Lenten Cooking with Father Vasiliy: Vegan Macaroni and “Cheese”

Macaroni and Cheese

Serving Suggestion

Your Fearless Blogger: Hello and welcome once again to Lenten Cooking with Father Vasiliy. I’m your host, Reader Alexis Riggle, and the star of our show is as always, Father Vasiliy Vasileivich, official spokesman for the Church Outside Russia of Orthodox Christians (COROC), and parish priest at Sts. Vladimir and Olga and Boris and Gleb Orthodox Church in Sydney, Australia.

Father Vasiliy: Is good to being here.

YFB: So what are we cooking today, Father?

FV: Today is this vegan macaroni and cheese-like Pharisee food.

YFB: Should Orthodox Christians eat Pharisee food?

FV: You are blocking my light.

YFB: Sorry, Father. Should—

FV: Sorry, no more time for questions. Please to save questions until question-and-answer time at end of show. Now let us get on with cooking.

YFB: Yes, Father. Before the show started, you had me start some noodles boiling—

FV: And did you?

YFB: Well, no, but I can now.

FV: Oy yoy yoy what I am having to work with. Okay, you do that, and I explain about cheese-like Pharisee sauce.

YFB (from far away): Okay, Father.

FV (confidentially): I am putting up with smart alecky American so-to-call-him editor—

YFB (from far away): Blogger!

FV (louder): Blogger formerly known as editor?

YFB (from far away): It’ll do.

FV (low voice again): …since 2002. This is not first time he didn’t have all his noodles in the pot, if you are getting my drift.

YFB (from far away): What about that sauce, Father?

FV (loud): Who is star chef here?

YFB (from far away): Yeah, yeah.

FV (normal voice): So for sauce we are starting with 300 grams of this tofu, and putting into blender.

YFB (normal voice): I’m back.

FV: So I am seeing. Now be still.

YFB: Yes, Father.

FV: We are putting tofu into blender, and adding 60 ml of the water. This is—

YFB: Father?

FV: This had better to be important.

YFB: What’s that in American measurements?

FV: Oh yes, is written down here. Is 5 ounces of tofu, and one quarter of the cup of water.

YFB: Thank you.

FV: Yes. Now we are putting in 30 grams of so-to-call-them nutritional yeast flakes.

YFB: clears throat

FV: Please to be patient. I am getting to it. One quarter of the cup.

YFB: Thank you.

FV: Will you shut up now?

YFB: Yes, Father.

FV: Oy. Now is to add 50 grams of capsicum. Not fresh but from can or jar. This is called in backwater country of United States, pimento, two ounces. Happy?

YFB: Delirious.

FV: Good. Next is 2 ml of liquid smoke seasoning. This is one half American teaspoon. A little of this is going a long way. Is better to use too little than too much. Smart-alecky comment?

YFB: You must be thinking of somebody else.

FV: You learn. Next about 10 milliliters, about two teaspoon, of sweet rice vinegar. Check on noodles.

YFB: (silence)

FV: Hello? Silly American blogger person? Please to check on noodles.

YFB: Sorry, right, yes, Father.

FV (conspiratorially): Otnay ootay ightbray, if you are understanding my meaning.

YFB (far away): I heard that!

FV (normal voice): Next 4 grams, this is about three quarter of the teaspoon, of salt. Then is about 3 milliliters (this is one half of American teaspoon) each of the garlic powder, the onion powder, the soy sauce, and the vegetarian Worcestershire sauce.

YFB: Worcestershire sauce isn’t vegetarian already?

FV: Is having fish.

YFB: Get out.

FV: I ignore you. If you are not having the vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, put in shake of monosodium glutamate and dash of hot sauce. If you are not liking the monosodium glutamate, leave it out. Is not big deal, as kids are to say.

YFB: Kids from 1975?

FV: We are slower to adopt silly American phrases in Australia. We must allow them to age, like wine, until we check them out.

YFB: “Check them out”?

FV: Always so critical. You should to be like me, who am always complimentary and never critical of anybody.

YFB: (silence)

FV: Finally turn on blender and blend until blended. Are noodles done?

YFB: Almost.

FV: We must do commercial.

YFB: Right. Here we go. Ahem. Tired of tofu? Sick of bean curd? Ready for something new? Well, St. Morganatic Monastery of Melbourne has just the thing for you! All-new, imitation tofu!

FV: You are kidding.

YFB: Shhh! I’m reading the commercial. Don’t insult the sponsors.

FV: Yes, yes.

YFB: Our monastery kitchen staff has been experimenting since 1974 with creating a substitute for tofu, since our abbot hates it. Made from rice, legumes, guar gum, and love, our imitation tofu will soon be a favorite with your family, just like it is with our monastery family. Look for it in the big neon-green box at all specialty health food shops near you. St. Morganatic – when you care enough to cook the very best. Not available in all locations. Persons with severe food allergies should read package carefully. Please dispose of container responsibly.

FV: Is all?

YFB: Is all.

FV: Are noodles done?

YFB: How should I know?

FV: Scientific method. Walk to pot. Remove noodle. Test for doneness. If is not done, noodles are not done. If is done, noodles are done and you may reject null hypothesis.

YFB: In English?


YFB (voice growing fainter): Okay, okay, no need to get huffy.

FV (conspiratorially): Always with head in clouds.

YFB (from far away): I heard that!

FV: Place noodles in bowl.

YFB: Got it!

FV: And toss with cheese-like Pharisee sauce. Mm good.

YFB: Is it?

FV: Let us to try. Actually no, I try, and you answer phone.

YFB: To ask Father Vasiliy a cooking question, call the number on your screen.

FV: We have very low-tech camera from going-out-of-business sale at Canberra television station. We cannot place numbers on screen.

YFB: It’s written on the white board in front of the cooking island.

FV: Oh. I am seeing.

YFB (conspiratorially): Genius.

FV: I am hearing that!

SFX: Phone rings.

YFB: Hello! This is Lenten Cooking with Father Vasiliy! You’re on the air!

Caller: Hi, Father Vasiliy? I don’t have a cooking question, it’s a need for priestly advice.

FV: Ai yai yai.

Caller: My problem is, I try to be a good Orthodox Christian, but I really just don’t like my priest.

FV: Reader Bob? Is Reader Bob Foster? Why are you call and bother me on show? All I ask is that you not to park in Babushka Svetlana’s place, and you are all of the sudden most tormented Christian in Australia, calling bishop and pestering online cooking shows.

SFX: Phone hanging up.

YFB: Troubles at Sts Vlad & Co.?

FV: Just one foolish reader.

YFB: I wouldn’t know anything about that.

FV: I can well to believe.

SFX: Phone rings.

YFB: Hello! This is Lenten Cooking with Father Vasiliy! You’re on the air!

Caller: What if I don’t like tofu?

FV: Then you should not to make this dish.

Caller: I suppose that makes sense. Thanks, Father Vasiliy!

FV: Is not problem.

Caller: You’re so smart. Not like that reader you got there.

YFB: Ooops! Looks like we lost the call.

SFX: Phone hanging up.

FV: You are doing this on purpose.

YFB: Couldn’t be. I’m too foolish.

FV: Oy. Well, thank you for joining us this week on Lenten Cooking with Father Vasiliy. This is your star chef, Father Vasiliy Vasileivich—

YFB: And this is your host, Reader Alexis Riggle—

Both: Good night.

Copyright © 2012 Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.


About Your Intrepid Blogger

I live in the Tacoma area. When not writing things some people think are funny, I teach technology to 7th and 8th graders at a local middle school.

6 comments on “Lenten Cooking with Father Vasiliy: Vegan Macaroni and “Cheese”

  1. That actually sounds rather tasty. I may have to try it. Please extend my thanks to Fr. Vasiliy.

  2. Yummm! Instead of going to bed, which I should have done, I just made an informal version of this recipe (informal because I do not have all the ingredients, and I never measure anything). It’s quite good. Fortunately I had tofu and so-to-call-them nutritional yeast flakes. And macaroni. But I am dying to ask Fr. V: Was tofu in 19th century Russia? Inquiring minds want to know.

  3. Oh, and I put a bit of turmeric in, which gives it a beautiful yellow color.

  4. If I had a cup of coffee and a couple thousand dollars in the bank, I would produce this show.

  5. Are you going to make me some? That sounds really yummy.

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