Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Homey Things

My students are taking up all of my time and mental energy. The weather is just dreadful (40s in May?!). And another long term has come to an end. Even though I still have two prelims and a proposal to write by July 1 (prelim date: August 2!), I haven't been able to get myself to much non-TA work this week.

I, however, did manage to attempt homemade pizza. Homemade pizza really shouldn't be that difficult. But crusts of all kinds are my nemeses. And anything that involves yeast tends to be a spectacular disaster in my kitchen.

Yes, I could just order very good pizza from the local pizzeria and have it delivered to my door. I could even buy dough from the same pizzeria if I wanted to save a little money or use my own toppings or just have super-fresh-from-the-oven pizza.

But I feel like I really ought to be able to bake a pizza from scratch. And Cooking Light had a whole section devoted to making pizzas in this month's issue.

So I gave it another go. I made the dough on Monday night because it needed to rest for 24 hours. I needed two tries with the yeast before I got it to do anything near "bubbling." And when I tried using what I thought was the dough hook on the ancient mixing stand that I got second-hand from my mother (she got it as a wedding gift!), the dough snaked up the beater and into the innards of the mixer. So I spent most of Monday night with a power drill and a screwdriver, dismantling the mixer and scraping out dough (along with some other substances that I'd rather not think about).

I baked the pizza on Wednesday. I didn't properly roll the dough, so the center was too thin and the sides were too thick. But the crust generally baked up nice and bready and golden. I think I would probably prebake the crust a bit the next time; even with laying down a layer of cheese, the bottom got a bit soggy from the sauce. And I'll definitely use a different sauce next time; the recipe in Cooking Light came out too oily and thin for my taste.

But I made pizza!

I also started a new knitting project---a shrug---inspired by Bearette. After spending one whole evening making swatches out of every skein in my stash, I then spent most of a morning going to yarn shops in search of the right yarn, only to end up getting a yarn that I could have bought at the first place.

I've got a good start on the shrug, although I'm beginning to think that I really should have used a circular needle; the straight needle is getting very crowded and I still have about six more increase rows to go.

Perhaps I'll take my knitting with me to work on as I monitor my students' final tomorrow---a modern-day Madame Defarge.


At 5:40 AM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

Yay for pizza! I also kind of dread crust, but I always liked the version in Didi Emmons' Vegetarian Planet. It seemed easier than others.

It was in the 40s here yesterday, too! Gah.

At 8:14 AM , Blogger artemisia said...

Wahoo for homemade pizza! I make my own sauce with tomato paste, water, onion and garlic powder, italian seasoning, sea salt, pepper, and a dash of crushed red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp of sugar. Then I fiddle from there.

HA HA HA HA HA HA! Madame Defarge!!! Oh, that is AWESOME.


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