We’re back and swinging into Season 2! After a week of sick toddler plus sick mom, we have reason to celebrate. (Seriously, sheesh– this new baby better come out looking like Superman with all of the passive immunity I’ve given him!) The Gilmore Girls fandom also has reason to celebrate this week. It’s a good time to be a fan, isn’t it? The revival has been verified by Netflix, and every day has contained new news of returning cast. Stars Hollow is peopled again with its townies, and they are filming right. now. Surreal! The number of returning cast that have been confirmed is up to, like, 30 or so? By the time I post this, we’ll probably know even more. You think we are celebrating? Imagine the WB backlot right now– what a reunion! I’ve reason to believe that they have not yet filmed a new Friday Night Dinner, as Kelly Bishop revealed a few days ago in a fun interview that the elder Gilmore home was not yet ready for filming. Okay, now that I reread the article, I’m not sure where I got that info. My social media feeds are solely populated by Gilmore girls articles that I’ve been binge-reading with relish. But no worries– whether they’ve set the table or not, we sure have a lot of material to cover before those new and improved (?) dinners are shown to us.

A Literary Feast -- Roquefort puffs

Roquefort puffs!

A Literary Feast --Friday Night Dinner

(Forgive the Christmas table arrangement. I swear that’s the only holiday decor not yet put away! So not Emily Gilmore…)

Back to Season 2, episode 1, where Richard and Emily are ecstatic about Rory finishing in the top 3% of her class. What is Emily’s language of celebration? Food, of course! Tonight, Roquefort puffs. Next week, (still this episode for our purposes), a special dinner to celebrate Rory. And the menu? All about Rory– homemade Beefaroni and homemade Twinkies. What fun! It just so happens that we were invited to a potluck tapas dinner last Saturday, so I had the perfect opportunity to showcase my Roquefort puffs. Some recipes called for a puff pastry rolled with a mixture of Roquefort cheese and walnuts. The brief glance that we get of the puffs in the episode show them to look more like this recipe— sort of a cream puff idea with the Roquefort cheese mixed into the batter. I haven’t made cream puffs since my high school Home Ec. class (yes, we actually made cream puffs! Along with other fun things like baked Alaska, the perfect pie crust, almost a full wardrobe, and a paper mache giraffe. Our teacher rocked.) They came out puffy and just like a puff should… but bland. Imagine the cream puff without the cream. Not very inspiring. I was surprised that the recipe stopped there. So, I merely mixed up the remainder of the Roquefort cheese (a type of blue cheese) with some cream cheese and filled the puffs. Instant dinner party hit!

Rory’s special dinner included Emily’s insistence that she invite “some of her friends.” Rory chooses Dean, who has not yet met Richard, and has only met Emily on the night of the disastrous dance. Dean is cautious about entering the lion’s den, yet does it for Rory’s sake. Emily is frosty at first, but her ice seems to melt after a little cocktail hour beer “bit” that highlights the fact that Rory inherited at least a smidgin of her mother’s and grandmother’s quick wit. Richard, however, freezes over like an icy Connecticut road, and sets the tone for the dinner. Poor Rory may not have a taste for her favorite foods for quite a while. Homemade Beefaroni recipes are alive and well on Pinterest, yet Emily’s cryptic comment that the secret is “well, let’s just say it’s not beef” puts a twist on it for sure. What mystery meat… or non-meat… could she be referring to? Not wanting to get too exotic, shall we say, I took this basic Beefaroni recipe and subbed ground lamb for the ground beef. I’m sure that Emily wouldn’t have any qualms disclosing the fact that she used lamb, but knowing her, maybe she was just being cryptic to mess with the girls. Wouldn’t be the first time.

A Literary Feast -- beefaroni

Homemade Beefaroni (not beef)!

I sure do love a good one-pot meal. This recipe was easy and tasty, although I inadvertently made it too spicy for Chompers. Ah, well– another good meal gone to waste on the younger tastebuds. I’m not sure how it compares to the canned version of Beefaroni, but I’d put money on the fact that he’d eat that! Not much more to say about this entree. If you want an easy, weeknight meal that only dirties one pot and is *probably* kid-approved, this will fit the bill.

A Literary Feast -- twinkies

The Twinky-making process

But now for the fun part– dessert! We don’t do dessert much around here (okay, okay– that’s a lie. I almost always have ice cream in the freezer and it is Girl Scout cookie time…). Rephrasing–  I don’t often make dessert, and Chompers certainly doesn’t. This was a treat, then. He ate lunch while I mixed the batter, then got to lick the beaters for the very first time. No, he’s not excited or anything. 🙂

A Literary Feast -- licking the beaters

Licking the beaters virgin no longer!

Not having much practice with baking, I wasn’t sure how big to make the “Twinky boats.” Maybe just a tad too big? A whole cake mix fit into six of them. Six mother-of-all Twinkies. Not complaining. As I was making them, I contemplated whether or not I should have bought a box of Twinkies to compare, seeing as it’s been probably 25 years since I ate one. Not necessary! The homemade version (or mostly homemade, seeing as we used a cake mix) was Ah-may-zing. This would be a fun baking project with older kids, I think. If you want to try it out, I used this post for the recipe, and this post for instructions on making the Twinky boats. One caveat: if you don’t have them already, buy a freakin piping bag and tip. The ghetto method of a ziplock bag with a hole cut in the corner works for most undecorated things, but when you are trying to pipe into something to fill it, a little more pressure is required. Subsequently, my only disappointment with the homemade Twinkies was that they weren’t filled as completely as I would have liked. But who’s to say that you can’t also dip them into the leftover filling?

A Literary Feast -- twinkies

Homemade Twinkies!

Although the Gilmore celebration ended rather abruptly and coldly, due to Richard’s interrogation of poor Dean, we’ll see that the bridges being built between the two families have strong foundations that will be mended rather than burned… at least for now. Emily Gilmore is a smart dame. True, she can have her petty and vindictive moments, but in situations like these, she is the one to see the big picture and ensure that steps are being taken to attain long-range goals. Families are tricky things– lines of trust and communication take years to build, yet minutes to break. Fostering a habit of celebrating the little moments– like a good report card, or making it to Friday again– can help make the big moments, good or bad, easier to handle cohesively. It’s late and I’m starting to ramble a bit. Go read more Gilmore girls news and celebrate!