Friday, October 14, 2011

Pizza Friday, Cashew Cheese, and Birthday Saturday

Pizza Friday -- again.  I have to say that compared to when we first (re)instituted pizza Friday we are much better at it.  Practice does improve things.  We generally get the pizza on the table by 6:00 (or earlier), and the kitchen is not destroyed at the end any more.  One thing that helps is I curb the ambition.  Liam prefers just cheese anyway (he also likes prosciutto, but we generally at least make the effort to eat veg when the vegan is in the house for dinner).  Mushrooms and olives work for the rest of us.  Fresh basil if it is around.  Garlic.  Pizza sauce from a jar.  It comes together quickly.  One must make the dough the morning of, or the night before, or buy it (unfrozen) at the store.  No messing around with dough making with the job is to get the pizza to the eaters.

The vegan makes cashew nut "cheese" which is so much better than it sounds, it really, really is. Also completely and totally healthy.  You should try it.

Gather up about 1 cup raw cashews (Raw; not roasted, not salted; this is an excuse to visit the food co-op in your town.), 1 cup water, 1-2 tablespoons food yeast (Another trip to the co-op!), 1/4 cup or a little bit more lemon juice, about 1/3 cup onion chopped fine, and a clove or two of garlic.  Put it all in a blender or a food processor.  Mix it up until it is really smooth.  As you mix, add enough more water so it will sort of pour out, like a thick sauce.  You don't want it too gloppy.  Sometimes basil is added.  That's it.  Spoon or drip it over your pizza and bake away as normal.  Don't use too much -- it's not real cheese for Pete's sake.  Liam's job is always to squeeze the lemons for the lemon juice. Let me know if you try this and what you think.  It also gets used on bean and rice "haystacks" around here.  Very versatile, that cashew nut cheese.

Now that pizza Friday is put away, I am deep in preparations for Birthday Saturday.  All four of Liam's grandparents have birthdays within about 8 weeks of each other.  End of September, mid-October, and then two early/mid-November.  And then we rest.  No, actually, we make Thanksgiving, but whatever.  This year we're combining the grandmothers' birthdays.  This means, because I am crazy, two homemade birthday cakes and three kinds of lasagna.  Yes.  I thought about it carefully and that's what I decided to do.   A progress report: two lasagnas are made and the fillings for the third are made but the sauce is not made and it is not assembled.  One cake is made but it is not frosted and the (Two!) kinds of frosting are not made.  The other cake is not started.  But, I have almost all the ingredients and with a quick trip to the store in the AM, I think I can bust it out.  Photos to follow, I hope.

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