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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cooking with Lulubell

I cook just a few times a year. There is no order or special time that this ocurrs. However, today, I was inspired by my mom's request for a vegan meal that she could make for my brother, David, and his family. My favorite cookbook is a tiny, tiny, book called Vegan a go-go! by Sarah Kramer. Inside this ity bitty book is a great recipe called, Classic Spinach Lasagna.  Notice the bottle of wine on the left of the photo. This is very helpful.

I had to dust off the food processer, that usually acts as a stand for me to balance my cell phone on when charging it. Next, I tried to get it to start. No luck. Ok, it had been months and months since it had actually been used for its intended purpose, but, geez, I was gettng cranky. Ron fiddled around with it and finally got the lid adjusted JUST RIGHT so it would blend up the mixutre.

Next, I sorted through our drawer of spices, pulling all of them out, to find the few needed for the recipe. Most of the items were hopelessly expired, but, I keep them around anyway. There is a long story there, but, I'll spare you the gory details.
Having successfully made the tofu mixture, I assembled the rest of the ingredients.

Noodles above are cooking while I am mixing. This makes me nervous because I can't do two things at once when it comes to cooking.

Here is the dish, just heading into the oven. I LOVE my oven. And,it will soon be joined by a NEW
matching refridgerator!!!! I think it cost more than Ron's first VW Bug (1965) and promises to make us happy for many, many years. Our galley kitchen is very tiny, requiring an extra expensive "counter" spaced refridgerator, not on sale like the others on the showroom floor. The oven, by the way, has convection features that the sales person swore I would love and use. Ok, 5 years later, I have yet to try this feature. We'll see about the water/ice dispenser that she promises we'll love in the new appliance. I don't think so, but, maybe this time she's right.

In case you want to try the Vegan Spinach Lasagna, here are the details:
1 pound firm tofu
1/4 cup vegan milk
1 tsp dried oregano
3 tsp dried basil
 1 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
4-6 cups tomato sauce
cooked lasagna noodles
2 cups vegan cheese. grated

Preheat oven to 350. With food processor, blend tofu, milk, oregano, basil, salt, lemon juice, garlic and onion together until mixture is like cottage cheese. Stir in spinach and set aside. cover bottom of lasagna pan with a thin layer of sauce, then layer of noodles. then 1/2 tofu mixture and 1/2 cup of cheese. Cover this with another layer of noodles, then sauce, then remaining tofu mixture, then cheese, then another layer of sauce. Add one more layer of noodles, then cover with remaining sauce and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 30-45 minutes and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

The perils of walking dogs

Doesn't it seem that walking the dog(s) would be a relaxing and generally stress-free experience? Not so fast. This morning, in my continuing effort to walk at least 45 minutes everyday, I headed out with Jack and Kate on our usual route-down our sidewalk, out the back gate, down the alley and around the corner to the park near our house. The around the corner part didn't go so well. Two German Shepherds spotted us from their living room window and then lunged through their front storm door to engage us in battle. I shrieked, Jack barked, Kate mixed it up and I knew we were in for a brawl. Screaming help, I tried to cross the street, dragging Kate and Jack with me while trying to fend off one of the Shepherds. I got as far as the porch steps when two neighbors both came bounding out of their homes to grab the dogs and lug them back into the owner's house. The owner didn't seem to be aware of the ruckus at all. Both neighbor guys were concerned and helped check that Kate was ok.'

We all got off pretty easy. I actually continued our walk, in a different direction, but was pretty rattled, thinking of dog mauling stories and our near miss. Two years ago, while walking Jack and Louie, Ron and I encountered an older dog, not tethered in his yard, who started to follow us down the street, toward oncoming traffic. Concerned about the traffic, and trying to hold back Jack and Louie, I tripped over  my own feet and came crashing down on the sidewalk, dislocating one finger and pulling the ligaments of two other fingers. That mishap took 7 months of recovery.

I am also perfectly capable of slipping on acorns hidden under leaves, upright one minute and down the next. You might think the treadmill would be a better idea, but, recently, while adjusting the ipod and headphones while walking on the tread, I slipped and skidded to the end of the mat and skinned both knees big time.

Today, I walked a bit longer with the pups, then put them back safely inside and continued the walk alone, looking carefully at the uneven sidewalk, acorns, getting pelted by falling leaves from the wind and headed back to the porch for a soothing cup of tea.