Back to the routine — briefly.

Another crazy weekend around these parts, and look: it only took me until Wednesday Friday to update about it! (Note: HOT DAMN!) I know: it’s the busiest time of year for pretty much everyone*, but the reach of this hecticness doesn’t make me feel too much better about everything I’ve let slide off my plate. And why should it? The fact that every person I know is scrambling to get their Amazon orders in before express shipping is the only feasible option, to get their cards [hastily] written and mailed, their ribbons curled, their Xmas bottles of white and lambic properly chilled — well, their busyness doesn’t lessen my own. Sure, there’s comfort to be taken in camaraderie, but at the end of the day, I alone am responsible for baking that batch of Snickerdoodles and stamping that stack of envelopes.

Anyway. Hook and I got a lot of Xmassy things done this weekend: shopping, card writing, putting one ornament on our Chrimbus Bush. In the midst of all this activity, we even detoured for a lunch at Hooters (only my second trip to the chain!), where we enjoyed spicy spicy boneless wings, a platter of curly fries, and sodas served in 64-gallon drums. But Hooters isn’t what I meant to write about — I meant to say that, despite our hella jammed schedule, I made time to make from-scratch pizza on Sunday evening.

I started with the sauce, roughly following my mom’s [unwritten] recipe. Saturday, I’d purchased a new bottle of olive oil — a different brand whose sharp packaging enticed me. Is the oil better than the standard brand? Hard to say, but the bottle looks great on our countertop. (Note: Photo of this awesome bottle coming soon. I was going to snap a pic last night, but the light was low and the bottle was still dusted with flour (flour that I was too lazy to wipe off, might I add!).)

I never make sauce the same way twice; I think that’s the best way to approach the process (at least, that’s what I tell myself). Into hot oil I placed the chopped onions, the finer chopped garlic. Then, the tomato sauce, the oregano, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, sugar. A few other secret touches. I let that pot simmer for a good hour while I puttered around the kitchen, washing dishes, listening to Hook practice clarinet. (Note: Hook got a clarinet for $35 at the Goodwill. HELL YEAH! Our jazz band plan can finally be brought to fruition.)

Next, I made the dough. I use Michael Ruhlman’s recipe (the one printed in “Ratio”), and it turns out awesomely every time. Didn’t use the food scale this time around, but the dough was still fantabulous. (Note: Though the book doesn’t specify, I’ve come to believe that the recipe given actually makes two crusts. How do I know this? Because our pizza’s crust was totally out of control, sizewise. I’m not complaining — I love crust! — but the breadiness of the dish was too much for Hook.)

The beautiful crust, waiting to be topped.

After the dough rose, I rolled out my crust (and even tossed the dough, stereotype-style), spread it with sauce, and topped that bad boy. Hook’s half of the pie had simply cheese and pepperoni. Mine had, in addition to Mozzarella, pickled jalapenos, feta, and sliced mushrooms. 22 minutes of baketime later, we had ourselves a winner of a dinner.

Check out those jalapenos: YUM.

I wish every night could be homemade pizza night: wouldn’t that be the true definition of Livin the Dream? It would in my book, at least. Sadly, other responsibilities (i.e., my job) prevent me from making fresh sauce and dough on a daily basis, but here’s the good news: I made a ton of extra sauce to freeze so that my pizza dreams may more frequently become reality(!) I’d like to make at least one more homemade pizza before I head back to MN; I’m thinking that Monday will be the night of Pizza and Baking Christmas Cookies (varieties yet TBD), and maybe some wine and carols, too. So cozy: can it be Monday night yet?

 

***

*Except hermits and those who “opt out” of all holiday celebrations, religious and secular alike. There’s a lot of overlap between the two groups, when you think about it.

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