I’m not gonna sit here and pretend that I cook for myself every night, or even most nights. Approximately four out of five nights a week, I get home from work and am too tired to do anything besides microwave a Trader Joe’s frozen meal (two meals, actually, since the portions usually aren’t big enough). I’ve had nights where just putting food in the microwave seems like an insurmountable obstacle, in which case I’ll eat popcorn, Clif bars, cold leftovers, and ice cream until I’m full.
Tonight, however, I arrived home after work with a miraculous amount of energy, probably thanks to catching up on some sleep over the Labor Day weekend. In addition to dumping heaps of dirty clothes from our camping trip in the laundry, I decided I’d iterate on my pizza recipe for dinner. I tried out a new recipe a few weeks ago, one I’d come across in a magazine and took a picture of while standing in the grocery aisle (so as to avoid paying $15 for the issue), and it was one of the better pizzas I’ve made. Making a perfect pizza is, of course, an iterative process, and so I’m hoping that tonight I can hone my skills further.
As I wait for the frozen dough to thaw, I’m listening to Pusha T and Lauryn Hill’s new single “Coming Home” (related good read: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/pusha-t-lauryn-hill-coming-home-interview-877915/). It’s … fantastic. I know it’s one of those songs that wasn’t written for me (Pusha T raps about drug dealing, black activism in the 80s, lack of access to education growing up) but I don’t think that means I shouldn’t be able to get something meaningful from it. After all, isn’t that the definition of any great work of art: that its themes are universal? And Lauryn’s refrain (“When love is real, you can do anything”), well … who doesn’t want to believe in that?
Ok, now I’m rolling out the thawed pizza dough with a wine bottle.
I’m not sure why I have yet to invest in a proper rolling pin, maybe it’s because some part of me feels resourceful when I don’t buy an extra tool and instead make use of something already in the house. I’m planning to make a bbq chicken and mozzarella pizza, and a mushroom and vodka sauce pizza, not because those are the tastiest pizza combinations, but because I want to use ingredients we already have in the house (mushrooms, bbq sauce, vodka sauce, grilled chicken).
The first time I used this recipe I made a pesto pizza using fresh pesto I’d purchased from the local farmers’ market earlier that week, but everyone knows that adding pesto makes anything taste good (see also: cheese, salt), so we’ll see how these ones turn out without the “pesto crutch.”
Oh – if you somehow missed this blog post’s title, I’d like to remind you that this is not a recipe blog. This a simply a post that details the events, and my corresponding thoughts, of a mundane Tuesday evening. And another reminder: no one’s forcing you to read this. Now back to the cooking.
When it comes to food and cooking, I’m sucker for presentation (“if it doesn’t taste good, it might as well look good” is usually my motto). Pizza dough, however, is frustratingly difficult to mold into a circle, and so I often settle for some lopsided oval-y shape. You do what you can. These puppies are about to hit the oven:
Now, we wait. Thomas got home from work a few minutes ago – just in time for his fantasy football draft! Woo! On the bright side, he’ll be occupied for the rest of the evening, and I can watch whatever stupid rom coms I want without his judgement. I also look forward to devising his team’s name once the draft is complete; I’m basically renowned for coming up with fantastic player name puns. For example, when Thomas drafted Odell Beckham Jr. two seasons ago, we named his team “OBJYN.” And last season when he drafted Tyreek Hill: “Tyreek-a-Leek” (if you don’t get the Petey Pablo reference, please remove yourself from this blog).
And … the pizzas have arrived!
Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. Besides taste, I rate the dinners I cook based on time spent vs. gourmet-ness (the more gourmet-ness for less time, the better), dishes needing to be washed at the end, and use of existing kitchen ingredients. I’d say I scored pretty well on all fronts today. And now, as zee French say, “Bone Apple Tea!”