my sister, who would not refuse any cooking of her nieces or nephews.

When my sister’s friend invited her to the birthday party of her son, she  declined, in silent favor of  the lasagna.

Tina came home that night, looking tired with  all the things she needed.

My sister also arrived with five long French bread, as her contribution for the supper. Then it was black out. The lasagna could not be cooked without the electric oven. So we decided to buy broiled fish outside, to the great disappointment of the younger kids. Anyway, the supper was had, and we drank the Earl Gray, with the gummies afterwards.

The following day, Tina started early but took long in converting the measurements. She had to do a lot of computations to get the accurate measurement. The procedure was more difficult than it seemed.

When the ground beef and other things for the lasagna was done, she arranged all the ingredients in two baking pans, then it was blackout again. The five French bread was still hanging very lonely,at the kitchen window.

We were about to buy broiled fish again, when my husband decided to give the very old, dusty gas-oven a try.

And glory be! It gave a spark and lighted, and continued lighting, till the lasagna was cooked. It was a very flavorful piece of work and very pretty too!

Tina discovered that you had to put the sauce over the lasagna,so that it will absorb some of its moisture while cooking.  The result is just enough softness without being soggy.

And now, the picture of the lasagna has been sent to the aunt, with all of us smiling at the background in gratefulness of her thoughtfulness, even if it did give Tina  momentary stress.