Sometimes you win some; sometimes you lose some. Sometimes, you just hit things somewhere in the middle (I hate black & white scenarios).
I try to dabble with being awesome to myself. I need it. I struggle with finding a solid happiness these days.
So for Valentine’s Day, I tried to spoil myself with a rockin’ pizza: shrimp, onions, tomato, mushroom…all the awesome stuff.
Taking my regular dough recipe, I threw in a teaspoon of dried basil and a tablespoon of garlic powder (which translates into half per pizza). Prepping this the night before, I froze one half in in plastic wrap and refrigerated the other half also in plastic wrap. While that was rising, I browned some freshly minced garlic with oregano in EVOO and butter for the “sauce” for the pizza.
Checking on the dough the following morning (because it has a tendency to keep rising until it’s thoroughly chilled), the dough had managed to escape its wrapper. Not at a poorly sealed seam in fact, but instead it managed to burst a fresh hole in the wrap. Regardless, it took some serious kneading to reincorporate the residual moisture from the rest of the dough to remoisten the dried stretch of dough that burst out of the wrap. Once it was all rolled out, I had to get a healthy helping of the garlic/oil mix onto it.
Going sauceless, I wanted to avoid using too much mozzarella. As the oil won’t really dry down, the hope what that I’d be primarily dry roasting everything on the top of the pizza while it was baking. With that in mind, I opted to not cook the shrimp first, and load it directly onto the pizza while letting the oven do the work. Slicing both the tomatoes & mushrooms nice & thick, I hoped to have a well-loaded pizza.
At this point, I was stuck waiting for the oven to get warmed up (to 500˚F…apparently it takes a few minutes) while I was cruising right along through a bottle of shiraz. In fact, I was curious to see whether or not I’d end up drunk before the pizza was finished.
— Jamie Baxter (@himay) February 15, 2014
Once it was finally done, the ten minute bake wasn’t quite long enough to finish cooking the shrimp, so I tossed the pizza under the broiler to finish it. At which point, I might have been a bit drunk. I realized I needed to get the pizza back out of the oven when I saw a small plume of steam/smoke exiting the exhaust pipe of the oven. I managed to grab the pizza before the damage got too bad…
Still delicious, with only a minuscule taste of burn. I think this was a testament to the hot mess that my life has been lately. I’ve been a sloppy wreck. My focus has been shot, and I have no shelter recoup in. I need to find that happy place; shut out the world, find some temporary bliss, and try not to exhaust it while I decompress in it.
In the interim, cooking will just have to suffice. Maybe with less alcohol. I don’t want to go scorching everything, now do I?
Although, I need to figure out what to plan for eats this coming birthday weekend. I’m making myself beer-battered pancakes (a long-standing favorite that I’m exceptional at making), but I haven’t figured out what I would like for dinner. I should probably figure that out sooner than later, so I can weasel in any prep work earlier in the week, to avoid drunkenly messing it up later!