Married to the Empire

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In Times of Trouble

We so often turn to food in times of trouble. Our dear friends Dan and Karen let us all know yesterday that they were going to take their sweet cat Fuzzy in for her final vet appointment. I was crying just thinking about it. I emailed them and offered to bring them dinner, as I knew they probably wouldn't eat, otherwise. They took me up on that offer.

Fuzzy wound up rallying enough that her "parents" decided it wasn't time yet, so they cancelled her appointment. I still brought them dinner as they'd had a very rough day.

I'd bought a Japanese eggplant at the Asian grocery last weekend, so I decided to make pizza using this recipe. I modified things by adding mushrooms and replacing the parmesan, which gives me migraines, with mozzarella. The crust was a breeze to whip up. My pizza dough recipe, which makes 2 regular-crust pizzas or 4 thin-crust or individual pizzas:

2 envelopes active dry yeast (I used just over a tablespoon of bulk yeast)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 cups warm water
5 cups all-purpose flour
olive oil (I just drizzle in enough to make the dough easier to work with, probably a tablespoon or so)

Combine the yeast, salt, sugar, and warm water in a bowl. Cover and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until foamy. Place flour in a bowl. Make a well in the center, add the yeast mixture and olive oil, and mix well.

Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. For 2 thick-crust pizzas, divide in half, then roll each portion out to a 14-inch round. For 4 thin-crust pizzas, divide in 4, then roll each portion out.

Sprinkle a pizza pan with cornmeal. Place the dough onto the pan. Top and cook according to recipe.

My pizzas don't always come out into perfect circles, but that's okay:

Those cheap foil pans come in handy when taking food to people. I made up 2 of those disposable pans with individual-sized pizzas and brought them over with baking instructions attached. This was a very simple meal to make up and bring to my friends who were having a very difficult day. It's such an easy thing to do that can mean so much to someone.


Catherine said...

That pizza looks delicious! Have you ever tried to bake the dough ahead of time (a la Boboli?)

Ewokgirl said...

Catherine, I have once. The only problem with doing that is the crust really rises in the oven without the weight of toppings. I pricked a ton of holes in the top of the crusts when I did that, but they still rose quite a bit and were somewhat lopsided. For that reason, I just find it easier to make the crusts as I need them. They are so simple to make and take very little time or effort.

Cathy VanPatten said...

Looks yummy!

Lately we've been getting Viccolo's cornmeal crusts at Whole Foods (it used to be Wild Oats, and we greatly lament the change, as Whole Foods is a LOT more expensive...but still it's the only place we've found the Viccolo's crusts in this area). Those make very good pizzas, but the crusts don't have the nice yeasty taste and texture this appears to have.

I'm glad you friends' kitty got a reprieve. Shelly's reprieve is still in full swing, and she's become almost resigned to having her capsule administered every morning. Maybe it is the treat she gets afterwards? Hmmm?

Ewokgirl said...

Cathy, I'm so glad that Shelly is feeling better lately! It's so scary when the furbabies get sick.