As you know, there was no joy in mudville as DC turned into mudville as well as waterville this Saturday. The skies opened Friday and just refused to stop raining until it became dark on Saturday. So there was no apple picking. If you heard the wailing coming from Capitol Hill, that was me having my apple picking thwarted. My friends and I did have a rain plan, which was to do a potluck at Auntie Em's and Uncle Phys. Undaunted, I did go to Eastern Market and get locally grown apples for the potluck but I wasn't so undaunted that I wanted to carry a half gallon of cider home with me in the rain. So no cider doughnuts. However, that's on my list. My goal is to make those puppies by the end of the year.
Disappointment aside, the rain plan turned into one of the best potlucks I've ever attended. People were really geared up for a fall potluck and I was impressed by the coherence of the menu. The starter was a basic crudite platter from Costco (Yay sugar snap peas!) along with a plate of cheese and bread (with a particularly lovely goat cheese). Em and Phys also made barley and mushroom casserole that was the definition of hearty. This may be disputed, but that casserole could give mac and cheese a some competition in the comfort food category. G-Squared brought warming squash and apple soup that fit perfectly with the fall menu. Continuing in the squash vein Stinkle provided a butternut squash lasagna that layered lasagna noodles with pureed butternut squash and a goat cheese/ricotta cheese mixture. This led to a discussion about creating the lasagna version of muffin tops. That is to say, Em and I agreed that the best part of a lasagna was the crusty sides that were all crunchy and carmelized. Could we invent a lasagne pan that only had crusty sides? For dessert S made pumpkin bread and I decided to be a little creative and make two apple crostadas (or gallettes as Phys pointed out). Is there a difference between a gallette and a crostada? This was supplemented with vanilla ice cream from the hosts' freezer. A great menu for the far reaching discussions about the DC housing market (DC law requires that every dinner party bemoan the inflated prices), pornography for straight women, and tips on quilting and knitting.
For those interested in making a crostada (or gallette):
Make filling for 1 apple pie. Roll your pie crust to disk that is 12-14 inches in diameter (and no thinner than 1/4 inch thick). Roll out onto a greased cookie sheet. Dump the filling into the middle of the rolled out crust, leaving a 3 inch border on every side. Fold the border onto the filling. You should have about four inches in diameter of filling exposed. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.