Entries from January 2009 ↓

How I make a pizza:

Many ways, but the standing favorite is served with a mini pita crust. The crust is a challenge for me. I can’t pull dough to save my life; even after watching videos, it is a lost cause. So, I search and test various breads to see which will bake up a good pizza. Corn tortillas come out perfect. They are the right serving size and crisp well when baked. Mini pitas are smaller in diameter and need to be toasted before adding toppings. So: toast your bread crust of choice to your preferred crispness before adding your toppings. My toppings are simple. Either leftovers broiled or tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella. In my house, simple is IN as is eating IN.

PS  The more veggies you eat with your pizza, the better. It adds to the crispy crust crunch factor: raw carrots, sugar snap peas, little broccoli florets, endive, toasted pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

A pizza too big for your oven?

Everyone knows what Costco is. It is a bulk retailer as in “bigger is better”,  “more is better”,  “gimme gimme gimme” + “consume consume consume”. It just follows a typical American consumer pattern. It is the same as a diner meal. Low cost for mega servings.

I really got my money’s worth there!’

For instance: have you ever purchased a Costco pizza? How about their sicilian (square) style? Does it fit into your oven completely without touching the sides? Well, it didn’t fit into Wendy’s oven, so I cut it in half (and forgot to put a pan underneath to catch the dripping cheese – I’ll never live that consequence down). Almost had to call the fire department for the smoke during the oven cleaner cycle (just ask Kevin).

Someone I just met offered the obvious solution: the oven should have been purchased at Costco! Bigger is better!

How about Papa Murphy’s pizza? Does the family size pizza fit into your oven without touching the sides? The directions for baking a Papa Murphy’s pizza says to place it in the oven making sure the paper tray does not touch the oven walls. Why is that? Will it catch fire? or is it so the air can flow all around it?

I want to know why, not just how.

BTW, I have passed on buying another Costco pizza – the Wendy memory haunts me ( I think they had to clean the oven more than once – I’m afraid to bring it up). And I am forbidden to bring pizza to their house ever again. I do buy Papa Murphy’s pizza and the family size does fit into my oven. No, I did not buy the oven at Costco. But, if I was in the market for an oven…

The gutter garden is gone…

Lucas came by yesterday to clean the rooftop moss garden that had lent a lovely green hue to the house. I loved that color green along with all the other greens on the property adjacent to the creek. And the gutter garden I and the Stellar Jays had grown accustomed to didn’t survive either. My son came home from school after the clean up was done and asked: Why is the roof white?

It was the moss killer.

How do you say…?

I grew up in NYC. Queens to be exact. Yes, I USE to have a Queens accent, but I wanted to make money on Wall Street so I opted for more of a New England accent. It worked. However, in the Northwest everyone knows I come from the Northeast because I talk fast. What does this have to do with food? Nothing, I am ranting.

I met a woman recently who introduced herself as Don. She said it quickly, so I asked her to spell it…D-a-w-n. In NYC, that would be pronounced Dawn as in AW-ful. I think it should rhyme with fawn. She pronounced it Don as in Don Quixote. Ok. Here’s what Merriam-Webster says: dawn.

I met a man recently who gave me directions to Squalicum HS. He said to make a right from Sunset onto McCloud. McCloud pronounced like the word “loud”. Ok. I passed McLeod 2x and decided I ought to call. Why is McLeod pronounced McCloud? The sheeple strike again! Why not McDawneold’s?

Here’s another one. Gyro. In NYC, it is pronounced jeye-row. On the west coast, it is pronounced yee-row. Merriam-Webster is from which coast? The mysteries of phonology.

I’m done now. Thank you for your payshins.

Scharffen Berger Chocolate

My home is well stocked with staples: milk, eggs, bread and chocolate. I can see you smiling. No chocolate in your house? I’m sorry…but, chocolate = love = happiness. End of story.

The chocolate staple in my home is Scharffen Berger. I was introduced to Scharffen Berger chocolate by Helen Gustafson in her book The Agony of the Leaves: The Ecstasy of My Life With Tea. It is a compilation of her ‘tea’ anecdotes and many scrumptious ‘tea’ recipes. Scharffen Berger is her preferred chocolate in recipes and eating it straight, as I do, it is no wonder. I have the semisweet 60% cacao dark chocolate. The chocolate bar is in six pieces imprinted with a graceful goat on a mountain and 3 stars above it. It has a subtle chocolate smell with a hint of coffee and vanilla. It tastes rich and creamy and, of course, like chocolate!

Ingredients: cacao beans, sugar, cocoa butter, non-gmo soy lecithin and whole vanilla beans. Vegan anyone?

Scharffen Berger has a sister brand: Dagoba. I have seen this chocolate at the Community Food Co-op and Terra Organica and Bargainica. I’ll share my experience with this chocolate soon.