Monday, October 31, 2011

Feasts and Festivals: Halloween

According to Cattern Cakes and Lace, a cookbook I couldn't live without, Mash of Nine Sorts is a quintessential Halloween dish and was even used to determine who would be married next--the hostess's wedding ring was hidden in the Mash and whoever found it was next to be married. I don't relish the thought of cleaning mashed root vegetables (and cheese!) out of a diamond setting, so I skipped this part!


Mash of Nine Sorts

1 lb potatoes, peeled, halved if large
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 rutabaga, peeled and sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks, thinly sliced (white and lightest green part only)
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
2 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup)
2 ounces parmesan cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup)
salt
pepper

Preheat oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit. Boil potatoes, carrots, rutabaga and parsnips in well-salted water for about 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are very tender. Drain vegetables and return to pan. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat until foam starts to subside. Add leeks and sauté until leeks are soft and starting to brown.

Mash the vegetables and then stir in the leeks (and butter), green peas and half the cheese. Stir in salt and pepper to taste then spread mixture in a casserole and top with the remaining cheese. Bake in the middle of the oven 40 minutes, or until cheese is starting to brown.

Serves 4

Adapted from "Mash of Nine Sorts" in Julia Jones and Barbara Deer, Cattern Cakes and Lace: A Calendar of Feasts (London: Dorling Kindersley, 1987), 112.

If there are only two in your house (like mine), you can put half of the Mash of Nine Sorts (before baking) in an oven-proof refrigerator container for another dinner. I just put it in the oven while the oven comes up to temperature and then set the timer for 40 minutes.


Print at Food.com
*****

Speaking of cheesy and British--
You probably already know that I often use music as motivation to actually get into the kitchen (I enjoy eating a lot more than I enjoy cooking) and you probably already know about my abiding love for the music of Tom Jones. He's pretty cool, too. Paul and I were in the fifth row for one of his concerts and he was very funny and personable. Paul used to refuse to listen to his music, but after we went to the concert, Paul has become almost as big a Tom Jones fan as I am. (Don't tell him I told you!) In case you were wondering, I kept my underwear on. But there were panties thrown--just by women old enough to be my grandmother.

10 comments:

  1. Karen/SmallEarthVintageOctober 31, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    Looks like the ultimate comfort food!

    I saw Tom Jones in Vegas several years ago--and we were right up against the stage! It was insane. And yes, panties were thrown. (Not mine.)

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  2. Thank goodness you left your underwear on - I can still claim you! That Mash of Nine Sorts looks really yummy!

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  3. How interesting! This is my first visit to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier entries. I'm so glad I did that. You've created a great spot for your readers to visit and I really enjoyed the time I spent here. I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  4. mmm, sounds a bit liked cheesy baked bubble and squeek! I have never had this meal but, like everything I have ever seen here, it looks amazing and makes my mouth literally water. Tom Jones is a favorite, too! lovely playlist. happy halloween : )

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  5. mmm, sounds a bit liked cheesy baked bubble and squeek! I have never had this meal but, like everything I have ever seen here, it looks amazing and makes my mouth literally water. Tom Jones is a favorite, too! lovely playlist. happy halloween : )

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  6. Oh wow, this is perfect fall comfort food! Love the name, too.

    My husband is a Tom Jones fan, too! What a great playlist. I hope you had a fun Halloween!

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  7. Mmmmm - my kind of food! I like your tip about how to cook the second half next day. As a singleton I am always having things 2 or even 3 days in a row and your specific timing is very useful to a beginner like me. As soon as I have a little windfall I am going to buy a little extra freezer as the freezer compartment connected to my fridge is MINISCULE. I will be the queen of the freezer with stocks of grub to keep me going all year!

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  8. There you go - I have nvere heard of Mash of Nine Sorts before, but it sounds very tempting - various types of potatoes and cheese together cannot be bad!

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  9. Glad to help! I'm always having to either halve recipes or be sure I can heat up leftovers without a microwave since there are only two of us.

    I really love our big American freezer! We're even talking about getting a chest freezer at some point because people keep offering us whole deer and things like that, but they're a bit of an investment (and the whole space issue...).

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  10. I love a good panty shower and I love casseroles like this one. Deelish!

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