Pizza . . . well sort of

The new product
You will notice how closely (NOT) the content matches the product on the box

The result, a good representation of what pizza should look like

When you have to live gluten free, life is a series of experiments trying to replicate the experience of “real” food.  Anyone who has a food allergy knows what I mean.  You search for that perfect approximation of whatever the food is that poisons you.  For me, the ultimate is sour dough bread, though I haven’t yet started on that quest.  For now I’ll settle for decent pizza.

If you don’t have a gluten issue, you probably don’t realize it’s gluten that holds bread together while you spread peanut butter on it.  It’s the stickiness or stick-togetheredness in baked goods.  Without it, baked goods fall apart.

In my quest for better pizza I’ve tried a new product, a gluten free cheese pizza by Glutino.

In all fairness, I don’t think pizza is pizza if it doesn’t have stuff on it . . . I mean something more than just sauce and cheese.  And because I’m a “must have meat” girl, it’s gotta have sausage and/or pepperoni. I also want peppers and onions and olives . . .

So here’s the latest in the pizza experiments.

This is the first Glutino product I’ve purchased.  After opening the package, I was a bit dismayed to find the content in no way resembled the image on the box.  At that point, I considered putting it back in the box to return to the store, but I soldiered on.

After tipping off the grated cheese and jellied “sauce”, I added a rich garlic and basil laden pasta sauce, sausage, chopped green and red peppers, chopped onions and a small mountain of shredded mozzarella.  After 20 minutes in the toaster oven I had a reasonable facsimile of what a pizza should look like.

As far as taste goes, it’s okay.  My body didn’t object (most important thing).  The crust sticks together well (contrary to the splay-footed appearance when the crust came out of the box) and has an unobtrusive flavor.  My only objection was a slightly slick texture I didn’t find appealing. though the slickness made removal of the factory added sauce and cheese effortless.  The pizza is large enough for two meals (for me, YMMV).

Is this a good buy?  For me, no.  I think it’s too expensive for what I got.  There’s a gluten free crust from another manufacturer that comes in 8″ squares, 4 to a box for the same price.  Each square is big enough to feed me a serving of pizza 2 to 4 times depending on whether I add a salad or consume it alone.  That’s potentially 16 meals for the same price.  The crust flavor is good, though because there’s no rim to corral the goodies, the same content-falling-off problem exists.

I’d love a thin gluten free pizza crust with a nice hefty rim to hold in all the content.  Sans making it myself (SO not happening), I think I’m in for a long wait.

Casting for lasts

Box for foot mold

I’ve finally got all my ducks in a row and have cast one of my feet in pursuit of lasts for making my own shoes.

I zipped together a box for the mold, using scrap pieces of 6″ plastic pipe to fill in corners so I don’t waste molding material.  I sealed the seams with some caulk I had on hand (butyl silicone).  I think just about anything would work as a sealer.  One pound of alginate fills the mold to my ankle.  How great is that?!

Foot impression filled with plaster

I taped my anti-arch support in the bottom of the mold before adding the alginate, then stood in the alginate until it set up.  Getting my foot out was pretty easy, just a little wiggling and I was free.

It takes 4 cups of plaster of Paris to fill the mold to the ankle.

The alginate is a nice molding medium.  It’s pretty easy to tear apart to remove the plaster of Paris positive and it faithfully reproduces whatever is molded.

Lorr, cleaning up the positive

I went up to our son’s to get a part for my table saw repaired.  While I was there he cleaned up the positive, a necessary step in getting it ready to mold.

The final shape, just needs a final clean-up and smoothing

And there you have it, a semi-ready form to cast for my left foot last.  I still need to skim-coat it with Bondo before a final sand to make sure it’s smooth, smooth, smooth.  I’ll get the right foot done this week.  Hopefully we can get the lasts cast this coming weekend.

Making shoes will be a good bad-weather project.  I really need shoes that will support my rotten ankle and keep my feet dry while running around outside.

Footie Stuff

Mold just slightly larger than my foot . . . yeah, I know, I have small feet.

I managed to get a mold made of one of my feet.  I used warm water to mix the first batch of alginate and it set up before I could get it out of the bowl and into the mold.  The second time around I mixed using cold water, poured the mix into the mold and stepped into it.  That worked great.

Alginate set up and filled with plaster.

I mixed plaster of paris and filled the mold.  I have to wait until it sets to unmold it.

Plant wall

A happy jumble of green

This is the left side of the plant wall.  The Ricinifolia Immense is really happy, as is the dumb cane and rain forest cacti.  Everything seems happy.

I’ve cleared out my garden window,  giving away the two hoja and the desert cactus.  I also gave away a 5 foot tall avocado tree in a 12″ pot, but I still have five pots to water.  Two will be torn apart to go in LouAnn’s wall.  Two are very large pots, one a yucca, the other a combo palm and ficus (visible to the left of the plant wall).  I’m hoping I can back off to watering once a week, but probably not.  I still have one small pot of crown of thorns that will require twice weekly watering to continue to bloom and do well.  We’ll see how it does.  The big ones I don’t worry about as much.

Seize the moment

Fall is coming . . .

Two days ago this rose was the most beautiful thing, a soft barely pink blossom bejeweled with drops of dew in the morning light.  I kid you not, this rose was gorgeous.   I hurried in to grab my camera, but alas, the battery had insufficient charge to take the pic. By the time I got the camera charged and dashed out to snap a pic, it was just a nice rose.  No beautiful dew, the rose had opened fully and the light was all wrong.  <sigh>

Plant wall status

New vine
Grapefruit seedling in the gutter

Happy Ricinifolia Immense

LouAnn has a vine in her yard I just love.  I don’t know what it is, I just know it reseeds itself readily.  It’s got a lovely leaf shape, a pretty flower and is a nice compliment to my wall.  I stuck it in the hole left by the expired orchid.  If you look at the Cape Primrose leaf in the background in the center of the image, you’ll see a mess of seeds dropped from one of the seed pods.  At this rate I should have a mess of these in the gutter by this time next year.

This summer I had a couple of grapefruit that had sprouting seeds.  I dropped them in the hydroton in the gutter.  Of the three or four seeds I dropped there, two have produced plants.  I don’t know what they’re going to do, but they’ll be fun to watch.

The Hawaiian begonia is happy in its new space.  Both begonia transplants are growing vigorously.