There is a very popular little cafe in my hometown.
Whenever I visit and we go out to lunch, I know where my mother will want to go.
And my mother knows I’ll suggest some place, any place, else.
It’s not that the food isn’t good; it is.
It’s just not put together carefully. It’s presented in a slapdash fashion; rather haphazardly, as it were.
If I have a cheeseburger, all the cheese will be on one side.
If my sis and I both have a bowl of chili: hers will have all the meat and mine will have all the beans.
There simply appears to be no care paid to presentation.
After, once again, taking up the challenge from the Bread Baking Babes to wrestle a wet dough into submission… and failing miserably, I would like to humbly apologize for all the unkind words and thoughts I have directed at this small-town cafe.
It seemed simple enough to start: a pizza. I’ve made pizzas.
But that phrase “pour the dough into the pan” really should have set the alarm bells off a bit sooner.
Being the ever-obedient Baking
Bitch Babe I poured.
I was meant to “very generously coat” two pans with olive oil first.
I did that. It occurred to me, too late as it happens, that my idea of ‘very generous’ might differ slightly from the author’s….
As it turns out, I was so generous with the oil that the dough just kept slipping back to the center, regardless of how diligently I tried to coax it to cover the bottom of the pan.
I considered several options: using duct tape to fasten it to the sides of the pan; stapling it to the bottom of the pan (no food-grade staples); putting stones around the edges to weigh it down….
In the end, I decided on the ‘zen’ approach: let it be what it was meant to be, a flowing, free-form pizza.
Once the dough and I had come to terms with each other’s ‘state of being’ I turned my attention to the topping: 4 lbs of potatoes (and a big onion).
I started piling the potatoes on my little scale.
Surely I had read that wrong.
I DO try to follow the instructions (sort of) but I only had 2 lbs and I couldn’t possibly imagine how I could pile up more on my little free-form pizza.
Mon mari, being the omnivore that he is, was a little concerned about the potatoes as well.
He was concerned that there didn’t appear to be any room for the meat.
That’s where the other crust comes into the picture…Smart Babes!
A few olives, a bit of Bayonne ham and a sprinkling of cheese kept him happy.
They both got popped into a hot oven.
For some reason (could be that ‘very generous’ oil) the ham pizza turned out almost like fried dough, very crispy around the edges and it didn’t raise much in the oven at all.
The potato pizza was very, very good.
But the ham version, with it’s crispy, olive oil fried edges…. Now that rated the DO Award (Digestive Orgasm).
We finished off the potato version for breakfast – the true test of pizza was passed: It was good cold!
Once again, I have been humbled by the Bread Baking Babes…. But every group needs it’s leader, right? The star, the one who always gets it right?
And in order for the star to shine someone has to serve as the bad example, the screw-up, the one who, unfailingly gets it wrong.
I have finally found my niche!
I shall be the bad example; pictorial proof of what it’s NOT supposed to look like.
To see what it’s supposed to look like, visit some of the expert Babes.
A Fridge Full of Food (Glenna), Bake My Day (Karen), Cookie Baker Lynn (Lynn), I Like to Cook (Sara), Living on Bread and Water (Monique), Lucullian Delights (Ilva), My Kitchen in Half Cups (Tanna), Grain Doe (Gorel), Notitie van Lien (Lien), The Sour Dough (Mary aka Breadchick), Thyme of Cooking (Katie), and What Did You Eat (Sher)
Being a bad example has it’s own rewards… and I get to eat well, regardless.
One final note – as long as I’m feeling humble and apologetic….
I have been sadly neglectful of many / all of my favorite bloggers for the last few months while I worked on the rewrite of my website. I’ve been reading / skimming but not very good about commenting.
The new design has been all-consuming, but I went live with it yesterday. It’s not finished, but at a stage where I had to get it up and out there… the rest can be wrapped up over the next few weeks with much less stress.
Now I’m going to relax with my new book – a real page turner “Get into Bed with Google”….