Saturday, December 02, 2006

Less dithering, more cheesecake!

And I'm not just saying that because the Man and I watched the third X-Men movie, either. What a waste of a Hugh Jackman movie. On the other hand, I think I said that about the second one, too. Hm.

It's been relatively quiet here at Chez Imperfect. Some snippets:

magid paid me a handsome cab fee: Oregon honey, amazingly scented with blackberry. Wow.

the Toddles picked up a new word: 'ap-puh,' meanig 'apple.' Of course.

the Man had his name put forwards for a beeeeg fency job at the Company. His chances of getting is are a bit questionable, somethign that not at all lessens his tension.

Feeling his tension, my neck and right shoulder spasmed, irritating the Man mightily.

I went to a focus group held by a major manufacturer of a product I care very little about. I pranced around giving opinions, for which I was given some cash and invited not to come back. Darn.

the Eldest is playing tic-tac-toe, Chaturanga and checkers and Monopoly and...just about anything else. And, he's playing by the rules, which is a rather new development. Hitherto, he played games but insisted on changing the rules to suit his plans. This game playing mania is apparently genetic, and he gets it from the Man. From me, he would get a long line of sore losers - an unfortunate mix. But so far, so good.

we had a lovely, quiet shabbat, with guests for lunch - one of our favorite doctors, who brought this economist guy who hangs around, plus the Eldest's intended bride (and her husband). Quiet, convival...although we talked doctor a lot. Do I not have other topics of conversation? Sigh. Maybe not.

We Made a Decision. After a meeting with the director of the Eldest's preschool, in which we discussed temperament and learning style and - especially - the practical aspects of food allergy and hemophilia in a school, we have decided to apply to the pluralist Jewish day school. The director, the Man and I agreed that irrespective of our preferences (we parents are not, after all, the ones going to the school) but with thought to our priorities (we parents are, after all, eating tuna to pay for the school), the pluralist school will suit the Eldest far better than the Orthodox day school.

So, now we fill out applications and financial aid forms. And try not to feel defensive. And have meetings - the director of admissions suggested that we meet with her, the kindergarten teachers, the phys ed teachers, principal, etc to evaluate how (and, alarmingly, if) the Eldest's various medical needs will be met. There's no ADA to invoke here, folks, so we're relying on good will and charm... Bless the director of the Eldest's preschool, who offered to attend this meeting herself, to help the new school understand how the old one manages it. Her presence will make an enormous difference!

But now, here is my latest creation: gluten-free, vegan cheesecake! It was delicious, and I'm astonished.
Vanilla, Vanilla, Vanilla, Vanilla, Vanilla, Va-Stop That Cheesecake

1 c. amaranth flour
1/2 c. soya powder (not flour, not granules - powder)
1/4 c. potato starch flour
1/4 c. brown rice flour
1 tsp guar gum
1 Tb baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 c. margarine
3/4 c. soy milk

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Combine dry ingredients in a food processor. Mix. Add margarine, pulsing until mixed. With blades whirring, dump in milk. Dough should form after 30 seconds or so.

Press dough into a pie pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool briefly before adding cheesecake mixture. Wash out food processor - you are going to need it for the cheesecake.

1 tub Tofutti cream cheese. (Note: this has small amounts of corn!)
2 Tb lemon juice
1/4 c. dried, shredded coconut (whir in food processor if necessary, to make finely shredded.)
1.5 tsp vanilla powder

Blend all in food processor. Pour into pie crust, bake at 375 F for about 20-22 minutes. Cheesecake will be slightly gelatinous when it comes out, and will firm up in the fridge.

1/2 jar raspberry jam (watch out for corn derivatives here)
1 punnet strawberries
1 punnet blueberries (mostly for backup)

Dump jam into a small pot, and heat. Jam will melt.

Meanwhile, wash the berries. Let them dry as much as you can, then arrange on top of the cheesecake. Give a few to small helpers. Once jam has melted, let it bubble briefly. Then take it off the stove and, using a pastry brush, paint berries with jam, glazing them.

Stick into refrigerator, uncovered, or serve at room temperature. Try not to have thirds, but enjoy it if you do.

Please note the red ribbon. World Aids Day passed us by on December 1st. 98% of the guys with hemophilia who used clotting proteins got HIV/AIDS during our AIDS crisis, from sheer ignorance, willful blindness and stubbornness on the parts of various parties, including the Red Cross (who was just offered a whopping fine for poor management of their blood supply - again). The tragedy was exquisite: this was the first generation of kids with hemophilia who grew up, got married, dreamed of kids...and got coinfected with AIDS and hep C.

But why do I speak of the AIDS Crisis, as if it's a thing over and done? It's not. 40 million people are living with AIDS right now, 2.3 million of them are children. In 2006, according to the UNAIDS annual report, 4.3 million people were infected. Nope, it's not over. Years from now, when I sit down to talk to the Eldest about drinking, drugs and (yes) sex, will this thing be gone?

Somehow, I doubt it. But then again, I'm a medical cynic.


mother in israel said...

My first comment got eaten again several days ago.

You didn't attend a focus group for a formula company, did you????

I'm glad you made a decision about school. I hope they will be cooperative about your medical needs and you can stop stressing about this.

mama o' the matrices said...

What on earth is happening to your comments?

formula company? Oh, no. It was a company specializing in transportation. Although I always fill out the formula company surveys, just to skew their data a bit.

And yes. The school we picked is the one most responsive (not entirely coincidentally) to all of the medical stuff. Stress officially over.

on this topic, anyway! (Can you tell I'm laughing at myself right now?)