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Peggy Collins

1 Month Ago

Cooking Disasters And Flying Squirrels

So I got a new vegan cookbook for Christmas. I've tried a few recipes and had good luck with them.

Until last night.

I think I surpassed myself in the worst meal ever. I made a pizza from scratch.

Mistake #1: Bought yeast for the dough and decided to use buckwheat flour as well as all purpose flour. The crust tasted like a hockey puck. Or what I imagine a hockey puck tastes like.

Mistake #2: Tried to follow the recipe for vegan mozzarella cheese. It said to use tapioca starch to make the cheese gooey and stringy like mozza. They didn't have any tapioca starch at the grocery store but I found some tapioca pearls buried in our cupboard and ground them up. But the recipe called for a tablespoon and the mixture wasn't getting stringy so I kept adding more. Must've added 5 times the amount called for. Ended up with a kind of cheese pudding that became hard as a rock. I hope the crows like it because that's what they got for breakfast.

Mistake #3: The recipe was for caramelized onion pizza. The topping was onions, and that's it. I added some red pepper slices. But overall, this one gets my vote for the Most Boring Pizza Ever.

Mistake #4: Using the recipe for tomato sauce in the cookbook. More boringness.

I ate a slice of that pizza and it sat like a rock in my gullet for hours. Luckily my husband will eat pretty much anything and he finished it off for breakfast. I haven't checked to see if the crows fell for the cruddy fake cheese.

You might be wondering, where does the flying squirrel come in? Well, I saw one land on my hummingbird feeder a few feet away from us watching Netflix last night. Then he stretched himself over to the bird feeder and helped himself to seeds for a couple of minutes. They're smaller than regular squirrels (even our local Douglas squirrel, which is smaller than the gray) and extraordinarily cute.

Seeing the flying squirrel made up for the Pizza From Hell.

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May I just say....'euuuwwwww' ?

 

Peggy Collins

1 Month Ago

You may. :-)

 

David Bridburg

1 Month Ago

I know somethings about cooking pizza from the industry...........

....I am gobsmacked.......

Dave

 

euuuwwwww

 

Peggy Collins

1 Month Ago

Which part of my pizza adventure do you find the most euuuuwwwwish? (I vote for the "cheese".)

 

Oh, absolutely the cheese but.... actually.... vegan food full stop. euuuwwwww

 

RD Erickson

1 Month Ago

One little flying squirrel - worth more than a bad pizza.

 

Peggy Collins

1 Month Ago

Ha ha. Just to tease me, my husband offered me a heaping spoonful of "cheese" this morning and I just about gagged.

I've been a vegan and/or vegetarian off and on for years and there are a lot of good recipes out there. Vegan cookbooks and blogs in particular have become quite popular.

I was hoping someone would like to share their cooking disaster.

Yes, RD, the flying squirrel was worth it. Now I'm looking for him all the time though. They're nocturnal so I'll have to wait until night time to see if he shows again.

 

David Bridburg

1 Month Ago

The secret of bread and therefor pizza dough is water. The more the better, make a puddle of it. The tension between the crust and the innards is much better.

The problem with a wheat crust or whatever that was, you can not work it. People that sell a whole wheat crust or bread mix in a ton of white flour and lie about it.

The very best pizzas...cheese.....use a Romano or Parm over the Mozz to caramelize the cheeses at a very high temp.....not the onions.

Sauce is easy to make, some oregano, some black pepper, freshly ground tomatoes in a mill. The ladle bottom is used to move the sauce across the dough. A little flour under the dough on the peel to slide the pizza when made into the oven. Rotate the pizza so a colder spot in the oven does not disturb an even cooking of the pizza.

That very simple recipe is not replicated in most pizza places, so do not feel bad because may professionals are screwing up just as bad.

Dave

 

Peggy Collins

1 Month Ago

Don't get me wrong, I've successfully made other pizzas, even vegan ones (and even using cauliflower, believe it or not, as a crust) that were delish.

I provided my cooking misadventure for entertainment value only.

 

JC Findley

1 Month Ago

Phewwwwwwwww

I thought you were making flying squirrel pizza.

 

euuuwwwww

Lol

 

David King

1 Month Ago

I'm with Abbie...euuuwww. Even if your recipe was "successful" that's not pizza. Thanks, now I have a craving for pizza...real pizza.

No cooking disasters to report here, I don't cook...unless you count sandwiches and boiled eggs.

 

Phyllis Beiser

1 Month Ago

Lol Peggy. I have made a few things that went in the trash can. That sounds like one that qualified! :0 My son just told me the other night about a veggie pizza that he makes and swore that it was delicious. He uses large portabella mushrooms caps with the gills scraped out for a crust then just adds organic cheese with a sauce that he makes and a few onions and red peppers. You could add any topping that you desire. I will give it a try soon.
The flying squirrel at least was a sweet moment for you. Happy New Year!

 

VIVA Anderson

1 Month Ago

What! Hubby didn't put his fav chocolate on it? That could have made it tolerable, lol.
Cheers.

 

Patricia Strand

1 Month Ago

Oh, my word, Peggy. This is why I go to Whole Foods. I can't cook my way out of a paper bag, so if I tried that I'd end up with a food frisbee, for sure!

 

CHERYL EMERSON ADAMS

1 Month Ago

Peggy... LOL !! Made me think of this poem:


Recipe
Submitted By: ClassiclyAmber

I didn't have potatoes,
so I substituted rice.
Didn't have paprika,
so I used another spice.

I didn't have tomato sauce,
so I used tomato paste.
A whole can not a half can -
I don't believe in waste.

My friend gave me the recipe -
she said you couldn't beat it.
There must be something wrong with her,
I couldn't even eat it.

Author: Unknown

Source: https://www.scrapbook.com/poems/doc/26451.html

 

Marlene Burns

1 Month Ago

I can't bake and I am not trusted on my own with a knife or using the stove top any longer.
It is what it is... I don't wreck recipes, I wreck pots.
I have fulfilled my lifetime requirement for mistakes in the kitchen.

 

Ram Vasudev

1 Month Ago

Peggy, you ought to try Trader Joe's Pesto pizza:



 

Peggy Collins

1 Month Ago

Got a good laugh out of that one, JC. But what's the vegan version of Flying Squirrel Pizza?

Another thing I've tried is vegan cheddar cheese. Talk about gross when it's heated! Yuck, I couldn't stomach it.

Cheryl, I can definitely identify with that poem, especially after grinding, grinding, grinding more of that *&#!! tapioca and it never ending up like anything remotely resembling mozzarella!

Here's another suggestion: never try a recipe out for the first time and take the result to a party. Yes, I did it. I made a pineapple upside down cake for a dinner party. But since my husband had been recently diagnosed with hypertension, I decided to cut out the salt. Well, the thing ended up flat as a pancake. I was informed at the dinner party that cakes need a little salt in order to rise. Who knew? One person politely said that it tasted good but everyone else was silent, ha!

Ram, I love broccoli but I'll be damned if I put it on a pizza!

 

CHERYL EMERSON ADAMS

1 Month Ago

But broccoli tastes *good* with cheese and tomato sauce....

(if it's done right LOL)

 

Judy Whitton

1 Month Ago

Peggy, several years ago I saw my first flying squirrel. I had to take one of my dogs out after dark. As I was going back to the house, something fluttered out of my apple trees right towards my head and I ducked and turned around just in time to see whatever it was land on my mulberry tree. I cautiously walked over there to see what it was. I was surprised to see this creature with big eyes and a loose flap of skin along the side of it's body. My first thought was that a Sugar Glider escaped from the zoo which is only a mile from me. But it really didn't look like a Sugar Glider, my daughter has 3 of them. I didn't think we had flying squirrels around here so looked it up when I got back inside and sure enough, it was a Northern Flying Squirrel. If you want to increase your chances of seeing it again, they suggest leaving some acorns or other nuts, mushrooms and sunflower seeds out for them. I would put them out just after dark or other critters will eat them.

 

Jeffery Johnson

1 Month Ago

Hum well now I do hope the cheese didn't and doesn't set up that hard inside your husband. Sounds like you created cement glue cheese.

Jeffery Johnson | Photo Captures by Jeffery
http://www.PhotoCapturesbyJeffery.com

 

Peggy Collins

1 Month Ago

Judy, the first thing I did was race out to the balcony to leave some nuts out for him. But I had to take them back...we'd get rats if we left food outside at night. Unfortunately. I'm hoping he'll ly over to the same bird feeder again, which can't be reached by rats.

Jeffery, that's exactly what I made. You should've seen the leftovers in the pot in the morning...it was just like cement. Utterly disgusting.

 

Mike Breau

1 Month Ago

Peggy,
Just reloaded this one. Felt it belonged here so people could see what you meant by flying squirrel. Outside of finding one sprawled out on the couch under my blanket, this was the only other one I'd ever seen around our place. Used him for one of my business cards at a showing at Sugarwood gallery. Someone told be it was a sugar glider, but my research found out the difference. Love the eyes. Was a spooky, yet delightful encounter. Often wished to have seen it again.

Love your storytelling recipe descriptions. Hope you're doing a blog. They are the type of descriptions that would undoubtedly attract a good audience.
Seems screwing up a recipe makes for a much more entertaining factor than getting the recipe right. Awesome!

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David Bridburg

1 Month Ago

The Statue of David is bigger.

Dave

 

Robert Coppen

1 Month Ago

Lots of people can make vegan pizza, but very few have ever seen a wild flying squirrel. Congrats!

 

JC Findley

1 Month Ago

You sure it is David, not Lyle?

Sell Art Online

 

David Bridburg

1 Month Ago

David never lost his pickup truck, his dog nor his bride. In no particular order.

Dave

 

JC Findley

1 Month Ago

heh touche'.

 

Peggy Collins

1 Month Ago

Well, JC, that's quite the contraption. "How did Peggy spend New Year's day?" "Oh, she hacked apart a toilet plunger so that she could photograph a flying squirrel. First she went grocery shopping for a banquet fit for an airborne rodent." Who would believe it?

Now we're looking into floorplans for a flying squirrel house.

Dave, I didn't realize this was your art and you sure don't have to explain your art to me. Just so you know, me and modern art don't get along well at all.

Thanks, Robert...I feel pretty lucky being able to stare at such a creature only inches away.

 

Brian Wallace

1 Month Ago

Sorry Peggy!
For New Years Eve I pretty much have my own tradition of cooking pizza and splurging by adding shrimp. I don't make it hard on myself though, I'm not a vegan and I just buy the pizza shell and do the rest with canned pizza sauce and normal cheese and hamburger toppings. This year however, I didn't buy the pizza shell and didn't have any in the freezer but still wanted to splurge on the shrimp so I thawed a package of large shrimp while waiting for my home town Baltimore Ravens to try and get into the playoffs starting at 4:25pm. Then I made Shrimp Creole and served it over white rice. Hey, it was a special occasion on several counts. The Shrimp was 10 to 11 count which was the last thing I added to the sauce because of course, shrimp don't take long to cook. Delicious I must say! Anyway, we all made it one more year and I wish everyone a Happy New Year! Bon App├ętit!

 

David Bridburg

1 Month Ago

Peggy,

I am glad you don't like Modern art, we agree. I do not have modern art. I have post modern art. Do not worry, most people do not know what it is.

Dave

 

Tara Turner

1 Month Ago

It sounds like a lot of effort went into making that pizza. Don't give up on the mozzarella recipe with the tapioca starch- it really does make it stretchy and gooey. We often have homemade vegan mozzarella in our fridge. We find tapioca starch in the world foods section of our grocery store. Happy New Year!

 

Peggy Collins

1 Month Ago

OK, post modern art then. It doesn't agree with me either.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Tara. I was thinking that I shouldn't give up after one bad experience. Our grocery store was out of tapioca starch so I'll buy some when they get it in again. Which, knowing this place, could take awhile. Hopefully long enough for the gut-churning memory of my first attempt at vegan pizza to fade.

But back to flying squirrels...a new feeder is loaded up with goodies and we even put a platform out there for our new friend so that he doesn't have to swing from a tiny bird perch. Hopefully he'll be back to feast soon.

We have named him Jedi. Or maybe Rocky.

 

David Bridburg

1 Month Ago

Peggy,

If I depended on you for sales, I'd be eating at your bird feeder. LOL

Dave

 

Peggy Collins

1 Month Ago

True dat, Dave. But I don't even buy my own work. I live in a 725 sq. ft. cabin type of place, so there's barely any room on the walls.

Rocky was a no-show last night. :-(

 

David Bridburg

1 Month Ago

My living room is about that size, maybe bigger.

I come off my fast in about 20 to 30 minutes.

Dave

 

Marlene Burns

1 Month Ago

I've never seen a squirrel in Tucson.
I have seen a myriad of cooking disasters in my kitchen, tho.

 

Floyd Snyder

1 Month Ago

"Cooking Disasters And Flying Squirrels"

I was glad to see that this thread was NOT about trying to cook a flying squirrel!

As for veggie pizza... there should be a law against them!

 

Peggy Collins

1 Month Ago

Marlene, care to share any details? I don't think I could live in a place without squirrels. They're far too entertaining.

Floyd, do you guys have Boston Pizza in the States? The Mediterranean (veggie) pizza is the best pizza I've ever tasted. Ah-mazing!

Well, wouldn't you know it...my husband just came home with some tapioca starch. Looks like I can try the vegan mozzarella cheese again, if I dare.

 

James McCormack

1 Month Ago

I just read through this thread - can't stop laughing

 

NO PEGGY!!!! Don't Do it!!! Save yourself whilst you can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Peggy Collins

1 Month Ago

@James, I'm happy you enjoyed yourself here!

Heh heh, Abbie, but Tara said I could do it! I think I'd better give it a little more time though because I still have visions of hockey pucks dancing in my head.

 

David Bridburg

1 Month Ago

Peggy,

smh.......Boboli it........the reason to saute the veggies on a low flame for 45 minutes to get the water out of them. And add the herbs and spices. The olive oil and garlic.

No cheese....no disasters......no messes.......

Dave

 

David King

1 Month Ago

How do you the find time to do all this cooking and play with squirrels and still make art?

 

David Bridburg

1 Month Ago

ROTFLMAO........DK wasn't there an ad that started out with some sort of question like that? Was it for Virginia Slims? I do not fully remember.

Dave

 

Peggy Collins

1 Month Ago

David King, because I am WOMAN! W-o-m-a-n!

David B, next time I'll probably buy a pizza crust at least. I've made a number of veggie pizzas that turned out pretty good, usually with just feta cheese. BTW, this new vegan cookbook I have also includes a recipe for feta cheese. Maybe that'll be up next!

So about squirrels...next time you have car trouble, maybe have a look in your glove compartment before you take your car into the mechanic's: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/mans-car-breaks-down-after-squirrel-fills-it-with-hundreds-of-acorns-andrew-wilkins-surrey-a8138066.html

 

David Bridburg

1 Month Ago

Peggy,

I am not much in the know, but goat cheese can be made with less salt and still be a Greek or Med goat cheese. One of the characteristics that changes, usually it is softer....actually better for making a pizza.

Now that said, cook up just a pizza dough fold the crust around the edge like pan style, not Boboli, and have it with feta cheese. Beautiful. The edge of the warm crust and the cold cheese.

Dave

 

Peggy Collins

1 Month Ago

You're making me hungry! Yes, goat cheese is nice and we have it once in awhile. I've never made pizza with it though.

 
 

David Bridburg

1 Month Ago

"I've never made pizza with it though."

Peggy,

One of the biggest tricks in better pizza is cooking with lower salt items. One of the better Pizza guys I knew used a cheaper pepperoni because it had less salt. All the other guys used a heavy salted pepperoni, wasting their money, and it tasted really bad. Nothing as horrible as hot salt in grease.

You figure there is plenty of salt already in there.

Dave

 

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