I'm writing from our little corner bedroom at the Presentation Center in Los Gatos, CA. The all-day drive here yesterday took us through "chains required" snow at the north end of the trip down along side loaded orange trees and acres upon acres of blooming plum orchards. What a trip! (he he..get it?)
It's been a steady light downpour (if there is such a thing) all day. It's much colder and wetter than I would have thought for around here. When you walk into any door from the outside and immediately look down, you'll see piles of umbrellas half-closed and upside down, wet. How do you spot and Oregonian in such a situation? She (and he) are the ones with no umbrellas. At home, if we carried an umbrella every time it rained, we'd never get anything done. We just do it - just step into it, duck our head a little and go.
Today was the first day of a three day plaster immersion class. It's always the same: I show a bucket load of techniques at the beginning of class. The students get all excited and lean at the edge of their seats all amped up to go try it them selves. When I finally do turn them loose to do whatever damage they are going to do....they sit or stand at their place at a worktable kind of in a stupor. Like, "What did she show us again? Where do I start? Who am I? What's my mother's maiden name?". It lasts just long enough for them to get nervous and I usually know right when that moment is and so I say "If you don't know what to do first, just start by smearing some plaster on a substrate".
"OH!! That's right!" they say, the "go" lever is cranked full throttle and the rest of the day becomes a flurry of experimentation. It's dang good fun. I love being a spectator to the sparking of ideas. Pistons are firing and there is no holding back. Three days for one class is SOOOOOO nice!! I am able to offer SO much more information at a much less frantic pace. It really makes all the difference in the world.
Speeaking of "world", which is a homophone to whirlled. Which is good when done to potatoes. Which are a starch. And so is rice. Which leads me to my FLF post for the week (though it's only hours away from being Saturday).
On Monday, Valentine's Day, we celebrated as we usually do with a family dinner of something special, a few decorations (two hot pink miniature rose plants and heart shaped red and pink twinkle lights) and, of course, candles. The littlest wild pony requested heart shaped pizza. I was not interested in ordering the grease laden heart shaped pepperoni pizza on special for the day at the local pizza parlor. Instead we opted for homemade pizzas. I was searching for a new crust recipe - I like to change things up a bit - and somehow ran across a rice crust recipe. I was intrigued because a) it used whole cooked rice and not rice flour and b) I had a pot full of leftover rice in the fridge. I love reinventing leftovers into DELICIOUS food rather than the "casserole surprises" or "hide it in the homemade bread" from my youth. (Mom, remember that last time I did a FLF post I told you how much I love you? I still do. But I still think that trying to hide leftover broccoli in a loaf or twelve of homemade bread is a dumb idea. The green cast is a dead giveaway.)
Anyway, so this crust recipe turned out to be RIGHT up my alley because:
1) It made crazyyummygood use of the leftover rice (organic brown basmati with a little white thrown in so the wild pony didn't feel like she was being subjected to proper nutrition on a holiday).
2) It used very few ingredients and all were staples.
3) It is totally alterable.
4) It was super fast and easy.
Here's how it goes:
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (if you are cooking it up fresh for this, let it cool a bit after it's done cooking.)
1 egg (thanks to my hens who are laying again)
2-4 Tbls. finely chopped onions
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded mozzerella (for a slightly crispier bottom to the crust)
freshly chopped garlic (yum!!)
Oregano or other savory seasonings.
Mix all this together and then press it into 6 inch circles on a cookie sheet. I recommend you lube it up a bit first with some oil or butter. The crusts kinda stuck to the pan. We pressed ours about 1/4 inch thick within a 6 inch heart shaped cookie cutter, gently pulled the cookie cutter off and we had adorable little heart shaped crusts. Bake the crusts for about 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Pull them out and top them as you would a pizza and then pop back in the oven until the toppings are cooked as much as you want.
We topped them off with varied combinations of Boboli pizza sauce or pesto with portabello mushrooms, feta cheese, some kale I'd found in the freezer, mozzerella, pepperoni (for the pony), pineapple (for the other pony), whole garlic cloves and kalamata olives. They were so savory and tasty!! I'm tempted to do a polenta-style version one of these days. It would be so good with an egg on top, breakfast style, eh?
So, now that we have a new recipe to add to the arsenal, it's time for me to go to bed. Theman has dozed off already. It's a big job chasing me around. He couldn't keep up if we wasn't made of light. Once, when the biggest wild pony was about 3 she blurted out one day in the car "MOM!! Dad's inner child is a bright blue battery!!"
Pure poetry. She's right.