It was coming up on the end of the island’s dry season, and the three blind mice were getting antsy.
“Kinda tired of the heat,” said Marvin.
“And the sunburns,” said Melvin.
“And mosquitoes,” said Harold.
“You guys are crazy,” said Felicia, their island host. “You’re gonna go back north where it’s all polar vortex-y?”
“Well,” said Marvin. “We’ll be there in time for fall. Fall’s not so bad. In fact, it’s my favorite season.”
“Mine too,” said Melvin.
“Mine three,” said Harold.
“Is there anything good to eat around then?” asked Felicia. “Won’t you miss this lush island bounty?” The mice inhaled the scents of all the fresh local produce Felicia had assembled in the middle of the table, piles of guava, cassava, taro, morning glory, and coconut.
“Yes,” said Marvin. “But think about all the brilliant reds and oranges, all the autumn harvests! Pumpkins, squash, apples of every variety, maple syrup, fruit butters, gourds, chestnuts, even apple cider donuts!”
Felicia made a face. “Sounds like a lot of pumpkin and apple to me. How will you guys get by without my cassava cheeses?”
Melvin and Harold looked concerned for a minute, but Marvin waved away their worries. “You’ve taught us how to experiment and reach beyond our limited and traditional conceptions of what defines a particular food. I’m sure we can make something good where we’re headed.”
And with that, the mice packed up their scant belongings and a few goodbye cheeses from Felicia which they assiduously hid inside their clothing so as to escape the vigilant dairy guards at customs. After a long-haul two day flight, they arrived little worse for the wear and began a long run from the airport to the river, following it past the outskirts of the city to where it unfolded in gentle turns along forested valleys and rounded green mountaintops. The leaves changed as they went and each day was like living in a pool of golden hues. The mice took up residence in a cheery barnhouse, just dilapidated enough so no one would bother them amidst the cracks of fresh sunlight that entered each morning. There they happily chased crickets and began a series of culinary experiments which resulted in Felicia awaking one day to the sound of a parcel being dropped on her front porch.
“What on earth,” she said, picking up the brown paper-wrapped package. Turning it over she unloosed a card from where it was stuck in the wrapping twine and read the following, written in Marvin’s loose script:
Where there’s a will there’s a way. Enjoy the latest batch of our autumnal alternative fromage making.
The Three Blind Mice
And with a wry smile and pride in her eyes, Felicia sat down to enjoy her northern friends’ harvest treat with some fresh-made cassava crackers.
[I realize that this story is totally seasonally inappropriate for most of my readers at the moment, but I’m currently living in summer which makes me think fall is coming, which it never will here although oddly enough I managed to find foliage on a tropical island. Anyway, will repost in actual fall. 🙂 ]
- 3 tb grassfed gelatin
- ⅓ c water
- 1.5 c cooked pumpkin (I used roasted fresh, imagine canned is fine)
- 1.5 - 2 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste)
- 2 - 3 tsp apple cider vinegar, lime, or coconut vinegar (adjust to taste)
- 2 tb tapioca flour or arrowroot starch
- 6 tb nutritional yeast
- 2-4 tb fat (coconut oil, duck fat or tallow)
- Bloom gelatin in water (sprinkle gelatin on top and let it sit for a few minutes).
- Then blend with pumpkin and rest of ingredients (start with lesser amounts of the salt and acid and increase as you continue mixing so you can season to taste) over low heat on a stovetop until everything has melted and you have a cheese sauce-like consistency.
- Take off heat and pour mixture into mold or parchment lined container.
- Let chill/solidify in fridge for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).
- Serve with crackers, biscuits, or just eat plain!
This post has been shared on Phoenix Helix’s Paleo-AIP roundtable.