Thursday, January 6, 2011

Confessions of a Catastrophic Cook

I have loved cooking since as long as I can remember. Not just cooking but everything: planning, thinking of, and modifying recipes, thinking up entire meal weeks, and baking as well. For the past year or two my own diet forced me to exclude gluten and dairy but I have continued to love cooking for the people I love. I depend a lot on my nose and hope between that and my brain I don't end up too off when it comes to taste for many things.

When I have an inkling to make something it won't leave my head until I do. So this afternoon while working at the shop with John I began to wonder what to make for dinner. Home-made pizza like my mama makes immediately seized my brain and I simply knew I had to make that for dinner or John would have to go hungry because I didn't feel I could make anything else.

I have never made pizza entirely by myself - that is one meal my mom has always made herself every Saturday night. On my drive home I began to wonder how I was going to get past the first obstacle, Mum has always had her bread machine mix and rise her pizza dough. I don't have a bread machine. Hum. I called up home and my dad solved the problem and said I should just attempt to put it together by hand like "grandma's rolls".

I did just that, the dough felt really good even though I dared to half the recipe which isn't always the smartest thing to do when dealing with bread. I had the pizza stone in the oven but, alas, no cornmeal. Cornmeal is used on the stone so the pizza slides on and off easily. Another call to mum and we finally decided yeast might work. I decided it didn't have a choice.

Next, I realized I didn't have a pizza paddle to first make the pizza on and then transfer to the oven. Oh well. An upside-down cookie sheet would have to do.

Assembled, my first pizza did look rather dashing. Sauce, mushrooms, mozzarella, colby, pepperoni, parmesan. My heart twitched as I thought about transferring it to the oven. I began to lift it with a spatula but it ended with a heart-wrenching job of gradually pushing and pulling it off and messing up the whole top. Feeling like tears for no good reason I fixed it up as much as possible hating that I had started the project.

Ugh. Why do I get these stupid ideas in my head?

When John walked in I explained, "Well, I made you pizza for dinner but you can laugh at it when comes out because it looks horrible."

A minute later I pulled it out. John breathed, "Mmm, that looks great."

I examined and disagreed.


He said it tasted good, really good. He didn't even let it cool down but burned his mouth several times just because he wanted to eat it so much. He continued eating until half of it was gone. I kinda like my overly appreciative husband.

I prefer to have things look and taste good....but when you only have one option, I guess taste is better than look.


No more pizza until I have a pizza board and cornmeal.