Monday, June 25, 2012

A Long, Long Absence, and Pizza Experimentation

It all started Monday June 4th when I popped my jaw.  As you may recall from the end of my last blog post which was way back on June 5th, I was feeling pretty miserable.

Well, on Wednesday, I decided to stay home from hanging out with friends and take a nap, and when I woke up, voila!  I was coughing, lethargic, and had no appetite.  I knew there was a reason I didn't like napping!  That didn't keep me from napping nonstop whenever possible in the next week or so though.  And doing nothing.

On Thursday I managed to pick up our German friends and bring them to our house, where I proceeded to sleep while they played games with my little sister.  When I woke up, it was too late to call in sick to work, so I got someone else to take them home while I took another nap.  Work was miserable, but I (obviously) survived.

I made it through graduation on Friday, although I couldn't get the brownies for the post-grad sundae bar out of the oven or make hot fudge or caramel sauce or cookie dough crumble topping because the smells were too strong.

I coughed through my sister's wedding on Saturday, and did absolutely nothing to help, which I felt pretty bad about.  I didn't even go outside for the bubbles.  I was wearing a silky jacket over my dress, and one of my sisters warned me "Make sure you don't get any bubbles on your jacket!  It'll leave round stains!"  So I stayed inside, and warned my enthusiastic young friends that I would pummel them if they dared blow bubbles at me.  At one point, I was sitting down, not paying attention, when one of them forgot and sent a deluge of bubbles right towards me.  Thankfully, my little sister saw it coming and (I like to think in slow motion) dove in front of me with a "NOOOOO!!!!"  and successfully blocked all the bubbles.  It was sort of epic, even though I was sort of oblivious until I was tackled and everyone was screaming.  Okay, it wasn't quite that dramatic.  But pretty close. ;)

I was supposed to work a few days in the next week, but I took work off to nap and not move at all whatsoever in an attempt to recover.  Okay, actually I just didn't feel like doing anything, because HELLLLOOOO... I was sick!

The next weekend, I went to Chicago to make cupcakes for my awesome awesome awesome friend's wedding.  It was a great weekend.  I had lots of help making the cupcakes, and the work I did do, I wore a surgical mask (or whatever the equivalent they sell at CVS is) for, because I didn't want to cough on the food.  But her wedding was awesome. :)  They had a photo booth and tea balls for favors and the best group of people ever.  Even her relatives are awesome!  Have I mentioned that Chicago is my happy place?  I'm not sure that I'd want to live there, but goodness!  I just love visiting!  The people, the food, the conversations, the things we do...  It's amazing. :)

Anyhow, we made 5 different kinds of cupcakes (white, vegan chocolate, spice, lemon poppyseed, and red velvet), and everyone seemed to like them, even though I accidentally put buttercream on the red velvet cupcakes and cream cheese frosting on the white cupcakes.  I don't think anyone really noticed.

Throughout the weekend, I was gaining strength, so even though I got back late on Saturday, I was able to work on Sunday afternoon.  I burnt myself making waffle cones, but it was great, because at least I didn't feel like taking a shift-long break, which was how I felt on Thursday!

Sunday night I unpacked my stuff from Chicago and packed my stuff for family vacation, because obviously the best way to recover from being sick is to go sleep on the hard ground, hike, and eat junk food!

We only really ended up taking one hike, because we were annoyed that they weren't loops, since we don't like backtracking.

The hike we took was long and rugged.

We had to go down down down into a gorge, then hike up a creek bed where the stones got bigger and bigger, the end of which was this teeny tiny waterfall way up high blocked by trees that totally wasn't worth the hike especially since you could see it from a lookout point above... (and hardly worth picturing, with all the trees in the way...)

...and then we had to hike back down the creek bad and then back up up up the gorge.  It took hours.  And my little sister got wounded. :O

It was pretty fun, though.  Nice and tiring.  And my little sister is recovering very very quickly. :)

But really, I read a lot and wrote some letters and sat around a lot and didn't eat too much junk food (except for s'mores, because I'm awesome at making s'mores).  Vacation wasn't exciting or particularly comfortable... But y'know, you gotta have that family time, no matter how busy you've been and no matter how much you'd rather be sleeping in a comfy bed.  Plus, my sister let me sleep on her air mattress for the last two nights, so at least I could sleep somewhat comfortably.

But this is pretty much what happened most of the time....

Puzzles for some, letter writing and reading for me... and also the reading aloud of "The Mouse That Roared" and "The Mouse on the Moon," both by Leonard Wibberley.  They're both utterly ridiculous and yet hilarious.

Oh, and also, this happened. :)

The day before yesterday, we came home, and on the way, the tire on our trailer fell off.  

Thankfully we had a spare, which was put on quickly.  Even so, due to a lunch stop and the tire dealy, by the time we got home, I had just enough time to unload and shower before going to a show with some friends!

That's John Davey and Laura K Balke, people!

So yeah, I'm happy to be home and not have places to go and things to take work off for, for a while anyhow.  I think I'm going to start drawing and painting more, and hopefully baking, of course. :)

Speaking of baking, I got home from vacation, and horrified at all the either bad or going-bad food, threw out a lot and then decided to use some of it up for supper tonight by making... pizza!

Some of the stuff I used I didn't even know was going bad before I used it.  But yeah, we had 1 1/6 a pint or so of wrinkly cherry tomatoes, two regular tomatoes, each with a little mold on the top, a head of cauliflower with a few browning spots, pepperoni, some of which had some bad spots on it (has pepperoni ever before gone bad in our house???), thawed hamburger leftover from vacation, some of which was a little gray from coming into contact with water (I cut off some and cooked it well), and a perfectly fine lump of pizza dough in the freezer from a while ago.

First I made this cauliflower crust.  And you know what?  My family actually liked it!  When my dad first heard that I was using cauliflower for a pizza crust, he was all like, "Will you pleeeeeeease make a sorta normal pizza?" (He's not big on all my mad kitchen scientist pizza experimentation stuff).  I replied in my head, "[grumble grumble grrrr]"  But I made some normalish ones anyhow.  But he liked the cauliflower one jjjjjust fine. :)  Which I totally didn't expect, but woo hoo!

The crust from the freezer was roughly this one....  Although I may or may not have put in a leeeeettle bit of whole wheat flour, I think.  It's habit.

...and I also made a whole wheat crust, which is a never-before-made recipe from my recipe book which was good but not spectacular.  Mom thought it tasted yeasty.  Whatever.  First you proof 1 T yeast in 1 c warm water.  While it proofs, you mix 2 c whole wheat flour, 1 t salt, and 1/4 c wheat germ.  Then you make a well and add 1 T honey and the water/yeast mixture.  Stir it all up, let it proof in a warm place for 5 minutes (I did longer just because I wasn't ready to use it) and then top and bake.  I baked it at 375 but that was just sort of an experiment, because I always wing it when it comes to pizza.

Honestly, I'm not sure if I've ever made the same pizza twice.  In fact, I'll probably never post a "this is my go-to pizza recipe" ever, because I have so many bookmarked pizza recipes and recipes in my recipe book that my pizza is always different.  Plus a lot of times I have to wing it, or am experimenting with baking stones or healthier crusts or funky toppings.  Soo.... Yeah.  On the plus side, my family has never NOT eaten the pizza I've made, so it's all good. :)

For the sauce (which I made roughly from this recipe), I first blended some onion and garlic until practically a paste.  It probably would have gone faster in the food processor, which is what the recipe said to use.  Anyhow, then I sauteed them.  Meanwhile (while the onions and garlic were sauteing) I threw the tomatoes, cherry and normal, (moldy spots cut out) into the blender until they were liquidy.  I added them, a can of tomato paste, and some salt and pepper and Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese in the pan with the onion and garlic.  I let all that cook down until it was saucier, since it seemed a little too liquidy at first.

For the hamburger, I browned it through, drained it, then added salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder.

I topped the pizzas with sauce, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni (except for one which I didn't have enough pepperoni for), and hamburger.

And this time I baked them right on the pan instead of using stones.  They all baked in 15-20 minutes at 375, except the cauliflower crust, which per instructions was prebaked at 450 for 20 minutes.  And they were pretty tasty, not just all things considered, if you know what I mean.

Well, if you stuck around for the whole post, good for you!  All I gotta say is... I'm back. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment