homemade vegan parmesan cheese
Sunday, March 10 2013
Throughout the night and into this morning my head cold made it hard for me to get comfortable. It wasn't just the slow accumulation of snot in my head, it was also a problem with my middle or inner ear that made by low-frequency tinnitus a bit louder and more relentless than usual. Sometimes I would only hear it in one ear and then sometimes I would hear it in both ears, but the frequencies would be slightly different and so now there would be an interference beat.
I was actually feeling so out of sorts that I wondered if I would even want coffee (it being Sunday after all), but when it was made I definitely did. And after drinking it I felt nearly 100%. It was warm and sunny outside and I almost didn't feel the need to make a fire, but it was just a little too cold to hang out in the living room without one. At some point in all of this, Ramona and Eleanor went outside and played for a surprisingly long time in the dog house. There is no human use for that building except for the storage of pine needles (used for kindling, incense, compost bulk, grave lining, and insulation), and Ramona and Eleanor seemed to be having a fun time plowing them out into the yard.
I spent much of the day continuing work on the website of the small press that will be printing Gretchen's book. Today I did the tricky bits necessary to point the domain host at the web host (in this case, my own personal virtual private server that I have only been using as a web proxy). It's a cut-rate VPS and seems to be attached to the internet via a dial-up modem, but it would suffice for hosting this low-traffic site. Still, it needed a lot of work just to be useful for that; I had to install MySQL and then install the little bits allowing PHP to communicate with MySQL. And then I had to set up the VirtualHost configuration in Apache, a process that always ends up being more frustrating and non-intuitive than I expect (the key is to remember to have a NameVirtualHost line just in front of your <VirtualHost mysite.com:80> nodes). I've been working with Linux servers and workstations off and on for years, but I never work with them continuously enough to remember anything. So I always find myself looking up things on the web only to find myself having to look other things up on the web in a complicated nested-hierarchy of research. On top of this is the complication that no site explaining anything about Linux has a directory structure or configuration remotely resembling the one on the machine you find yourself working on, and what for them might be apache2 restart is actually apachectl -k stop.
For the past few weeks Gretchen has been aging a vegan parmesan cheese that she somehow made from scratch. It had been drying slowly out in the open air on the kitchen island, gradually dividing the pangea of its surface into a number of continental plates. Today Gretchen decided it had finished the aging process, so she cooked up some pasta as a substrate upon which to try it. Not wanting to introduce too many variables, the only sauce we used was either vegan butter (and, for me, hot pepper powder) or a simple red sauce. The parmesan was impressively convincing in its deception, though I thought I also detected a hint of chocolate in its flavor. We ate it while trying to watch Storage Wars: New York, but Gretchen found that "unwatchable" so we watched a Nova program about rampage killers. It was more watchable, but it contained almost no information that wasn't already wired into the synapses of our brains.
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