So I decided to stop being a lazy ass and actually cook something. I’d like to say it was for me, or even for you guys, but really, I just felt bad for my kid. Plus my little (three year old) sister was over, and really there’s nothing that better passes the time than an involved cooking project. My sister is a whole lot pickier than Parker is–her diet consists mainly of eggs, rice, and boloney and cheese sandwiches with ketchup. So we made the most kid friendly thing I could think of: pizza.
And I figured after all my bitching and moaning about the heat to you guys, why not crank the oven up to 500?
So my morning started with my sister and my child bursting into my room this morning at 5:30 AM. It went a little something like this:
“Guess what sissy it’s morning time!”
“Huh wha? (Fumbles for glasses) Dani its too early go back to sleep. Wait how did Parker get out of his crib?”
“I showed him where to put his feet and he climbed out! And we danced to his turtle! Now it’s time to get up can we have pancakes?”
Yeah. Looks like my blissful days of confining my kid to his crib til I was ready to get up are over.
So after pancakes, we hopped in the car and were off to the farmer’s market and played in the park. When we got back, Parker went down for a nap, and Dani and I made pizza dough, surprisingly drama free. (She spilled the oil while trying to pour it into the bowl, but that’s about it.) We pressed our dough rounds out to rest, and made a very quick sauce out of some pureed tomatoes and a little tomato paste for body. (Also because I used more yellow tomatoes than red, and my sister was very concerned at the fact that our sauce was not really red.) At this point, Parker was up and running around the house. After a dip in the pool and a hose shower, it was back in the house to finish lunch.
The dough isn’t hard, especially with a mixer–it just takes time and a little organization. After it’s two hour resting period, you just roll it out, top, and bake. I kept the toppings pretty simple, as generally speaking not only is less more, but I figured she wasn’t going to eat anything but cheese. While I was slicing cheese, Dani asked me where the meat was, “cause Dr. Pepper said so.” I laughed, because I immediately knew exactly what she meant. Our pediatrician is very adamant about kids eating red meat for their iron, and according to my mother, she’s been on this whole eating meat thing since her latest well check. Just goes to show you how much kids listen, selective as it may be.
Unfortunately for her, I didn’t really have anything meat-wise ready to go, and at that point I wasn’t going to fuss around defrosting anything. So I told her too bad small fry, and we ended up with one cheese, one tomato-cheese-basil (no sauce), and another cheese-pinenut-sundried tomato-basil. As I had guessed, she only ate the cheese. (Though I’m hardly complaining. I once made macaroni and cheese, and she refused to eat it because it wasn’t the “orange kind.”)
But the kids are now tired, fed, and in bed. Me? I’m tired, fed, and posting this next to a 500 degree disaster of a kitchen. But hey, this whole post makes me look like a kind and thoughtful mother and sister. (Minus the whole confining my kid to his crib thing…) So cheers to that. (Don’t judge me. It may not be five o’clock, but it is somewhere, and at least it’s after noon…)
dough from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
I normally include all recipes, but this time I’m opting to link. Heidi had permission to copy the recipe; I don’t. With something as particular as this, I feel better about linking you to the source, where you’re more likely to get the complete information. My half-assed adaptation would surely be inadequate. As somewhat of a consolation, I’ve included the tomato sauce I used, but I literally threw it together without measuring. But I like to think this shouldn’t be a problem for you very accomplished cooks reading this.
1/2 recipe pizza dough (I froze the rest as instructed)
fresh tomato sauce*
toppings of choice (I used two small tomatoes for one pizza, a handful of basil between two, a scattering of both pinenuts and sundried tomatoes for one, and nearly a pound of fresh mozzarella between the three pizzas.)
Fresh Tomato Sauce
about 1 lb. good tomatoes (This sauce is not cooked, so use the best ones you can find.)
one clove garlic
3-4 large fresh basil leaves
couple of spoonfuls of tomato paste
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of sugar
glug of extra virgin olive oil (about two tablespoons)
Using a sharp knife, score an X at the bottom of each tomato. Put a pot of water on to boil. Once at a rolling boil, place the tomatoes in the water. Take off the heat and let sit for a minute or two. Meanwhile, fill a bowl with ice water. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes from the hot water into the cold. At this point, you should be able to slip the skins off of the flesh of the fruit.
Squeeze the tomatoes through your fingers into the pitcher of a blender. You should be able to pick out the stems without having to cut them out, eliminating a step where you’re quite likely to gouge yourself with a paring knife. Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender. Cover and puree. Taste for seasoning.
Tada! You have sauce!