Sookie's Bid-a-Basket 2.13 A-Tisket, A-Tasket




“Hey, what is wrong with you? I gave you all the signals. The pointing, the waving, the mouthing ‘That’s my basket.’ Didn’t you see the mouthing?” “Yes, I saw the mouthing.” “Well, why didn’t you bid?” “I don’t know. It just didn’t feel right.” “What are you talking about, it didn’t feel right? I made four kinds of pesto and three different desserts. Plus the entire basket is an edible pretzel with a goat cheese filling.” “Well, I hope Kirk enjoys it.”


*Note* Because there are many components, I have grouped the ingredients and directions together for ease of following along.


For the edible pretzel basket:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups lukewarm water

  • 2 packets of instant yeast (or 5 tsp)

  • 2 tbsps granulated sugar

  • 2 tbsps salt

  • 8 cups of flour

  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil

  • 2 cups of boiled water

  • 1 tbsp baking soda

  • 1 egg

  • Coarse salt

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, add the yeast to the water and stir to combine. Set aside and allow the yeast about five minutes to activate.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir to combine.

  3. Slowly add in the yeast a little at a time, mixing in between, using a dough hook or by hand if you don’t have a hook.

  4. Add the oil and mix until a smooth ball of dough forms.

  5. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise for about 1 ½ hours. The dough should double in size.

  6. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

  7. Keep the dough covered as you roll it out to shape so that it doesn’t dry out.

  8. There are 6 pieces to make the basket. Three 6x8 inch rectangles, two 6x6 inch squares, one 8 inch handle.

  9. For the 6x8 rectangles, roll out five strands of dough that are 9 inches long about ¼ thick inch. Then roll out seven strands of dough that are 7 inches long and about ¼ inch thick.

  10. Line the five strands out horizontally so that they form stripes on your workspace. Weave the seven strands vertically, alternating over and under with the horizontal strands to create a woven basket pattern (see picture below).

  11. Trim any excess so that the rectangle measures 6x8 inches.

  12. In a small bowl, mix together the boiled water and baking soda. Brush the mixture over the basket piece.

  13. Beat the egg in another small bowl and brush the egg wash over the basket piece. Sprinkle with coarse salt.

  14. Bake in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

  15. For the 6x6 inch square, roll out 12 6 inch strands. Lay out 6 horizontally, and weave the other 6 vertically to create a woven pattern.

  16. Brush the basket pieces with the baking soda and egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse salt.

  17. Bake in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

  18. For the basket handle, roll out three 8 inch strands. Press the top of the strands together. Then braid the three strands all the way down to create one braid.

  19. Wrap the bottom of a small oven-safe bowl with foil and set upside down on a baking sheet. Drape the braid over the bottom of the bowl.

  20. Bake in the oven at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.

  21. Allow all the basket pieces to cool completely.

  22. Assemble your basket by inserting toothpicks on the edges of the basket pieces. Two of the 6x8 in pieces will be two opposite sides and the 6x6 in squares will be the other opposite sides.

  23. You will create a rectangle frame if you place the pieces together.

  24. Place the goat cheese filling (recipe below) in a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe along the seams of the basket to hide the toothpicks and any gaps.

  25. Lay your remaining 6x8 in piece on a flat surface and place the frame over it to create the bottom of the basket. It should fit snugly around the 6x8 in piece.

  26. Attach the handle by inserting a toothpick in each end of the handle and attaching it to two edges of the basket. Pipe more of the cream cheese filling along the edges of the handle.

For the goat cheese filling:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup goat cheese

  • 2 oz cream cheese

  • 1 ½ tbsps heavy cream

  • 1 ½ tsp honey

  • ¼ tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until combined and smooth.

For the raspberry pineapple chutney*:

* In the show, Sookie technically makes a cranberry pineapple chutney. However, when I wrote everything down, I wrote that it was raspberry and proceeded to create a recipe for a raspberry chutney instead. Cranberries are also out of season, so raspberry was a little easier

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • Half a red onion, diced

  • 1 ½ cups raspberries

  • 1 cup pineapple, chopped into small chunks

  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped into small pieces

  • ¼ cup honey

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • ½ tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 10-15 minutes until caramelized.

  2. Add the raspberries, pineapple, and peppers. Continue to cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the honey, vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.

  4. Add to a food processor or a blender and lightly pulse to break down the pineapple. But do not blend until smooth, keep small chunks for texture.

  5. Allow to completely cool before enjoying.

Raspberry Pineapple Chutney

For the classic basil pesto:

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups fresh basil leaves

  • ½ cup baby spinach

  • ½ cup Parmesan-Reggiano

  • ⅓ cup pine nuts

  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice

  • ½ cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. Add the basil, spinach, cheese, pine nuts, garlic, and salt to a food processor. Pulse until a thick paste forms.

  2. Add the lemon juice and slowly add in the olive oil. Blend until smooth.

Classic Basil Pesto

For the cashew truffle pesto:

  • ⅓ cup fresh parsley

  • ⅔ cup cashews

  • ¼ cup pine nuts

  • ⅓ cup parmigiano reggiano cheese

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 1 tbsp truffle oil

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Add the parsley, cashews, pine nuts, and cheese to a food processor. Pulse until a thick paste forms

  2. Slowly add in both oils and blend until smooth.

  3. Season with salt and pepper.

Truffle and Cashew Pesto

For the red pesto:

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup fresh basil

  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts

  • ⅓ cup parmigiano reggiano cheese

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Add the basil, tomatoes, garlic, nuts, and cheese into a food processor. Pulse until a thick paste forms

  2. Slowly add in the oil and blend until smooth.

  3. Season with salt and pepper.

Red Pesto

For the yellow pepper pesto:

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow bell pepper

  • ¼ cup fresh parsley

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • ¾ cup walnuts, chopped

  • ¼ cup pine nuts

  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese

  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • ½ tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

  2. Roast bell pepper for 20 minutes, flipping halfway, at 400 F.

  3. Allow the pepper to cool enough until you can handle it. Pull off as much of the skin as you can, but it’s okay if you can’t get it all.

  4. Roughly chop the pepper before adding to a food processor.

  5. Add the parsley, garlic, walnuts, pine nuts, cheese, and vinegar to the food processor and pulse until a thick paste forms.

  6. Add in the lemon juice and olive oil and blend until smooth.

  7. Season with salt.

Yellow Pepper Pesto

Okay, this one might go down as one of my proudest accomplishments. When I first decided that I wanted to try to cook my way through Gilmore Girls, this was an episode that stood out in my mind. Sookie’s edible basket made entirely out of pretzel is a very memorable dish from the show. It’s the dish in which Sookie and Jackson get engaged over. At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to just make pretzels inspired by her basket or attempt to actually make the basket. I decided to challenge myself because after all, that’s what this blog is all about. I studied different homemade soft pretzel recipes and figured out the basic process. Then I had to figure out how to engineer the thing.

I decided to go with a simple weaving pattern and nothing too large. I didn’t actually have to fit all the contents of the basket in mine, so there was some pressure off there. I grabbed a tape measure and went to work. An important step of pretzel making is submerging the raw pretzel into boiling water with baking soda. This gives the pretzel its crisp outer texture and chewy center. However, when I dunked my first woven piece into a large pot of water, it completely fell apart. I decided it was easier to brush the baking soda water over the woven dough to help it keep its shape.


I added this as a note above, but if you’re here for the musings, I’ll explain it here too. When I decide what I’m making for the episode, I usually just have it on in the background while I’m doing other things and I make note of any food that’s mentioned. When I listened to this episode, I thought Jackson said that Sookie made a raspberry pineapple chutney, but she actually makes a cranberry one. I went about planning and making a raspberry chutney. It wasn’t until I was watching the episode again to see what her pretzel basket looked like when I realized it was in fact cranberry. Normally, I would have panicked and been so mad at myself, but I decided to go with the flow and just keep the raspberry instead. I actually don’t like pineapple, but it pairs really well with the raspberries and there are enough flavors in the chutney that it’s not overpowering.

Four different types of pesto!

Now onto the pestos. Coming up with four distinct pesto recipes was challenging, albeit fun. I absolutely love a classic pesto alla genovese as I mentioned in my love of sauces in my first post. So that was a given. I was inspired by Trader Joe’s black truffle cashew pesto that I found when getting ingredients for my December charcuterie board (I’ve been making them about once a month). So I wanted to try to put together a pesto with similar flavors. In researching pesto, I learned that red pesto is from Sicily and is called Pesto alla siciliana. Sun-dried tomatoes are what give it the beautiful red color. Pesto alla calabrese comes from Calabria, Italy and uses grilled bell peppers which is what I used for my yellow pesto.


Alright, let’s dive into the episode. As Lorelai says in AYITL, the bid-a-basket was part of her early romance with Luke. I absolutely love how she forces him to pay for her basket just so that she’s not forced to go on a date with one of the men Miss Patty tried to set her up with. And luckily, Luke brought food so they wouldn’t have to eat two stale pop-tarts and a slim Jim. But the real couple of this episode is Sookie and Jackson.

Use the goat cheese filling to hide the seams.

They are one of my favorite couples on this show. Jackson tries to see if Sookie wants him to move in with her because his lease is up, but he doesn’t ask her outright and she doesn’t realize. So in his stubbornness, he doesn’t bid on her basket. I’m sorry, but the time and effort it takes to construct a basket entirely out of pretzel, I would be SO MAD at Jackson. Luckily, they’re able to reconcile and Jackson proposes in such a cute way.


And then, of course, we have Jess outbidding Dean for Rory’s basket. Though I think Rory strung Dean along for way too long and this scene obviously really hurt him, I do think it makes for a good plot. Jess only participates in the weird town traditions because he wants to get Rory, which I like about him. Dean should have realized then and there that it was over for him and Rory because she was so set on following the rules of the event and going on a date with Jess. Even though in the previous episode, he gave her a car. But no Dean and Rory drag on for another 16 episodes.


Overall, A-Tisket, A-Tasket is one of my favorite episodes. I wish we could have seen what some of the other ladies of Stars Hollow put in their baskets like Babette and Miss Patty. What would be in your basket? Let me know below.


Happy Cooking!

Perfect for a spring picnic!

If you missed what I made last episode, catch up here!

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I'm currently cooking my way through Gilmore Girls one episode at a time. I appreciate your support of my journey!

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