Friday, May 2, 2008

Pizza, Potatoes, Pistachios, Planes, and Painting

I had leftover vegan feta from the Turkish Baked Noodles the other day and decided it would make good pizza topping. I didn't have much time so I just used a Vicolo cornmeal crust from the freezer, some leftover crushed tomatoes (I added some Italian spices, minced garlic, nutritional yeast), Kalamata olives, and garlic bread topping. It was really good and I might even make the vegan feta just for pizza. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer so we get inside later and later, pizza will be on the menu more and more. It is quick, easy, and filling. The kids are eating so much now, we need to make three pizzas instead of two.

We soaked a bunch of canelli beans the other day because I was eying Vegan Planet's Pistachio-Dusted Saffron Potatoes (if the title alone doesn't get you rushing to make this, then let me tell you to make this now!). I highly suggest this dish for people who enjoyed scalloped potatoes in pre-vegan days. It was way better than what I remembered eating as a kid and easy to make. I needed to use up all the beans so I quickly made Tuscan White Beans with Garlic and Sage from Vegan Planet as a side dish (canelli bean heavy meal, but really good). Parker suggested we add Kalamata olives to the Tuscan White Beans with Garlic and Sage and it was a good addition. The peas and carrots and fresh organic strawberries added some much needed color to the meal.

Here are some pictures from our recent homeschool tour of Fightstar. Parker took all the pictures and the boys would now like me to buy our own private eight-seater plane. I have to admit, even I was impressed with the plane we took a tour of and I can see why people wouldn't want to fly on commercial airlines...the pillows alone were worth the admission. Of course, we discussed the environmental impact of flying on the way home and they were over their obsession, but the tour was still very cool. We were able to watch several planes take off and land very close up and the pilots even waved to the group of kids which was fun. It did remind me of why I am glad not to live so close to the airport now...the noise and thinking of the fumes was enough for one day. The boys were impressed with the firetrucks used in case of a plane fire as much as the planes themselves. The guy giving a tour asked the kids if they would rather be a pilot or a fire fighter...the answers were mixed. They showed us the pilot's home away from home in the Flightstar building and it has a huge TV in the middle of the room. My boys said later that didn't seem like home because of the TV (we are TV-free) and no books. It was a nice tour and I am so thankful to our local HOUSE group for organizing it. Note to self, when going on tours, make sure the kids are well fed and rested. Dema enjoyed it, but was about to melt down from hunger, heat, and having too much fun that morning at his friend Ethan's house. Dema was also very disappointed that he didn't actually get to fly anywhere while Parker told him about his flight to Arizona to see our friends Buzz and Dave while I was pregnant with Josie. This did not help Dema's mood. He doesn't like to be left out of anything. Josie was pretty unimpressed and just wanted to nurse everywhere, but I'm glad we went.

Lastly, I thought I would share some of what Parker's homeschool art class has been up to. Lori, the woman with way more patience than I possess who teaches the class, is great about including Dema too when he wants to be included and isn't trying to fall into the creek. Parker made this painting when they were asked to draw something they saw in nature. I think it is funny that he decided to draw the sign and then I realized it was probably because the rest of "nature" is too daunting to take just a portion of what you see and draw/paint it. I think we will work on this through the week.

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