Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Recycling Buckwheat Noodles -- Buckwheat Pizza!!

Let me tell you. Sharing a kitchen+dining room with aged parents IS a big challenge. They eat very slowly, then spend hours having tea and dessert, watching TV (even though each of them has his/her own room with a TV and air conditioner). Roughly speaking, they stay in the kitchen for about 2 hours for breakfast, then about 2.5 hours for lunch, and 2.5 hours for dinner. Not together, though. Mom basically does not like eating meals regularly, so often she sneaks into the kitchen when no one is there to eat her brunch.  So I really have to struggle to find the kitchen available for me to cook meals, especially when I want to do other things like joining some workshops or community activities, etc.

And it's even harder when one of the aged parents is demented and you let her to do some cooking in order to give her a role and a sense of worth. Cooking with her not only takes longer but can be very, very stressful. And another thing is that after using kitchen utensils, she cannot remember where to put them back. She cannot remember (or does not care anymore) which sponge is for the dishes and which is for
cleaning the sink, sink strainer, kitchen trash can and other dirty places. AHHHHHH! But you never know when she does the dishes and you cannot stay with her all day to watch her and make her do everything properly. At least, I can't. That way I'd have to sacrifice my personal worth, my mental sanity and actually my life just to keep the kitchen "normal."

But ... as long-term readers of my foodblog know, cooking has been a therapy for me. It meant so much to me to have my own kitchen and cook what I liked -- including Western dishes -- in the way I liked, without having to worry about my parents coming in to watch TV and me having to stop what I was doing.

This must have been much more stressful for me than I realized. One day this summer it really, really got on my nerve and I felt that I couldn't take it any more. So you know what I did? I sat in front of my PC and saw the oven-cum microwave that I had found online and saved in the cart. And I pressed the purchase button. I had it delivered to my deceased aunt's house and arranged the kitchen so that I can do some cooking -- well, mostly baking there. You know, I NEEDED THAT!

And now, about my pizza today.  :)
I've been attending Japanese buckwheat noodle making class for the past few months. (I'll post about it sometime later. Stay tuned!) But I cannot eat them up (I'm the only one buckwheat noodle eater in my family) so I had to find some ways to use up the old, not-so-tasty noodles. Lately I started mashing boiled buckwheat noodles and spreading it into thin sheets to freeze them. The other day I used some of them for fake buckwheat lasagna. And today, look what I made!!

The boiled and mashed buckwheat noodles turned into crispy pizza crust!

I thawed the buckwheat dough and rolled it out to make a real thin pizza crust, dusting it with bread flour. For the crispiness, I pre-heated the oven to 250 degrees C (with the baking sheet in the oven) and baked the crusts for about 10 minutes. Then I put the toppings on them and baked at 250 C for 12 minutes or so.
And I tell you. The crust turned out pretty goooooooood!!
I once tried to make a crispy pizza crust using bread flour and olive oil, but it wasn't really impressive. But with this buckwheat crust, though the center was rather soft, the edge was really, really crispy!  :D
The toppings? Blanched asparagus, black olives, mushrooms, tomatoes and basil leaves.

I enjoyed the pizza with ginger ale for lunch today. And I'm very happy that it wasn't as filling as regular-crust pizza. It feels pretty healthy!

Gee, experimenting like this really helps me cope with my stress. I'm feeling much, much better now -- even though it poured unexpectedly this afternoon and the laundry got soaked wet before I came home from my aunt's house. ;P  ;P 
He he. Nothing can bring me down when my experiment resulted in a success! :D


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