Archive for March, 2013

Aspic aspects……..

March 24, 2013

Chef Skosh web

I know, I know…it sounds suspicious.  But it’s true, I swear.  heh.

Skosh and I share a birthday, which makes things a trifle hectic, or did until I decided that I would have no further birthdays, thank you very much.  We were both born on february first,  and usually planned very little except to do things for Skosh that pleased him.  This year we decided on a communal party, because Tad and Vlad were march babies some years back…many many years, since they are vampires, albeit vegan, and tend not to grow old and die.  None of them will tell us exactly when they were born, but one of these days I’ll get it out of Mina.  She gets a little goofy if she has too many virgin marys.

This year,  Skosh wanted a more hands (?) on approach to the party since his friends were being feted as well, so he decided to make something special for the vegan vamps:  a lovely, classy tomato aspic, and he wanted to make it from scratch, and he wanted to do it all, oh dear, himself.  Alone.  I have reservations about just exactly how classy an aspic is.  They bring to my mind a combination of Marcel Proust and middle-western pot luck suppers, held in the church basement, but that’s just me.  So. …Ah.  So.

Into the kitchen thundered my son Skosh,  armed to the fangs and neck ribbons with cookbooks, spatulas, molds, wooden spoons, whisks and all manner of culinary detritus that he thought he might possibly need.  I have found from long, trying experience that whatever you bring with you is exactly what you will never need, but I refuse to start Skosh off on his first cooking experience with my jaded commentary, so off he went.

“First,” he said, “I need to….ummm….ummmmmm…..MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!”

Right you are, and off we went to the local grocery store for aspic supplies, without which all the utensils in the world are as dross.  Those of you familiar with Skosh know how distracted he gets when faced with a seemingly limitless amount of comestibles, so this is an outing I was not looking forward to with any joy, but we seem to have made it through without much trouble.


We had what passes for a list with Skosh, since he works over it with tongue hanging out of mouth for hours and then either leaves it at home or ignores it completely when we get to the grocer’s.   the latter was to be my trial on this particular foray.   And I had thought it would be worry-free.  Foolproof.  When will I learn?

I trotted around uneasily behind Chef from aisle to aisle, granting inclusion to some items and putting the kibosh on others, sometimes with an overt threat attached.

“Fresh cilantro?   Kudos, Skosho!  Great idea!  That will make the tomato flavor pop with just the right…..Drano????  Are you out of your…Skosh!  I don’t care about the color of the container,  Drano is…SKOSH!!  PUT IT BACK  BEFORE I…” you get the idea.

At last we gathered the ingredients of choice and rooted around in the cupboards at home for whatever we had forgotten and finally the Grappling Gourmet was ready to put his piece de resistance together.  Alone.  By himself.

Over my dead body.  We’re talking my kitchen here.  Besides, he needed me (heheheheh)  to measure things for him since measuring spoons and cups do not meld well with large scaly claws, comely though said claws may be.  So.  Here I go with the gelatin that so fascinated my multicolored son and his ladyfriend, Heather, who insisted on helping with what should have been a simple salad, but when oh when has anything been simple in the land of Skosh and Heather?

1 ½ tablespoons of gelatin later, it was sitting calmly in a tablespoon of cold water and Skosh was grating onion.  Now then.  I have never heard anyone swear in Drago, so I wasn’t really sure what I was hearing, I did know that it was not intended for polite company  and yet I couldn’t reprimand my son because I had no idea what exactly it was that I was….but I digress.  (Can anyone out there translate ‘MnmnplplplHHHPH**9’ for me?)  Whatever it is,  it made Heather molt, just a little.

To avoid one of Heather’s signature panic attacks, I asked her to juice the lemons that I managed to talk Skosh into getting in place of the mango he originally insisted on and she fell to with a will.

Meanwhile, I chopped some fresh, fragrant celery and threw in the cilantro at the last, chopping both together to create culinary bliss.

We made our own tomato juice in the food processor, using homegrown tomatoes for the best flavor, and straining it several times to get all the seeds and skin out.  MMMMMM nom nom nom.  A little Worcestershire sauce, just a jot.  It was a little touch and go for awhile after we added all the ingredients together to get the decorative slices of tomato that Skosh had decided upon  to hold to the sides of the mold while we were pouring the aspic into it, which apparently called for more Dragonian swearing, but at last it was ready to go into the icebox to chill and set for a minimum of four hours.  With relief, I sent Heather and Skosh off to his room for a computer game, probably Kill and Dismember II, until the aspic was ready to remove from the mold, set on the plate with garnish, and cover to wait for the party the next day.

At last:  the moment arrived, and we gathered in the kitchen for the great Unveiling.  Out of the mold without incident the glorious masterpiece came (whew) and sat upon the party tray like a sultan…for about three minutes.  Skosh reached for it to admire it from all angles, and what I had thought to be an inanimate object stood up on its tiny but apparently strong legs, leapt into the air with a will of its own, and was off through the living room as if on wings.


Well.  After a little coaxing, it seems that the Drago cursing contained a little spell, erumum, mom, that is it was only a little one to make it easy to erumumum make it come out of the mold okay, it was umumum,  I read up and it was supposed to not be dangerous and gee no fire, see, none, erumumum….

Skossssssh.  Go. Get.  That. Infernal salad.  Now!!

Last I saw of my son, he and the aspic were playing a game of Antic Hay Tag out in the back yard, with the aspic winning two falls out of three.  Heather and I  are at present in my room, hunched over my laptop, drooling over off-price Prada bags.

A delightful way to spend the latter part of a rather messy and slightly magick (and not in a good way) afternoon.

I am so glad I thought ahead and made another aspic last night while all were safely in their beds.  A perfectly normal, quiet, legless and wingless aspic.  Life is good.

Posted by Susan. Find more Skosh stories at  Galerie Yggdrasil  our etsy store.