Make this pizza

Now that I have been entrapped in the YouTube Universe I see many many things I feel a need to make (and make right now!!) but this pizza looked utterly delicious, the sound of the crunch of it in the YouTube was seriously convincing and it seemed simple enough. So I made it . . . Ooh mama. Video here

Although there is not actually a recipe and a few things were unclear to me (but then, many things are unclear to me) I stumbled my way through it easily enough. While there is a more-than-I-prefer amount of dough kneading, the rest of this recipe is super easy. The sauce is super simple and the taste of it was super spectacular. And the crust was super crunchy.

Leftover dough

I had a quarter of a full recipe for bread (You make the dough and divide it into quarters). I was thinking pizza, but I wasn’t thinking very hard because you cannot, or at least I cannot slide a wettish-doughed pizza off of a peel onto a very hot baking stone in a very hot oven. 

Eventually I settled on making it into a “calzone.” Actually I had no choice the thing just rolled into a blob when I tried to slide it. 

It looked like I’d put a sleeping baby into the oven. And it was a complete mess. It was delicious even if the finished product looked like something the, well, I won’t go there.

Oslo bound

So I’m in Oslo now having survived the brutal trip from Milwaukee to the Newark airport, and from there to Brooklyn where I spent the night with my nephew and niece (Hi Gail, I didn’t have time although I did think about you quite often while I was there whirlwinding my way hither and tither) and then it was back to Newark and off to Oslo the next day.

Newark is the only city in the country with a direct flight to Oslo. And if you want to stop for a night and see your relatives or college friends in NYC it’s a simple trip from Newark to Penn Station as I discovered on my last trip. Unfortunately, after that, getting off the train and standing alone in the bowels of New York City with the swirling humanity surrounding you can be a tiny bit off putting and the New York subway system leaves much to be desired in terms of getting elsewhere.

On my last trip the unhelpful guy at the “information” desk in Penn Station told me angrily that there are no subways leaving from Penn Station “IT’S A TRAIN STATION!!!” which is technically true. But, I discovered this time, you can simply wheel your bags over to the 34th Street subway station which is practically visible from that information desk. From there according to Google Maps it’s a 20 minute trip to Brooklyn. What Google Maps does not explain is that the reason the line on the map from the 34th St station to Brooklyn changes color is that you have to change trains at some point. And theoretically this too should be easy if you were, say a New Yorker, and knew what the fuck you were doing.

I may have mentioned that I don’t travel lightly. I have BAGGAGE. In more ways than one. My suitcase is pretty much the size, weight and shape of a davenport. But this trip to Brooklyn with a train change, seemed not so daunting even with a couch. I mean, I have done it before, fer chrissake, I thought. You get off the (let’s say) A train and transfer at Hoyt-Schermerhorn to the G line (that’s 8 stops down). Easy. You don’t even have to go to a different platform. Just get off and get onto a G train. You just need to be sure the train you’re getting onto is going in the right direction.

Gosh, I thought distractedly, these stops have the same names as the ones we just came from. So that was fun. I leapt off the train (as much as one can leap with a divan) at the next stop which, if you were, you know, a New Yorker, you’d know you CANNOT TRANSFER AT THAT STATION TO THE OTHER SIDE!!!! Fortunately a very nice employee of the NYC Transit Authority opened a chain link gate allowing me to actually get to the other side. It was nice but it did involve quite a great deal of stairs. There’s more, I’ll spare you. I got to Brooklyn had dinner. My niece and nephew took me to have pizza. That alone would have been enough to have made up for the difficulty of the trip but this pizza was right straight out of this world. I cannot even explain why it was so different. But it was. Unlike anything I’ve ever had, and worth a trip back to Brooklyn although maybe not on the G line.

The next day rather than endure another hellish campaign across and through the pitiless and confusing underbelly of New York with a 74 pound suitcase twisting my arm out of my shoulder joint I called Uber. It was expensive-ish and super slow. Christ, traffic in New York. But anything would have been better and cheaper than the subway and the orthopedic surgery I was sure I’d need.

Unpublished draft 4

I happened to notice that I have 24 unpublished drafts on my blog posting list. So I’ve decided to fill in some empty spaces with some of these.

Mis en place

My go-to meal for sheer impressiveness, ease of prep and volume of variety. The ho-made pizzas on flour tortillas. You cannot beat it. But I also love how the whole deal looks when it’s set up. There’s something beautiful about it but also thrilling to be so ready to get down to business and turn these puppies out like model Ts off the assembly line.

You can get the entire processhere.

The Grand Tour, Food

I’d have to say that for the most part the food I’ve eaten in Europe, well, in the US, too, with the exception of Three Letters, hasn’t been so much. Lots of pizza in Italy. I haven’t really kept up with the stuff I eat mainly because there hasn’t been much to say about it for the most part, and of course, there were the 4 lost days of nausea. And I will get back to some of the high points later but here’s a sort of lame overview of meals in Europe.

There was a nice-ish radicchio risotto in Rome. Ashish ate quite a lot of raw beef (ugh). I had a number of bolognese meals. I love bolognese, Karen and I share in its joys, but my own is better than anything I ate in Italy. There was a lackluster carbonara while we sat next to some overly made-up, pouty sisters who were taking selfies all night while their indulgent grandfather (I hope) watched smiling smoking a cigar (shoot me). I had a couple three meatballs that were nothing to write home about (to be fair, and I am all about fairness, I wasn’t quite on top of my eating game at that point). There was the salad with goat cheese toasts minutes before the eaten credit card drama.

When it was Peter’s turn to select a luncheon venue in Venice we went with the cafeteria option that wasn’t so much my fave but apparently made him feel at home which got me to wondering about my sister’s cooking. I had a pretty good tuna and caper pasta lunch somewhere on some canal or other. There were some mediocre keftedes, mine are infinitely better. And there was a curried chicken salad that I should have fed to the pigeons. There are enough of the goddam things fluttering all around.

Deep fried eggplant

In contrast to the horrific and hideously expensive, minute portion of pickle. The deep fried egg plant at Divino is exquisite. And less expensive.

And I love their pizza and have for 35 years. Best pizza in Milwaukee (hand-tossed, hand-made thick-ish crust pizza, for thin crust I like Zaffiros).

Divino used to be Palermo Villa. Food is still the same.

The patron saint of pizza

I could not make out the name carved into the plinth on which he was standing so let’s call him Luigi. He was one of the saints surrounding the tomb of St Remi in the basilica of the same name in Reims. Apparently sausage was his fave. Me, I go with pepperoni and I prefer a crispier crust.

Pizza in California

My sister, her husband, my two nephews and I went out for pizza (Pizza Antica in a giant mall somewhere very Californi-ish) since I was not eating enough as it was. We started with appetizers of meatballs, arancini, some pot of melted cheese with toasts, bread and then 3 pizzas.

I don’t know how they all stay so thin. Well, I do actually, Peter the father didn’t eat any pizza since he was full from the half of a meatball he ate, Peter the son ate but did not take home leftovers, Peggy eats like a bird anyway and Evan, well, I’m not sure about Evan. He ate and he took home the leftovers. Me, I’ll eat anything no matter how much, if it’s there. I’m like a dog, unaware that it is not hungry.

 I am wearing my fat pants today and planning for my January-month-of-pain so my clothes fit comfortably again.

I can’t wait to get into my elastic waist lounge pants tonight.