Monday, February 14, 2005

It's a Family Affair

Saturday was an interesting example of how being frugal and vegetarian works in our home. I left in the early afternoon to attend a workshop while my hubby stayed behind with all four kids. The only thing I asked them to accomplish was to have pizza dough made by 3:00pm so it had time to rise before I got home around 4:30.

Thankfully, I had turned off my cell phone during the workshop but when I turned it back on there were several questions to field:

I can't find the olive oil can we use canola? Yes!

Did I need to dissolve the yeast in water first? Yes.

But I forgot to and everthing is together except the yeast. No biggie, dissolve the yeast in about 1/4 cup of warm water, let it sit for five minutes and then add to the mixture. You can always add more flour when you begin kneading if the dough is too sticky.

Pizza dough is pretty forgiving. By the time I got home it was rising nicely and it wasn't too sticky at all. When the time came to knead it again, we divided the dough into four balls and gave one to each child. I'm not picky about my kneading, I just let them play with it like play doh. Everyone had a blast (even the 12 and 13 year olds).

My oldest daughter greased the pans, (we used cookie sheets because there are too many of us for a pizza pan:-) and grated the soy cheese. Grating is definitley worthwhile, we use one 10oz blck of soy cheese to make four pizzas and it doesn't seem skimpy at all. The trick is to cut the cheese block into four equal pieces and grate on at a time, so you know exactly how much to put on each pizza.

My younger daughter rolled the dough out, placed it in the pans and helped spread the sauce. The boys put on the soy cheese, black olives and mushrooms.

While the pizzas were in the oven, we put together a quick apple crisp. Again, everyone pitched in. Someone washed the apples, someone else greased the pans, I cut the apples, the boys placed them in the baking dish, the girls put together the crumb topping. It was easy, healthy and delicious. The recipe is in one of my really early posts if anyone is interested.

Dinner was yummy and so was dessert. Everyone had worked together and had fun in the process. Being frugal is so much easier when everyone chips in. In its own way, pizza night is a reward. Its a fun meal but its a great way to get everyone involved without making it such a burden for the cook of the house. We have music playing the whole time, its just fun.

Give it a try!

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