Where I live we have been living out of porta-potties for the past 2-3 weeks due to severe flooding. Yes, I said porta-potties. Anyway, good news is that we have been issued to use minimal water. Which means we get to go to the bathroom! However, that little things that you don't think twice about are affected. For example, cooking and cleaning. It is very difficult to cook without being able to use a little bit of water, whether it be to us it in the meal, to clean up or to wash vegtables. I thought making a pizza and a salad would be fairly easy to do without water. Stupid me.

I really thought this would be fairly easy. I bought pre-made dough/flatbread that came with the pizza sauce, pizza cheese, pepporoni, and mushrooms. Under normal circumstances, I would have totally made my own pizza sauce, but again no water=no dirty dishes for a while. And if I could make dough in my apartment, I would have done that too (see my previous blog post about me and dough). I used a plastic bowl and bottled drinking water to cleanse the mushrooms. Anyway, the pizza did turn out pretty good and was fairly easy to do!

Then I craved a salad... I usually just buy pre-packaged salad to begin with, but always have to rinse it. So I grabbed a strainer, my jug of drinking water, the salad and headed to the bathroom (where things are plugged). I drizzled the water over the salad and cleaned it the best I could.

I have found a new love for raspberry salad dressing. It works quite well with the salt in croutons, seeds, cheese or whatever you like to use. I use croutons and feta cheese and it was delicious (please excuse the plastic bowl and fork...oh, and the yellow counter tops!)

If you wanted to know...

Package of pizza dough (I was lucky to find stuff that came with the packaged sauce too)
Package of pepperoni
1/2 lb of Pizza cheese
1 cup of mushrooms

Raspberry Salad
Package of any type of salad mix you like
1/4 c of Raspberry dressing
Any toppings you prefer (I used Texas Toast Croutons and Feta cheese)
...To learn how to make these:

1) Canned Salsa - First of all, I've always wanted to learn how to can foods. Surprisingly though, my family has never done it (at least from what I know of). Lucky for me my future parents-in-laws are not only growing numerous types of peppers, but they also know how to can. I asked my future mother-in-law if she would teach me to can salsa.

2) Fondant - I've always been fascinated by using/decorating with fondant. There are many recipes on the internet about making homemade fondant, but I think I'll start with pre-rolled fondant and learn from there. Perhaps I should practice for my wedding because I want to be able to make my own top of the cake (the rest of the cake will be cupcakes!).

3) Homemade Knoephla Soup - For those non-Germans that don't know what Knoephla soup is...it is one of the best (in my opinion) soups out there. Knoephla means "dumpling". You can buy frozen packaged dumplings and thaw them, but it really is not the same. I would like to learn to actually make the dough. Also, my first and last attempt at Knoephla followed a recipe that required a couple pounds of butter...I learned and will modify my next recipe to completely X out the butter all together.

4) Poultry - I would LOVE to learn how to cook any type of poultry. I have yet to even make a Turkey. I have cooked Cornish Game Hen but that was a long time ago. Up in North Dakota Pheasants and Ducks are plentiful and would love to be able to make fresh poultry. I have eaten Duck before and it is delicious (then again, it was wrapped in bacon). Either way, for some reason poultry intimidates me. Beef and pork is easy...but poultry (aside from chicken) is scary. Also with poultry comes fresh eggs and I've heard those are very tasty to cook with also.

5) Sushi Rolls - Being a ND girl, I hope you don't think that I don't know what sushi tastes like because I do and I love it! In fact, I might just go eat some tomorrow. Fargo, ND has a fabulous sushi restaurant (wow I spelled restaurant correct without spell check!) called Yuki Hana. I've heard great reviews from people all over the nation, including ones that are right next to the ocean. I would love to be able to make my own sushi rolls. Pioneer Woman does a fabulous job at keeping her fans updated with her sushi making and it looks not only delicious but fun!

6)Pastries/Bread - I was never one of those people that could walk into my house and smell homemade bread, but boy do I love that smell! I would love to make my own pastries and bread products - all the way from doughnuts, white bread, honey bread, sweet bread, sour dough, puff pastries - you name it, I want to do it.

7) Creative Foods - I am not exactly sure what could come up in this section, but every now and then I stumble across websites that makes me say "Man, I wish I could have thought of that!" How you all do it, I have no idea, but someday I hope to have people saying about my stuff "Wow, I should have thought about that!"

And so that concludes my list. I noticed that I kept saying "I would love to..." or "I wish I could..." and am now thinking to myself "No! YOU WILL!" I will attempt everything on this list someday, some sooner than later. I would like a bigger kitchen to do this in though because currently I live in a one bedroom apartment (unless its under water by now).

If any of you know any great recipes for any of these foods and wouldn't mind sharing, I would happily attempt them! I also promise that I will keep posting all the foods that I attempt to make. Who knows, maybe Grandpa's Apple Pie is just around the corner.

Photo credits:
1) www.ww-recipes.net
7) http://so-me.coolcats.fr/2009/02/rainbow-man-needs-a-cake-today/

So, originally I was going to post something about things I'd like to learn how to cook/bake, and maybe I'll get to that later. However, as of now, there are many things going on in ND and the places where I'm at in ND. Valley City, ND and numerous other towns are being evacuated because of intense flooding. As of now, I'm staying Jamestown at my parents place awaiting the flood. However, Jamestown is now anticipating severe flooding.

Fictoris and I made the decision yesterday morning to get out of Valley City, ND even though we were not exactly in the flood plain (the flood plain ended on our street). Valley City State University (where we go to college) has basically been cut off from the world thanks to dikes and rising water. They made the announcement this afternoon to continue with courses online for the remainder of the school year. Many understandable questions arose from this - such as, "What if I don't have internet?" Many students do not have internet access 24/7 and I am one of them (parents got rid of it when I went to college 3 years ago). Currently, I have to go to a coffee shop to get online (thats where I'm at now).

It has not necessarily been a stressful situation, but more of an annoyance. For as technological VCSU is, email services and other academic items have been more or less, down. I agree that officials are doing an amazing job at keeping citizens, students, faculty and staff informed. However, their means of getting that information to us is a bit of a nuisance and I know there are many students that still have thousands of questions.

Hopefully, I will be able to post some photos later of not only Valley City but maybe Jamestown, ND. I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. Thank you to everyone who is working hard in this difficult situation.