When the Cats are Away, the Mouse Shall Play (a post by Lee)

Both Jordie and Anna Marie are out of town for a few days, rendering me unsupervised.

This is not good.

Without anyone to check and balance me, I find myself engaging in a variety of projects ripe with potential disaster.

One activity I generally do not participate in – and which I particularly should avoid doing solo – is cooking/baking/preparing food in any way that does not directly involve the use of a microwave.

So, in the absence of my two Jiminy Crickets, I decided to dive headfirst into food-creation by making cheese. Naturally.

This is why it's best not to leave me to my own devices. They should never travel.

Inspired by a conversation with my pen pal, in which she sent me this article about one of the actors from Home Improvement, I resolved to attempt cashew cheese.

Equipped with this recipe, I toodled over to the grocery store.

I am not known for being particularly efficient in grocery stores. The overwhelming amount of products mixed with my tendency towards distraction lends itself to lengthy trips, culminating in me not buying anything I actually need.

But how can you not get carried away when your local grocery store features such astounding displays of pastry architecture?

You down with HEB? Yeah, you know me!

All things considered, my trip was relatively quick. I only needed 3 items for my recipe. It took me 45 minutes, and I left with 5. Oops. But they were très superfluous necessary.

The first step in creating this faux-cheese is to soak the cashews for 2 hours.

There is nothing worse than getting all excited about a project, and having to wait two hours to be able to do anything with it. It’s at this point that I started to regret my decision.

The world's most boring activity.

Finally, the cashews were adequately soaked. I threw all of the required ingredients in a blender, and then accidentally added some additional ones. Feeling cocky, I tried to mimic the trick where you squeeze lemon juice out of the lemon and through your fingers, so you catch the seeds and the juice goes into the container. Except my juice kept pooling together in my hand, and I’d spread my fingers the tiniest amount, and oops! About two or three seeds ended up in the mixture. Fun fact: lemon seeds and lightly-blended cashews look the same. There is no hope for you there. Just blend and pray lemon seeds aren’t toxic.

The recipe is rather vague, especially for a culinary idiot like me.* It required I “add water if necessary” to gain the proper consistency. I assumed a hummus-esque texture would do the trick, and ended up with something that looked like this:

Nothing like a bowl of... this... to whet your appetite.

Anyway! I’m supposed to let it settle in a cool place for 24 hours before refrigerating it/sampling it/throwing it away. We don’t, however, use air conditioning, so there really isn’t a “cool place” in sight. I think I’m just going to leave it on the counter and hope for the best. It really can’t get any worse.

This is so wrong.

* An aside: I used to own a paper chef’s hat, given to me by a chef in Charleston, SC. It made me feel like a kitchen wizard. I had to throw it away, sadly, after someone came into my dorm room while I was sleeping freshman year and vomited all over me and my hat collection.

UPDATE: Anna Marie came back! We ate the faux-cheese!

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9 responses to “When the Cats are Away, the Mouse Shall Play (a post by Lee)

  1. Quinton Millhouse

    This sounds like a multitude of sad events. I hope it still turns out alright. Although, I’m not sure, but I think I see ground up lemon seed in your humus-like cashew fromage……could still be good…..?

  2. Girl, of all the ways you possibly could have spent your alone time, you chose to try and make cashew cheese? Cashew…..cheese? For realzzzz? I would have expected something slightly more creative, like a music video to the song “All By Myself”. Step away from the kitchen Mimms, step away.

    PS- I LOVE YOU.

  3. I know what happened! You forgot your magic apron that turns every recipe into a masterpiece…!
    I’m afraid I also know where you get your cooking skills from… I’m sorry.
    Loving you so very much good! 😉

  4. When I first read you were attempting to cook by yourself I was scared of the end of this blog. I distinctly remember telling you senior year “If you cut yourself, you’re on your own” and then having to flee the room 30 secs later before I passed out from the blood coming from your finger. Glad this went….well?

  5. beginner’s tip: squeeze the lemon with one hand through a cupped OTHER hand. might give you more control.

    so, did you taste it yet?!?

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