Leftover Pizza for Breakfast

November 30, 2007

pizzaslice.jpg I must be on a “dinner-for-breakfast” kick.  This morning, I scarfed up the last 2 pieces of pizza from last night’s cooking class.  Normally, the class participants take all the leftovers home with them, but due to intermittent snow squalls throughout the GTA, two people cancelled at the last minute and left me with–yum!–breakfast.

I am feeling a bit downcast this morning, as last night’s was the final class, not just of 2007, but likely forever.  After four years of offering alternative cooking classes in my home and finally reaching some sort of critical mass on the website, I decided with this recent move to stop teaching in the house. 

First of all, my H.H. hated it (since he was relegated to the upstairs TV room for the entire evening), and even though The Girls loved it (“Yes, Mum, all those new people to sniff and free food dropping from the air all evening!”), I find this new place isn’t as well suited to having three cooking stations in the kitchen.  Besides, it’s a new home; time for a fresh start.  I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed with other projects and commitments lately that it was beginning to seem onerous every time I had to prep a class (a full-day venture, plus cleaning up until midnight most nights).

What I will miss is meeting an ongoing array of amazing women (sorry, Garry, you were the only man to register in the entire four years!) who have opened my mind to new experiences and taught me more about life than I could ever have taught them about cooking.

Believe me, as one who formerly suffered from anxiety attacks, I was the last person you’d expect to invite total strangers into  my home.  But after a giddy year as a nutrition student at CSNN, my desire to share what I’d learned and cook with the amazing selection of new and healthy foods I’d discovered overcame any doubts I may have had.  (Besides, we all know that the last thing those health-foodie, crunchy granola types would ever do is steal or pillage).

So:  to Giovanna, who burst onto the scene post-radiation with her smile still beaming, it was such a pleasure to meet you and observe as you entered this world of alternative medicine and organic eating.  Your courage and determination have inspired me.  And so cool to know that there are such incredibly gorgeous wigs out there (though I must say I prefer the natural grey on you).

To Sandra, with your naturally effervescent nature, thank you for winning the prize for “only student who attended all fourteen cooking classes in a single season.”  I enjoyed hearing the plethora of stories about your kids and their pranks, and I wish you continued success as you introduce healthier options into your family’s menus. 

To Barbara, with your peripatetic streak and calming smile, I so enjoyed hearing about your many travels and so many interesting customs from other countries.  Thank you for your unbridled appreciation of the food and for being so affectionate with my dogs (“yes, thanks, Barbara!”).  I know you will love your upcoming time in Cairo.

To Maria-Elena, you brought an informal approach and many guffaws to the class.  Thank you for showing me that the Coconut Cream Pie could work when made in the blender, even though that wasn’t what the recipe called for. Who needs to measure, anyway?

To Michelle, I’m so glad you took that first chance and leapt in.  I have so enjoyed our outings and discovering this new friendship. And thanks for all the great puppy pix and recipes to try out! You are a natural at it.

There are so many more, and every one has touched me in some indelible way.  Still, I know this was the right move for me, one that will allow my concentration to move to more current interests (hmm, such as this blog!). 

Yes, I will sorely miss the camaraderie and buzz in the kitchen.  What I won’t miss is having to dash frantically around the house cleaning up the night before class (oh, wait, maybe I should miss that–this may mean our house is never clean again!).  I won’t miss the last-minute forays to the corner store for overlooked okra or missing miso, or having to reprimand Chaser when the guests arrive because her exuberance overtakes her and she jumps up on people even though she’s been trained not to (“But Mum!  They might have food!”).

Last evening’s theme was “Light and Easy Suppers,” healthy dishes that are mostly kid-friendly and can be cooked up in a fairly short span. 

Here’s the final menu (this suddenly feels like a tribute to the Titanic, or something!):

  • Sesame Sweet Potato Wedges with Thai Dipping Sauce
  • Spelt Thin-Crust Pizza with Artichokes, Caramelized Onion, and Chard (photo above)
  • Tofu Masala Curry with Brown Basmati
  • Moroccan Spiced Tomato Soup
  • Napa Cabbage Salad
  • Gluten-Free Pumpkinseed Shortbread Cookies.

I will post recipes for all of these over the next while. Now that there will BE no more cooking classes, this is my best place to share, though I don’t have all the photos yet (of course, given my shaky photography “skills,” that may not be a bad thing).

In the meantime, why not indulge in pizza for breakfast?

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