The fragrance of fresh basil and tomato filled my kitchen this morning.
Home made pizza was calling. A quick google search and my favourite TMX blog, Quirky Cooking came up with a gluten-free pizza base recipe. I hoped substituting amaranth for millet would work and got busy. I was very pleased with the resulting dough. And loved that not only was it gluten-free, it was also vegan.
I ruined that of course, by sprinkling mozzarella over the top. But the thing is, I abhore waste. We had some in the fridge and I wanted to get rid of it - like we're getting rid of all the meat in our freezer at the moment. It's funny. The more I look at cheese in food - even in its natural habitat, like on top of a pizza - the more it seems so unnatural for me to be eating it. Congealed and thick - kinda like mucus (and not the good kind). I have always loved cheese. Of every kind: hard, soft, blue, smoked. It turns a Mediterranean pasta dish into something wonderful. And makes a jam sandwich a filling and fulfilling experience.
This gorgeous dish I have just made from scratch is divine. I just devoured a piece. The cheese hasn't added anything I don't think. Oftentimes, cheese adds the flavour of salt - which improves most dishes (that's the commercial almost-chef in me talking). But I can add salt for that. I have avoided dairy on a large scale, for health reasons, for about the last 12 years. I have still eaten, but in nowhere near the quantities of my previous enjoyment. I feel this is another conscious step towards embracing veganism. When it's a taste reason, it's even easier to embrace (for me, anyway) than when it's health or political.
So, cheese aside - the verdict on the pizza?
The base was a little thick in the middle (rookie mistake), so a bit doughy. But the edges were crunchy and tasty. The fresh basil and tomato is a winning combination, and with a little salt and pepper - a truly magnificent warm afternoon indulgence. I would have like to enjoy with my man, but alas, his sojourn to Bunnings took a little longer than expected. He's building a mezzanine level in his bedroom. Why, you ask?
To fit the queen sized bed into a small room that already has a king sized bed. Again, with the why? Well, when we did the room rearrange, Goose and I moved into the bigger room, as her own room was reallocated to our new housemates. We placed the bed in the only spot available in the room (when windows, doors, wardrobes and ensuites were taken into account). And she slept terribly. The first night. Then the second night. Then the third night. No longer a random one-off. After having my building biology knowledge refreshed - it made perfect sense. On the external wall, the same wall our bed shared inside, was the meter box. A massive generator of electromagnetic fields. While not noticeably having his sleep disturbed while he slept in the same spot before us, we don't think its a coincidence that Ben has not been able to remember his dreams for the entire time he slept in that room.
So, the three of us now have to find space in one room. It's becoming a little like what I imagine homes that house the entire extended family are like. Five people sleeping in two rooms. I will draw the line at washing being strung up inside though. Living in Australia - that's just not necessary *grin*. It makes me smile, I must admit, when I think about huge McMansions being built with five bedrooms for a family of two adults (who share a room usually) and two children. One room inside which often the only person sleeping, is a tiny baby (who most often wants to be snuggled between his parents, anyway! *laugh*).
So, why a queen bed above and not just a single raised bed?
Well - we have a mattress and linen for a queen. No point buying another single mattress (the one we own will be used by our new housemates) and more linen. That's unnecessary consumerism. It also means, that Ben has the upstairs bed and Goose has the downstairs bed and there is room for two in each, which means I have the option to take my pick in where I sleep! I do love how Goose may be the only person sleeping in a king sized bed on occasion. Quite amusing.
It got me to thinking why more families don't cram lots of people in fewer rooms - after all, you're just sleeping in there. And I think the reason is, nowadays, bedrooms are not just for sleeping - they are a sanctuary of private space. And that's important. But I also think, separate rooms for living can be alienating. I recall sharing a room with my two sisters for the majority of our childhood. In some houses, it was two in one and one in another. The one in her own room almost always felt left out and spent her time in the room of the other two. I also recall alliances being made between the two that shared a room, often to the point of leaving the third out.
During our teenage years, we all slept in a fitted out attic space. There were three sections (and invisible lines we dared not cross if border control was enforced), but no doors or walls. I know without a doubt, these years during our childhood strengthened the bond we have as adults now. Oh - there were fights - oh boy, were there fights! But because we couldn't lock ourselves away in a room, we were forced to figure out our shit. Because we couldn't avoid each other, we were in each other's faces and life is more enjoyable when we were harmonious, so peace was reached, I believe, much sooner than it would have been, were we able to lock ourselves away. Particularly during teenagehood.
And I have wonderful, wonderful memories of sharing space - of talking until we fell asleep, telling stories, sharing jokes. I remember laughing until my pillowcase was wet with tears and my stomach muscles ached (my sisters are incredibly funny - or perhaps, we're just an amusing trio, we often did bounce off each other - another benefit from sharing space so often). And falling asleep with endorphins pumping through our veins was a wonderful sleep aid.
In our home now, we will have two rooms for sleeping. And because we'll be so tucked in, there won't be much space for living. Throughout the rest of the house though, we have a large lounge that merges with the kitchen, a long sunroom that doubles as an office space, that can be zoned off with glass doors and now an ex-bedroom, which will double as a large walk-in wardrobe and a study. We have a sofa that is sitting in the garage that needs a home and a desk that no longer fits in any sleeping rooms. And of course, there is an undercover outdoor space and a backyard. Many, many spaces for living (not to mention the beach a ten minute walk away). Space for sharing and enough space to find your own quiet if you need it. I'm looking forward to seeing how it will work.
With regards to the merging of sleeping space of Ben, Lucy and me - we're a tad apprehensive, but we're also optimistic. And the man loves any opportunity to get out the building toys *smile*.