When The Moon Hits Your Eye Like A Great Pizza Pie, That’s Amore

Today I’m thankful for vegan pizza.

Before thinking this sounds silly, imagine that you can’t ever again eat your favorite food.  Whatever the reason is, you can’t have any.  Ever.  I can’t eat any form of dairy.  I get very ill.  I miss pizza.  Pizza, being covered in cheese, dwells in the forbidden zone.  I sometimes imagine the savory, salty taste of dough covered in tomato sauce and cheese, and grumble, just a little.  Any toppings, except fish or mushrooms.  Even the heartburn after, knowing I’d thoroughly enjoyed myself.

I tried a few versions of making one myself, but I have no love for cooking and the result was consistently disappointing.  Consider then the actual joy I felt upon discovering my market carries multiple brands of vegan pizza.  I had choices!  Once every few weeks I’ll buy one, bring it home and bake it.  I’ll eat the whole damn thing.  They aren’t particularly large, and I’m very careful not to do so often.  The rest of my diet is disgustingly healthy.  It isn’t exactly the same as I remember, but my memory is probably idealized anyway.  It is similar enough, and tastes quite good in its own right.  I don’t have to live a pizza-free life anymore.

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So…

I’m allergic to dairy.  What happened at Christmas happened again about two weeks ago, and it was worse.  I haven’t been that sick in a very long time, even at Christmas.  I’ve been adjusting what I eat.  I haven’t even mourned the change.  I guess one way to make a large life change is to have a fever and not be able to swallow solid food for a week.  Works every time!

A Farewell To Cheese

It’s probably privileged, but today I’m thankful I have such a variety of meatless foods to enjoy.

I’ve mentioned I suffered an autoimmune issue around Christmas.  One of the things I learned as a result is that I’m allergic to some dairy products.  I’d happily consumed them to that point without any issues.  Now, I break out into hives (urticaria) and my throat swells.  I guess that life is always change.  I miss cheese very much.

I’ve been meatless for almost a year, for health and ethical reasons.  Given the new dairy issue I’m seriously considering veganism.  I’m fortunate that it’s simpler than it’s really ever been.  I’m not limited to sad “cheese” and wooden biscuits.  I’ve had a cheesecake for my birthday since I was five.  If I can’t have that anymore I damn well need to find a tasty alternative.  The search is on!

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Pot De What?

Today I’m thankful for fancy French desserts.

After choir rehearsal most weeks a group goes to a local French restaurant.  I can’t often go as I wake ludicrously early for work, and I just get home too late if I go with them.  This week I was finally able to join them.  The restaurant has an extensive selection of alcohol so most of my fellow singers ask for lager or wine.  I don’t consume alcohol but I don’t want to sit and appear bored.  I’ve learned that desserts are a workable option.  They’re small, relatively inexpensive and can be nursed for as long it takes the rest of our party to finish their wine.

This week the option was chocolate pot de crème.  It was wonderful.  The custardy bit (I’m not fluent in culinary French so am probably not using the correct terms) was dense and just a little bitter to balance out the cream.  It was deliciously rich so the small portion was more than enough.  I enjoyed making my mouth happy while spending time with people I like.  It was a pleasant evening.

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Getting My Caffeine Fix

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Today I’m thankful for tea.

I was a long time drinker of carbonated, caffeinated beverages.  I need the caffeine because of recurrent insomnia and I like the sensation of the bubbles.  Unfortunately my throat did not share my opinion.  The doctor said the bubbles have to go.  I get horrible migraines without caffeine so I needed to find an acceptable substitute.  I have never developed a taste for coffee.  Honestly, I hate the stuff.  Thankfully, I have always liked tea.  It has caffeine, all sorts of antioxidants and is good for inflammation.  I use honeyed tea when I have to sing.  I miss the bubbles but I prefer to have a throat and tea is just fine.

Schnitzel and Strudel and Spätzle

Today I’m thankful for strudel.

I am visiting family.  Traffic on the drive here was heavy and chaotic.  As soon as I arrived the news announced a number of new disasters that I’m not even sure how to deal with anymore.  The world is starting to feel a bit unreal.

We were all a little stressed so we went to a local Germanfest that happened to be going on.  Vendors were selling every sort of “-wurst” imaginable.  I went for the potato pancakes.  They were tasty but a bit small.  I was still hungry.  Then I saw the strudel tent.  They had cheese strudel!  I don’t eat meat but I love a good cheese.  The pastry was light and flaky but substantial enough to contain the cheese without crumbling.  The cheese was creamy and rich but not acidic.  The serving was generous.  It even made the polka music was more tolerable.

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