Thursday, May 19, 2016

Vegan (almost) pizza

 Cheap fancy mushrooms! 
 I got these free from the food pantry.  When there's an abundance of stuff they need to get rid of, they make it available to church members.  I thought these would make a good pizza crust. 
 Cheap healthy pasta sauce
 I sauteed mushrooms, onions, kale, and Italian seasoning to put on my pizza.  The kale was a mistake.  I won't do that next time.
I intended to go vegan, but when I was putting mozzarella on everyone else's pizzas, I couldn't help putting a little on mine.  Mine also has vegan parmesan cheese (which is even better than real parmesan, in my opinion) that I made by grinding 3/4 c. nuts (cashews and pecans this time) with 3 T. nutritional yeast, 1/4 t. garlic powder, and 1/4 t. salt.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


We studied Confucius in history, and then I gave the students their writing assignment: "Write down your own personal philosophy about what you believe is true, and the way you think people should live."  They were both a little put off at the idea of telling other people how to live (Sarah said, "If people want to know how to live, they should read the Bible, not listen to a 12-year-old girl.")

Noah wrote:
What is the meaning of life?  To be completely honest with you, no one really knows.  Are we here just to live out our existence, or are we here for a greater purpose?

The way I myself  live is to follow God and to serve others. That's what I believe is the way I'm called to live my own life.

As for others, I feel as only a 14-year-old, I have no place to tell you how to live.  I will respect you as a human being whether or not you agree with my opinions or not.  I don't care if you're gay or straight, Christian or any other religion, as we are all in the race of life as a team of an elite species.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

overnight oatmeal

My current favorite breakfast is overnight oatmeal.  Quick and easy to assemble the night before, portable if I need it to be, healthy, and tasty.  Sometimes I do cinnamon-blueberry, but the one below is one I just invented last night.  
The ingredients: 1 T. peanut butter powder (This stuff is a wonder!  Credit to my mom for introducing me to it.), dash of agave nectar, 1/2 cup oats (We volunteer at a food bank once a month, and the last time we worked there our job was to sort a semi load of damaged goods.  If the cans were dented but the food was intact, it was ok.  The seal was open on this container of oatmeal, so I asked the boss about it and he said to throw it away because a mouse could have contaminated it.  I asked him if I could take it take home instead.  I've been using it all week, and so mouse turds.), dash of salt, 1T. chocolate flavored protein powder, dash of vanilla, 1/2 C. vanilla flavored unsweetened almond milk.

This would probably look cute layered in a jar, but I'm not into cute so I just dumped it all into an empty sour cream container.  I notice now that the lid doesn't even match. I've never claimed to be Martha Stewart.
After sitting in the refrigerator all night and a quick stir the next morning, my breakfast is ready.  If you close your eyes and use your imagination, you can almost pretend it's cookie dough.  Well, not really, but it IS very good, considering the lack of butter, sugar, egg, etc.

The best and the worst

Literature is the best.  It was always my favorite subject in school, and it is a joy and a delight to teach, read, and discuss with my students.  They have deep insights and perspectives.  In today's class I asked them to make up a metaphor for the sky.  With very little effort, Noah spouted out a perfectly beautiful example of a metaphor:  "The sky is a canvas for all the clouds to paint."  

Then there's history.  I always hated that class throughout my career as a student, and now I still hate it as a teacher.  It's so boring and irrelevant.  Who cares whose empire defeated whose in what battle thousands of years ago?  I knew I would struggle with history, so I spent a lot of time researching a good curriculum.  The one I bought came highly recommended.  It has its good moments, but overall, I dread teaching it every day.  I tried not to let my attitude affect the students and did my best to feign enthusiasm for the subject, but it was a constant battle to keep them engaged.  Finally I admitted that it's boring to me too, but sometimes we have to listen respectfully to things we're not interested in, so it's a good practice to learn.  Since I confessed the truth, their own attitudes have been better about it.  

Some kid quotes

On the way home from church, Sarah was making some strange airy, spitty noises. I asked her if she was speaking in tongues, and she said, "No, I'm just trying to get something out of my mouth."

Noah was in the living room while I was finishing school with Sarah.  I was giving her spelling words, one of which was "announcement".  Noah appeared in the doorway looking eager.  I said, "What?" And he said, "What's the announcement?"

Noah busted Sarah drinking directly from the milk jug and told her not to do that.  She said, "What? Dad does it?"  Noah said, "Yes, well...Dad is not always the best sanitary role model."


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Pondering veganism

For the first four decades of my life, I hardly spent any time thinking about what I ate, but ever since I took this vegan cooking class, I've been thinking a lot about the moral issues of what I  eat.  I love animals more than the average person, and I don't want them to suffer, but isn't it ok to eat cheese made from milk that was obtained by a nice farmer who milked his non-suffering cow (as opposed to the dairy industry ripping calves away from their mothers)?  Do the farm chickens really mind sharing a few eggs with us?  Don't the bees make enough honey to feed their babies AND us?  Can I live without cheese?  I don't miss the meat (except bacon); it's the dairy that's killing me.  Cheese has always been my favorite food.  I love ice cream and butter.  I miss eggs too. Beans and vegetables are way down at the bottom of the list of things I'd choose to eat, but I've been eating lots of them for the last month.  

My poor family has been suffering while I'm trying to eat vegan.  It's very difficult and time consuming to make them a non-vegan meal after I've just spent a long time in the kitchen making my vegan meal, especially when I'd really rather eat theirs anyway.  Yesterday I made sauteed kale and butternut squash, which Mike and Sarah wouldn't try, and Noah tried but didn't like.  Last night, I was staring at vegan recipes on the internet when Noah appeared at my left ear and Sarah at my right, and they were whispering things like, "This is the Lord your God, who brought your ancestors out of slavery in Egypt.  Your kids want a roast beef sandwich.  Please take them to Jimmy Johns for lunch tomorrow."  Here's a picture of them pleading their cause to Mike:
This morning I woke up to a trail of messages:
 Some of my favorites:

So they're getting roast beef sandwiches for lunch, and I'm having leftover kale and squash with a side of beans.