Monday, June 20, 2011

Pizza Kitchen

The other day, My Love asked me to make my home-made pizza for lunch to feed him and his work buddies. 3 pizzas please by 11:30 am. My initial reaction was to panic... how could I get to the store, shop for ingredients, make the dough, prep everything, roll out, assemble, bake...and then transport!!! everything and maintain its heat? UGG. His "office" is 20 minutes away. There is no way, I thought.
But then my brain stopped spazzing out and I calmed and said, "of course I'll do it for you Babe." 

So 8:40 am rolls around and I mix up the dough and set it to rise for an hour (see the white covered bowl?) while I go to the commissary to grab the toppings. The store is pleasantly empty at 9am in the morning. Only a few retirees and their wives and some early bird mommies are browsing the isles. Nice!! I was able to zoom through the produce section and fly through the meats in a fraction of the time that it usually takes me. And I only almost rammed someone else's cart once! The icing on top of the grocery store cupcake... self check out was EMPTY!! Commissary Heaven!

9:30am: back at home. But due to some little girls I know... groceries are not unloaded until 9:45. Ah!  But never fear... as you can see, I got it done.
Cheese, Italian sausage, pepperonis, ham, bacon, mushrooms, bell pepper, tomatoes, spices, tomato sauce, foil trays and hot/cold bags! 
That's right. I figured out my transporting/heating issue while
blasting through the baking isle. I just hoped it would work. 

9:50 am. Prep work begins. 
They requested half of a veggie/supreme pizza and half with no pepperoni. The other two should be just meats. Easy enough.
So while the sausage was sizzling under pressure (cause I put a lid on..hehe) and the bacon was broiling (cause it just better that way!)... I chopped the veggies and mixed up the sauce.

  I have been making home-made pizza for FOREVER. My mama started making this pizza back when Balki and Larry and the Dinosaurs were part of T.G.I.F.
You remember... "Not the Mama! Not the Mama!"
I loved Friday nights when I was little. Always helping Mom mix the sauce, place the pepperonis... sitting on a beach towel in the living room to eat while Steve Urkel pined after Laura. Good times. Good memories from then. Now, we don't have T.G.I.F. traditions in our home...but I still make the pizza way too much and the girls eat on top of towels. =)

10:10 am. Time to punch down the dough. Look at that! ==>
Perfectly risen! Yaya!
I added some garlic and oregano into the yeast-water mixture. Ok...lots of garlic. I love it.


Rolling out the dough in cornmeal gives it a nice crunch after it's baked. And works better than flour in keeping the dough from sticking to the board.

10:20 am. Time to assemble the pies!
This is the longest part of the process. But it's also my favorite. I consider myself a Pizza Artist. Yes I totally just made that up. Each creation is unique and spectacular! Below is the half veggie/half no pepperoni pie. I love using my baking stone for pizza. The crust comes out perfect almost every time.

I also use the air-bake pan if I'm making more than one pie. It does a pretty good job. That's one of the meat pizzas sitting in queue.  So pretty.  I have another pizza pan...that I only use in this day. I don't like that one. It is lame. So you don't get to see it. =/

Did I mention yet that pizza is the best food on the planet?!
It is.
Smelling all of this yumminess started making my stomach growl...but since it would be bad form to deliver a half-eaten pie to those hard-working men, I pulled out a granola bar instead. Protein! Energy!

10:45 am. The first pizza comes out of the oven. Gorgeous! But... I am pushing it. I'm supposed to be walking out the door in 15 minutes. Each pie takes a good 12-15 minutes to bake!


11:02 am. Husband calls. 
Just checking if I'm on the way. I am not. Sorry dude. 3 pizzas is a lot more work than our regular ONE. But he's precious and sweet and says, "just give me a shout when you're here and I'll come carry it in!"  
And just so yall know, he did invite me to eat  with him and his friends...but there was no way I was going to let any of them see me in the state I was in... 
Pig Dog.

As the pizzas emerge from the oven one at a time, I cut them and layered them into the foil turkey trays. hopefully keep them warm-ish on the trip, I place them in hot/cold bags. Support the Troops. Appropriate for the diners. =) Yah!

My mom always taught me to clean and put away as I go when I cook. It saves on the cleanup in the end. Hm... well today, I could only half-way follow directions. All the spices and flour and garbage was put away and disposed of in process, but the dishes...yah.... 

11:24 am. I am so late. Supposed to be there in 6 minutes. Yah right!! But all the food is packed up and ready to go. I kiss the girls and throw carefully place everything in the truck. I text Handsome.. "Leaving NOW" and hit the road. This is going to be the longest 20 minute drive EVER. 

Well, I make it 14. Shhhh! 

And as I hand the pies over to My Love, he yelps because the bags are so hot. Mission Accomplished. 

I am making the kids do the dishes when I get home. ;) 

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