Friday, August 20, 2010

you can think about Schlopp!

Hello there, cooking challenge fans! We're the newbies and we're totally excited that our first post is fictional food! We started out looking in the Dr. Seuss Cookbook I was given for inspiration. We got an idea and we're diving right in! But this is our first time, so please excuse us if our first post is a little SCHLOPPY!

It is well-known to the kiddos -- We love Dr. Seuss!
And that, when we're cooking, we like to cut loose.
The title page suggested Green Eggs and Ham,
But we rarely eat ham, as we rarely eat Spam.
We decided to find something grander to cook up.
Page 10 offered us a pretty good hook-up.
A dish that was sure to have popular backing,
But in this recipe, the schlopp-factor was lacking.
We said to ourselves, "Now, that won't QUITE do."
So we hope to make something EVEN BETTER for you!

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Granola schlopp definitely gets points for looking a great de

al like the one in the book, given the funny sideways shape of it and all, and I appreciate the cookbook's attempt to get kids eatin

g healthy. But really...granola is far from the gooey goodness that seems to slosh in the bowl. So we got to searching to really make it our own. And we came up with something zany and whimsical that is sure to make Dr. Seuss (and the rest

of us) happy. Ah, but first! The cake! (It does have to cool after all. And the hour is late.)

We're using the Better Homes and Gardens recipe for Yellow Cake. We've never made this one before, but I love their chocolate cake, so here it goes!

Ingredients (from left to right):

3/4 butter, 3 eggs, 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2-1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1-3/4 cups sugar, 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1-1/4 cups milk

We'll leave out all the boring instructions on how to mix the cake, (though it goes without saying that actually mixing the cake is not boring...) so we'll skip to everyone's favorite part. You wish you were here with us right now.

It seems a little thicker than Aldi box cake, but we remain hopeful. Homemade is supposed to

be better, after all.

Alright. Now on to the SCHLOPP! Now, the illustration looks like pure whipped cream. But that's not very inventive. And people don't sit and eat just whipped cream for dessert. (Though perhaps it could be argued that you should....) We wanted something to carry a similar texture that sounded more "schloppy." Maybe light, fluffy, and...gooey? After much searching online, we decided on banana marshmallow fluff. There are no reliable pictures of banana marshmallow fluff a la schlopp online, so we are gonna go ahead and claim to be the first. (Hopefully there is not a void of pictures for some good reason.)

Here are the ingredients, again, from left to right: 32 large marshmallows (1/2 lb.). 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 1/4 cup water, 1 diced banana, 2/3 cup whipping cream, 2 tbsp. lemon juice

Call it intuition, call it mis-reading the ingredient list

(and I'm only realizing this as I'm telling you about it),

but we went with a full pound of marshmallows and well-blended banana. Oh, well. I'm pretty happy that the recipe calls for whipped cream as an ingredient, since I've never made it before. (I'm a late-bloomer, alright?) Turns out it's insultingly easy. Turn on blender; turn off blender. I'm excited, anyway.

Pat says cooking the marshmallow mixture down will take FOREVER. As we're doing it, though, I'd say it's taking about 5 minutes. Not bad. Here are before, during, and after pictures of the marshmallow-cooking. Gooey? Yes!

The instructions say to chill this mixture "until set." We have no idea what the "chilled" version will look like and intend to use the extra whipping cream (since it's going so well) to add definition to our final schlopp shape. But I'm still curious if I can completely out-do the granola version and want to see about getting it into that strange shape on its own. Letting it chill in a plastic or rubber glove sounds like a good idea, but we realize we don't own any. Pat says he'll make a trip out for it, but I want to MacGuyver it. "I'll make something myself," I say, and grab a ziplock bag, scissors, and the sealer. Turns out, the sealer is too hot for ziplock bags. Wrong kind of gooey. Bummer.

So we set out to just get a good base shape that would fit in the container we went out and bought for the occasion. Perhaps it's because we accidentally doubled the main ingredient, but we have a LOT of fluff for experimentation! These three containers seemed able to fit down in the dish and yet stick out above it. (You have no idea how many failed attempts preceded these!) Quick! Take a poll in your house. Which container do you think we'll choose?

We're storing them lop-sided in the fridge to try to get the lop-sided shape in the picture. With that, Pat's retiring to the couch to wait, apparently. But look! He's falling asleep even as I'm writing about it! I guess it's time for everyone and everything to just chill. You can take a nap, too, if you want. We'll finish this up tomorrow.

Feeling well-rested, we're starting in on part II of this challenge: the assembly. We tested the chilled schlopp to make sure it was all "set" and ready to go. Yep, that looks pretty good.
And check out the texture! This is looking pretty promising....
Pat is doing a great job getting the schlopps (can it be plural?) out of their molds. Let's see. Which one do we think looks the schloppiest? Is it the coffee mug on the left, the measuring cup in the middle, or the Thai Smile take-home container on the right? (Sorry they're not more aligned for the picture. Pat says schlopp is really hard to transport.)

There's only one loser, really. But even it doesn't really lose because I'm voting for its shape. It's only losing because it's too small. I'm busy making the icing for the cake and we decided the schloppiest thing to do would be to plop one lop-sided thing on top of another. Pat's picking the two on the right. I still like the coffee mug one, but I'm busy.

Let's check in on me. I'm prepping the cake. I'm gonna make some variation (varied because I don't feel like getting my measuring things dirty again and don't have a full container of cream cheese) of the last cream cheese frosting recipe I've ever needed. I'm also tired of making photos of ingredients and you've probably made cream cheese frosting before. This recipe rocks! Anyway, it's time to cut the cake. There's the cream cheese frosting on my left. It's starting to be crunch time because it's naptime in our house. We realized that we needed help eating this and have invited an extra family with 4 kids over to help us in the eating. We told them to be here in 15 minutes.

And here are the cake and the naked schlopp before they are wed.

Now it's getting really hectic in the kitchen. We're about to see whether this really works and whether we can really get it assembled before naptime and before the invited-at-the-last-minute company arrives. And there's been an accident. I won't take a picture of that, because it was in the bathroom. (You're welcome.) But back to the action in the kitchen. Now, earlier in the week, I saw cotton candy on sale at Aldi. I thought, "Meh, it's not too expensive and the food challenge is gonna have to pass as a date for us, so I'll pay the 99 cents to send this over the top. So I did. And because of that, Pat also decided to whip up a strawberry-banana smoothie. Time's running really short, so there is no ingredient list for that. I didn't watch him at the blender. I'm pretty sure I had a mess to attend to, anyway. So, hurrying along, there's the icing sliding into the hole in the cake (which can only be done with your finger...schloppy...) and the fresh-whipped cream on top of...everything...and make sure to make the "fingers" sliding off the side and the straws and the cherries and, of course, the sweet pickles and there you have it: SCHLOPP!
And the company arrives as I'm putting the straws in place. Not too shabby, considering the accident. We all marvel at the beauty of the schlopp. I mean, it's really pretty amazing. The kids are totally stoked. It's so beautiful they're not sure they're even allowed to eat it. And we're using the word beautiful to describe it and then I realize that's the word Dr. Seuss himself had used! We've made it!!! This looks almost exactly like the picture. Let's sit everyone down at a table like in the book and see if I can get a picture of Pat carrying the schlopp to us like he's our waiter. That'll REALLY be over the top. (Okay...maybe REALLY over the top would've been Pat in a tuxedo delivering it to us, but this is South Central Muncie.) So he picks it up and I grab the camera.
And there you have it. A perfect ending for the schlopp. (Note how the smoothie is not actually spilling out of the inverted glass. Truly amazing.) Come on. We knew it had to end this way. We discuss it with our company and we all agree that it had to have ended this way in the book, too, foreshadowed by the teetering glass of cotton candy. Schloppy ending to a schloppy dessert. Perfect. But we have no idea what it tastes like. What if it's disgusting? We schloppily serve the bowls and it is eaten with spoons and fingers and straws and who knows what else. The kids knew exactly what to do with it.

And we all like it! D-Money, the father of the kids, keeps going on and on about how wonderfully perfect (and how much better than the granola idea) it is. So I say, "Can I just interview you about it?" And so here's what D-Money is saying about the Schlopp.

There you have it. It really was good. We were afraid of the Schlopp merely tasting like marshmallows, given that there were twice as many of them as were called for in the recipe, but the banana showed through nicely. We'd make it the exact same way next time. It was fluffy and a bit sticky and a bit gooey and not overwhelmingly sweet, but nice. If we had it to do over again, there are two things we would do differently. 1.) We would probably go with a different cake recipe next time, since the cake (as we predicted) turned out a little more dense than we'd like. 2.) We would make the Schlopp before making the cake, because it took well over an hour to chill. Overall, however, we couldn't be more pleased with our work. This is definitely a show-stopper to pull out in the future!

And now, our dear readers, our story is done.
Making this schlopp was certainly fun.
It's gooey and sticky and sweet finger-licky
And approved by the kiddos, both the young and the picky.
So if you're up for a challenge (and we know that you are,)
Take a stab at our Schlopp. It's the best by way far.
Schlopp! Schlopp! Beautiful Schlopp!
Beautiful Schlopp with a cherry on top!

1 comment:

  1. AMAZING! Great job, guys! It IS beautiful! And welcome to the challenge. :)