Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Friday, January 06, 2006

Friday night pizza

Jasper keeps requesting pizza for dinner. It's one of his favorite foods. Several years ago Lane's brother and sister-in-law gave us a pizza stone that we love using. It came with a recipe for pizza crust.

Dissolve a package of yeast and one tablespoon of honey in one cup of 110-degree water. Let sit in a warm place until the yeast foams, about 5-10 minutes. Add three or more cups of flour to mixture and knead until well mixed and elastic. This is tricky, and I wasn't able to get it tonight. I used whole wheat flour, possibly too much, so it was on the dry side. But that's fine with me because I prefer a dense, chewy crust to a fluffy crust. Let the dough rise about an hour and then roll out to fit the size of the pizza stone. Oh, you don't have a pizza stone? Poor you. Roll it out to fit the size of whichever pan you're using, then.

I finally figured out the trick to kneading dough today. I've always found it too much work. As it turns out, I just need to stand on a bench in order to effectively put my weight into the kneading. Most counters are built to fit a taller person (ahem, like most men), which is why my little Grover arms ended up doing all the work. Some day I'll even start going to a gym so that I'll have the added power of muscular arms to knead well.

For the sauce I heated some garlic in olive oil and added a can of crushed tomatoes, about two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, two pinches of dried oregano, and some salt. Pizza sauce should be thicker than pasta sauce, so I let this simmer until it reduced a bit. Most people solve this problem by using tomato paste, something I should have thought of while I was at the Food Cult. I topped with sliced kielbasa, cremini mushrooms, calamata olives, red onion, and mozzarella.

In the meantime, who needs to work out when you live in brownstone Brooklyn? We've been fortunate enough to have a washer and dryer in the basement of our building, but for the past week or so the washer has been broken. Sears isn't sending anyone until tomorrow, after which everyone else in the building will be queuing up to do their wash. So I made a sojourn to the laundromat. Here's how it went.

I packed two large bags of laundry and filled my tote with toys and snacks. I bundled Jasper in his coat. I dragged the two bags down the hall and down one flight of stairs. I came back up and dragged Jasper and the toys down the stairs (they're especially steep for him to take by himself). I dragged the bags down the hall and a second flight of stairs. I came back to drag Jasper down the stairs. I brought up our cart and laundry detergent from the basement. I packed our bags into the cart, which I dragged up to the sidewalk. I grabbed Jasper and carried him in one arm while I pushed the cart with the other hand. The walk is about half a mile, too far for him to walk.

We spent about two hours there and it was actually quite pleasant, quiet, with just the two owners. I amused Jasper and the owners gave him some stickers. After folding everything and packing it all we headed back uphill to home, again Jasper in one arm and the cart with the other hand. I carried Jasper upstairs, plunked him down in front of Toy Story 2 (thank you, Pixar), came back downstairs, put the cart and soap away in the basement, brought the laundry up two flights of stairs, and had lunch. Then I took a nap with Jasper.

While I was at the laundromat a young man came in selling flashlights that don't require batteries and I thought, now that's a hard life. Selling flashlights no one wants. That and the laundry workout made me realize how fortunate I am (cue swelling grateful music here). No really, Lane and I have certainly worked hard. But we've also benefited from opportunities and great mental and physical health. I was just particularly aware of this today.

Meanwhile, I know someone whose life is so easy, he can empty an entire box of tissues and still be the apple of his mother's eye AND get pizza for dinner.


shaunamama said...

This was a great post! The pizza sounds yummy. Pizza happens to be my son's favorite food as well. He's the only five year old boy I know that eats like a bird at any other meal except for when we have pizza. For our homemade pizza, and when I can find a small quantity because buying a wheel is costly and wasteful, I shred munster cheese in with the adds a little bit of a salty zing to it that actually mellows the smelly feet odor of the mozzerella. I usually use a 2:1 ratio., he cracks me up!

shaunamama said...

Any advice on what to add to homemade chicken & rice soup to make it not so boring yet bland enough to appease two queasy-kid tummies?

Adriana Velez said...

How about coconut milk with lemongrass stalks? If you can't find lemongrass stalks, you could also add a little bit of lime juice. These flavors are more fun for the grownups but mild enough -- I hope -- for younger palates.

shaunamama said...

Thank you so much! I will try it most definitely!