Tuesday, August 13, 2013

In which we make everything...

So...  You know how over the course of this blog we've documented how as a result of moving to the suburbs and into a township where the Subway doesn't even carry the veggie patty we subsequently began to cook for ourselves?

Well, recently we've been way too quick to order that no cheese pizza (damn you Doughboys for being so incredible!), or just go to Loving Hut when Gina is working in Robinson - which is pretty freaking often.

As a result, we poor.

The straw that broke the camel's back, (in a totally cruelty free way), was when I decided that I really needed to buy this piano:

My friend's Aunt was selling it for steal!  (Plus, it's super sweet. Gina loves to hear me play the theme songs to old video games which, to her infinite luck, I still remember how to play.  And play often.)

What happened was, the day of the piano's arrival was dawning and we came to the startling realization that we had maybe had one too many bowls of Pho at Loving Hut.  One too many slices of that insanely satisfying Doughboy's pie (I swear to God they bake crack into the crust you need it so much after you've tasted it.)  In short, we were in over our heads.

So, like the modern minded people we are we started texting solutions back and forth (we were at work) and what we finally came up with was this:

1) A drastic cut to the restaurant scene.
2) No more buying of things we can make ourselves unless on a very special occasion:
      (a) Tofurkey products (lunch meat, brats, actual tofurkeys)
      (b) breads (!!!!)
      (c) fake meats like Boca Burgers, seitan cutlets, etc...
3) a couple weeks of No-Internet-Purchasing (I'm referring to you, iTunes - you unworldly temptation after a beer or two...)

I tried to add a number (4) in which Gina sews me new jeans and I cobble new shoes for us but she drew the line.

This past friday night, as a result, we began simplifying.

We finally broke out that breadmaker we got as a wedding gift and Gina made two loaves of delicious bread.  A Rosemary('s baby) Bread, and an Oatmeal Bread.

Here's Rosemary Bread piping hot, coming out of the machine and still in the bread pan:

And here's she is in all her glory - and the bread too:

I dont have any pics of the Oatmeal bread.  Gina made it while I was hiking on Saturday (more on that later).

We then made chickpea cutlets from the Veganomicon, and veggie patties.  I forgot to photograph the cutlets, but you've seen those before.  The veggie patties turned out way better than I thought they would.  They were also from the veganomicon, but I baked them instead of frying them and they turned out really wonderfully firm.  Here they are in the oven, baking:

And here they are finished:

I thought they turned out really good.  Other one's we've tried turned out really mushy, but these were really firm.

We then put our stash of patties and cutlets into the freezer like so:

Once there, they became fast, inseparable friends with that bag of mustard greens, the box of leftover filo dough, and that blue topped tupperware container in which rest like 2 leftover pierogies.  We hear them all murmuring to one another in the dead of the night in a language that we do not understand.  It's unsettling.

Anyway, we've been living on them ever since.

As I mentioned, Saturday I got up bright an early, met up with a co-worker, and traveled to OHIO to hike at a lake called Mosquito Lake.

And let me tell you, never has a lake been more aptly named.

It was scenic as hell though.  Here's some nature for you:

It was a really nice hike, lots of mosquitoes though.  We had a good time.

Tonight for dinner we had Pasta e Fagioli (said:  Pasta Fazoooooool) and because I am just not the kinda guy who documents his every action in iPhone photos, I forgot to take a picture of it.  Wait up - I'll snap one right now, of the leftovers in the fridge:

Sorry.  It looked way better when it was in a bowl.

People in my family who see this will notice two things almost immediately.  (1) that I used the wrong type of pasta, and (2) that I used the wrong type of bean.

My family makes a very different version of Pasta e Fagioli, I've learned, than - like - the rest of the world.  Ours is elbow macaroni, kidney beans, and a marinara slightly different than our families spaghetti sauce recipe (yeah, I still cant make it as good as my Mom's.)

Historically, Pasta e Fagioli (which literally translates to pasta and beans) was peasant food (which is why Gina and I will now be living on this forever in addition to our chickpea cutlets and veggie patties).  And, most strikingly different than the way we make it is that if you order this in most Italian restaurants around here what you get it pretty much a soup.

I just did some extensive, exhausting research (wikipedia) and actually discovered that the consistency of the dish can vary in thickness.  It's not actually classified as a soup (at least in wikipedia).

Whatever, its awesome.

The version we made tonight - because I sure as hell wasn't buying anything else until we get paid - consisted of Quinoa Pasta Rotelli left over from before we were poor (we can just add that one right up there on the list of things never to enter the kitchen of our house before we moved in) and Cannellini beans (they're close to kidney beans, right?)

I thought it turned out pretty good.

More to come on all this.

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