I’ve been trying to cook. This is a scary thought.Posted: 2011-08-30
As most of you know, I just started my second year of community college. This semester, I have elected to cram all of my classes into two five-class days per week. I have five 1¼-hour classes, with fifteen minutes between most of my classes. Fortunately, I get a 45-minute break for lunch. However, I’ve had a bit of a problem knowing what to pack for lunch.
One thing that I’ve noticed is the fact that it is hard to find a good lunch for throwing into a bag with bags and a laptop. I don’t want to buy my lunch at the cafeteria, because it would get really expensive over the course of 32 visits in a semester. On the flip side, packing a sandwich is impractical because it gets squished by my books in a plastic bag, and a container takes up too much space in my already-crowded bag. In addition, it gets all melty and soggy after sitting for five hours. Also, I usually forget to make a sandwich until it’s just about time to go, which forces me to leave late.
Fortunately, I have a remedy for all this. Introducing the Lembas Pocket, my solution to my lunch problems. (Yes, I did shamelessly steal the name from J.R.R. Tolkien. So sue me.) The Lembas Pocket is a self-contained, solid-yet-flavorful alternative to a sandwich. I can make a bunch of them and freeze them, then throw a couple into my bag before I leave for class. At lunch, I can put them in the microwave to thaw out.
The basic design of the Lembas Pocket is as follows: A dough pouch, containing whatever filler I decide that I want to eat. I have had good success with peanut butter and jelly, cheeseburger (with browned meat, cheese, pickles, and ketchup), and just plain cheddar cheese. Eventually, when we have the ingredients available, I would like to try a pizza one and a yogurt one.
The recipe I used is posted below. I’ve only done this once, so all of this is naturally subject to change as I continue to develop it.
I should mention that the dough part was shamelessly ripped and slightly adapted from a recipe I found for pigs in a blanket. However, the overall idea was original to me, so I claim the rights to it. 🙂 Anywhere, here it is:
Prep time: ~20 minutes
Cook time: ~13 minutes
Total time: ~33 minutes
Yield: 24 pockets, or approximately one month’s worth of lunch.
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 3.5 tablespoons of butter, preferably melted
- 2/3 cups of milk
- Whatever you want for fillings.
- Preheat your oven to 400º Fahrenheit. Grease a cookie sheet or baking pan.
- Unceremoniously dump all of the ingredients into a bowl, and mix them together until the dough is of a relatively heterogeneous consistency.
- Throw some flour onto the table and knead it into the dough until it is no longer sticky.
- Roll the dough until it is pretty flat. Using a pizza cutter, scissors, knife, dwarven battle axe or any other sharp instrument you may happen to possess, cut out a two-inch by four-inch rectangle of dough.
- Put on whatever toppings according to the themes you have selected into the middle of one half of the square. Make sure that you leave enough room on the margins of the dough to allow yourself to pinch it shut. This is trickier than it sounds, and getting it right may take practice. Note: If you chose one that has one or more sauces (such as the ketchup in the cheeseburger one), make sure that you use a pretty good amount of it. The sauces tend to evaporate while baking.
- Fold the empty half of the dough rectangle over the one you just covered with the filling. Pinch the edges shut so that there is no place for the filling to escape.
- Arrange the pockets on the pan you prepared in Step 1. Bake them for 12-13 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.
- Take the tray out of the oven, and poke a couple of holes in the top of each pocket to let the hot air out.
- Put the Lembas Pockets in the freezer until you have need of them. Then take two out, pop them into a plastic bag, and toss them into your bag. When you’re ready to eat, you can enjoy them cold, or microwave them for thirty seconds or so.