Friday, April 1, 2011

My Entire Life in 300 Words or Less

I entered a Pie Writing Contest from a magazine. At least I hope I did. The online site accepted my entry, but gave a 404 error, and it also asked for $25 and then it didn't. So, I really don't know if I've succeeded.

Once I write something I hold the paper to the light and scream Eureka, this is such Greatness! The world awaits! I mail it out knowing now is the time I will be rewarded for all my hard work.

Me, Sugar and Flour
A few days go by and I pull it from the door to rekindle my worthiness. This I shouldn't do, because now I see fifty mistake in an essay 50 words or less. I chuck it into the garbage and know that I'll never write again!
Later as I'm driving wondering thoughts of trolls invade, kites going astray and destroying the town, cats talking, and then I must write or die or at least take a nap. 

Unlikely as it seems, I've actually won some contests.

We won $500 worth of Balls (donated to Walter Hill Elementary)
for my Coach Essay 50 words or Less.

This was the only good thing that came from being forced to take French in College.
I learned the Easiest Recipe from my French teacher.
I found it a bit disturbing to have The Easiest plastered over my head.

  I think I got voted Most Creative because I used my own pictures in the ads.
Also won gift certificates for photography contests.
The Berry Company (Yellow Pages)
 This writing assignment is to take any recipe and relate it to your life. I took our friend Allen Howell's pizza pie recipe. (Allen is floating around the Yellow Pages in a picture taken of him painting but he really owns Corporate Flight Management.)

Ha. Here's a YoT (Year of Technology) side note. I went to my email to copy the essay and received this email from a friend.

It took me most of the day to somehow get the info scanned, sent to my computer, sent to my email, and then sent to everybody............I could have driven to every one's house and hand delivered it quicker! Please let me know if you got it and could open it..............if not I'll start the car!
We all must go through these frustrations, and know that it will get better.
Ok, on with the essay of My Life in 300 Words of Less:

Life Lessons in Peaches Pie

Five clumps of dough being raised in a broken-down lazy oven should ruin the recipe, but it doesn’t.
A rare moment of happiness (and dinner) was my parent’s announcement to take us all out for Peaches Pie. Dreaming of gooey sweetness, the waitress plunks down a hot doughy mess smelling of funky cheese that burns my fingers and makes me whimper. This is my first lesson that life is a cruel misunderstanding.
What to do? Well, learn to love what is given to you; Instead of a Peaches Pie, I got Detroit’s Pizza Pie.

2  2/3 cups of whole wheat flour (Ruth, my flour, taught me that green beans don’t have to come from a can).
1 tablespoon sugar (sweet Susie gifted journals, paper and pencils and insisted I still write).
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (Joanie taught me tennis, crafts and competitiveness).

1 teaspoon salt (My hippie brother Paul lured me into a hamper and then sat on the lid until I hollered).

1 teaspoon of Balsamic Vinegar (My dad never liked me, but he should have. I was this cute round funny puddle of fat, but he just saw me as another mouth to feed).

Sugar, Yeast, Flour and Naieva

1 Cup Warm Water (Maid of Honor Leona Prall and I still vow to be best friends thirty years later).
Yellow Cornmeal (At first appearances my husband may seems a little dry, but he leaves me giggling about something corny every night, and that’s the secret to a happy marriage).
Olive Oil (my son Taylor is my smoothest artwork).
Let Rise (Life got better once we read the Bible, found a church, pray and believe in God).

Me and My Cornmeal


Therefore: My motto: Just because you’re born in the ghetto doesn’t mean you have to stay there.

Detroit seemed like nothing but Cars to me.

Pizza is Delicious! The Complete Allen Howell Pizza Pie Recipe

Allen Howell's Pizza Pie
The Crust:
 2 and 2/3 cups of whole wheat flour, I grind my own flour from hard white wheat because you can really tell the difference when you start with fresh ground flour. Much more nutty flavor to the crust,
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of Balsamic Vinegar
1 Cup Warm Water (105-115 degrees F, be careful not to use water that is too hot, it will kill the yeast and not ferment)

In a mixer bowl mix 2/3 cup flour with the yeast, salt and sugar, add the warm water and balsamic vinegar. Stir with a whisk until mixed well. Let sit covered for at least 15 minutes, but longer up to an hour doesn't hurt.

Add the last two cups flour and with a dough hook attached to the mixer on low speed let the hook knead the dough. Remove from the mixer and knead by hand on a surface like granite or stone. Once it is elastic and well kneaded place in a glass bowl with a small amount of olive oil already in the bowl. Move the dough ball around in the bowl until the dough and the bowl are coated with olive oil. This keeps the dough from sticking to the bowl. The oil also adds flavor to the crust.

Let rise for at least 1 hour but two is better, it should at least double in size, in the glass bowl, covered with plastic wrap to keep air out. If you are not ready to make the pizza yet then put dough in the fridge until you are ready. If your fridge it take out and let come back to room temp if time allows.

Punch the risen dough down, divide into two sections for two pizzas. Start working the dough into a round circle. Add flour to the surface as needed to keep it from sticking. Work it out by hand and then get a rolling pin to roll it out further. I like mine thin so if you do to roll it out thin by dusting with flour on both sides until you work it as thin as you like. it should be about the size of the pizza paddle.

Drop the crust on to a pizza paddle that has been dusted with Yellow Cornmeal so the crust can slide off into the oven. The crust should not be sticky - if it is it will not slide off the paddle when you are ready to cook it in the oven.

Now you’re ready to add ingredients.

I like to brush the outside of the crust with olive oil or basil pesto for extra flavor and a crispy pizza bone.

Then spread tomato sauce, we use sauce made from Roma tomatoes grown in the garden. The sauce is cooked down to a paste consistency and includes basil, oregano rosemary and maybe fennel, fresh herbs to add flavor. The sauce and home-made crust are the foundation of a really good pizza,

Toppings: Cheeses like fresh grated Asiago or Parmesan, fresh mozzarella, maybe some goat cheese on a vegetarian pizza. I don't overdo the cheese, but prefer to have more of the healthy stuff.

Best ingredients, fresh olives, prosciutto Italian ham, salami, Italian sausage, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, roasted tomatoes or sun dried tomatoes, pineapple, salad greens on top after it is cooked, an egg in the center poached as the pizza cooks, Taylor's banana peppers, and anything else you want,

I am learning to limit each pizza to 2-3 distinct ingredients that complement each other versus making the kitchen sink pizza,

Oven should be preheated to at least 450 with a baking stone on mid level. Slide the pizza carefully on to the stone. It is tricky to not end up with a disaster here.

It takes about 8-10 minutes. Crust should be brown and crispy on the edges and bottom, and cheese bubbly.

Slide the pizza back on the paddle and slice and serve.

Buon Appetito
Serve with Dark beer or good spicy red wine like a cab, Chianti, Malbec or red Zinfandel.

You do realize I have just successfully copied all this stuff. Bravo for Me and MyYoT! And now on to more frustrating learning - I bought for $14 at a yard sale and home video machine that can be uploaded to Facebook. The box hasn't even been opened - I think someone didn't want to bother learning it.

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