Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Pizza Chronicles - Special Edition 6/5/11

Watch this 16m documentary about Dom DeMarco, pizzaiolo.  It's about art, pizza, family, and the American dream. 

"The Best Thing I Ever Done"


The Best Thing I Ever Done HQ from Margaret Emily MacKenzie on Vimeo.

h/t Slice:  http://slice.seriouseats.com/

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Pizza Chronicles 04/12/11


Shrimp and Asparagus

Look, I'm fully aware that in Italy, it is rare and usually inappropriate to comingle cheese and seafood on a pizza pie.  But, in some cases I have found that a judicious use of mozzarella and ricotta works and works very well.  When did I claim to be a purist? 

------------

Friday, March 18, 2011

Points of Interest

1)  Nancy is going on a missions trip to Haiti.  It is an exciting time and a remarkable opportunity.  She's pretty pumped.  Please pray for her, if you feel so led.

2)  As we get older, we all wage our own personal war against Gravity.  This particular law of physics is relentless, insidious, and certainly no respecter of age.  However, here is an interesting article from Popular Science about a man who declared war on Gravity and even won a couple of battles.  Check out this story about Roger Babson's Gravity Research Foundation.

3)  Here's a great article by Michael Ruhlman about cooking dried beans.  It's really interesting.  Really.  Go read it and thank me later.  Preferably a couple of days later, if you know what I mean.

4)  I bought one of these for some beloved family members.  I think you should consider it, too.  Especially if you or someone you care about lives in a city.  Because, if/when we see TEOTWAWKI, it's going to be drastically worse in the cities than it is in the country.  Here's the link, check it out.

I was considering doing this even before the current horrific disaster in Japan.  Yet, the need for this kind of preparedness, and even for much, more more, cannot possibly be highlighted with any greater clarity.  It is foolish...no, just plain abject stupidity...to think that such a disaster could not happen here.

California, I'm talking to you.  Scientists tell us, with near unanimous certainty, that it is not a matter of if, but when, there will be a catastrophic earthquake on the West Coast.  And, guess what...there is no truly safe place.  The second largest earthquake in North American history chose New Madrid, Missouri as it's epicenter.  Remember New Orleans, after all, and then consider even the difficulties suffered by many people during the harshest days of this past winter.  And while it is certainly true that, at the appointed hour, we are all going to face our earthly demise, it is my belief that for as long as we are able, we should choose life.  In the future, I believe it is not the strongest who will have the greatest chance of survival but, rather, those who planned well.

5)  What you believe is important.  Not merely that you believe something deeply or with great sincerity, but that you believe the right things, the true things.  It is important to remember, too, that just because you don't believe something, it doesn't mean that it is not true.  And so, with that in mind, here is that sad, interesting, and unfortunate interview of Rob Bell by journalist Martin Bashir:



-----


The Pizza Chronicles 03/18/11


Rihm's FRESH Italian Sausage, 
with Baby Spinach, Green Pepper, Mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Regiano.  

Yeah, fresh sausage makes a big difference.
--------

Monday, February 28, 2011

In Which I Indulge in a Very Brief Lament

Oh, for crying out loud...PikeSpeak, has devolved into what is, essentially, just a food blog.  Where is the insightful commentary, the thoughtful prose, the whimsical (and yet manly) poetical musings, the incisive critique of contemporary culture, the music reviews, the deep spiritual philisophicationisms, or the gratuitous self-promotion?  Ummm...okay, maybe we have that last one...

Next, I'll probably be posting pix of the "Spaghetti Dinner for 150 People" thing that I'm doing on Family Night this Wednesday at church.   That one IS big fun, though, with the all the women from Nancy's Small Group helping out.  Actually, "helping" is not really the right word since, without them, it really wouldn't happen at all.  I think I may take some pictures of that.

I like spaghetti.  It's the best.  With garlic bread.  If you don't agree, then you clearly weren't raised right and your opinion is wrong.

--------------

The Pizza Chronicles 02/28/11

If I were more diligent, there would be a Pizza Chronicles update at least once a week.  But I'm not, so here's one now.


"Peppered Ham", Artichoke Hearts, Greek Olives, and Mozzarella pizza.  

The "Peppered Ham," purchased at my local Krogers, is advertised as Canadian bacon.  It's really not, but it is still pretty good on a pizza.  They should just call it what it is and not be pretentious about it. 

And, if you're not making your own pizza dough, you're not doing it right.  If you need a good, fast, simple recipe, let me know...I'll get you going.
-------------------------





Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Casualty in the Kitchen

 This afternoon, I made one of the nicest looking, best tasting loaves of bread to date.


Sadly, after removing the lid to my Bread Pot so that the crust could finish,  it slipped out of my potholdered grip, crashing onto the oven door, shattering into three large pieces and several smaller shards.


Bummer.  But it could be worse.  At least I'm not demonstrating in the square in downtown Tripoli. 

Such is life.  I'll have to order another Bread Pot soon.
 ----------

Monday, January 03, 2011

BreadPot

For Christmas, Nancy gave me something super cool...a ceramic BreadPot.  For a couple of months, I had been reading about various breadbaking techniques and ran across a helpful blogpost by Mark Bittman that mentioned a handmade covered baking dish and a fabulous picture.  Go check it out when you are done here.

I tracked down Judith Motzkin, her website, her blog and, after more reading, concluded that it would be just the thing.  She and I corresponded a bit and she recommended this particular model, with a flatter bottom and deeper lid, because it suited the ciabatta-style bread that I have been making.  Here is the first product from my BreadPot, a couple of whole wheat ciabatta loaves:



The BreadPot is an appealing, rustic creation with a cheerfully functional aesthetic.  It is simple, beautiful, and artistically made.  I liked it as soon as I saw it, even before trying it out.  Judith includes a bread recipe, indelibly inscribed in the lid, something she does with all of her pots.  I will try it soon.  She also has a rye bread recipe that I will find again and try soon, too.

I cooked the bread at 425 degrees for 20 minutes like I normally do on my pizza stone, then I took the lid off, and cooked it for 10 more minutes to firm the crust.  It worked perfectly, rendering a good texture, firm crust, and full flavor.  It will take a little tweaking of ingredients and cooking time, I think, for it to be perfect, but I am off to a good start.