Chef Jim Makes Pizza!

It had been around 3 years since I actually made a pizza (see YouTube video “The Path to Pizza.”)  rather than just sticking a frozen one into the oven. Yesterday, Sena and I put together a video of me (with more than a little coaching from the boss) making a whopper pizza.

Sena bought a new pizza pan for the occasion. In fact, she got a few new cooking pans, saying firmly it was high time for a change. We used to call the old pizza pan “well-seasoned.” But it was out with the old and in with the new.

Because I’m a guy, it was safer to let me use a ready-made pizza crust mix. I was sort of used to that, anyway. It’s a Great Value brand and it was pretty good—after Sena jazzed it up with a few things like a little sugar, sea salt, garlic powder, and Himalayan Pink Salt preferred by all the Yeti chefs.

We used Classico Spicy Tomato & Basil spaghetti sauce, which I understand is legal.The spices we used were garlic powder, basil, fennel, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, along with a couple dozen other things. You use what you like.

Sena also “suggested” different kinds of cheeses (“I woke up feeling the cheesiest!”) There was a shredded Italian variety made up of 3 different cheeses including parmesan, mozzarella, provolone, romano, and asiago. and we topped that with a different brand of provolone. Sena really likes added provolone.

I Offered to Make Dinner But…

Yesterday I offered to make dinner, but Sena made a counteroffer I couldn’t refuse. She made a special dish of big meatballs (which she did not allow me to juggle) and potatoes. She makes an out-of-this-world sauce that she must have got from Extraterrestrials back in the early 1980s. The image from pixabay doesn’t do it justice, but we ate it too fast for me to get a snapshot.

I can’t remember the last time she made it; it has been years.

As a matter of full disclosure, while I did offer to make dinner, “making dinner” for me is sticking a frozen pizza in the oven. I might throw a light salad into the bargain, but the whole affair is a far cry from actually making the pizza dough and getting my hands dirty. That almost never happens unless the moon splits in two.

I will occasionally add a little extra provolone to a Jack’s Pizza, a brand which tends to be a little light on toppings. My favorites are the Screamin’ Sicilian and Lotzza Motzza. I don’t need to add anything because they’re already loaded. Sena goes around to all the grocery stores in town when they have reduced prices, but restrict you so you can buy only 2 at one store.

Also, I’ll prepare soup—if I can figure out how to open the can.

I can’t give away the recipe without incurring some form of special punishment which might involve sharp objects and a chase across the state. It includes a lot of butter, for which she used creamery butter sculpted in the shape of a Christmas tree. There are unspecified amounts of ketchup, brown sugar, and a variety of spices which are probably not native to this planet. She keeps them in a locked drawer from which loud growls erupt if I get too close.

Even if I knew the recipe, if I tried to make it, the dish would end up tasting a lot like pizza.

Over the Double Rainbow

We saw a double rainbow while out for a walk during a gentle rain. I know they’re not rare, they form because light bounces off raindrops, and all that. I’m not after the science angle here. I’m just hoping this was a sign of good luck to come. I’m pretty sure I’ve probably seen a double rainbow before. I just can’t remember when. And I doubt it was as striking as this beauty was.

Double rainbow!

These days I’m wondering what’s over the rainbow or the double rainbow. Going for a walk the other day helped me put things in perspective—at least for a while.

Out for a walk in the fall

My life is slower when I’m not on service in my role as a general hospital psychiatric consultant. And I’ll be fully retired in June. I just came off service earlier this week, when I was going at my usual fireman’s pace. Things seem to move so much faster nowadays.

I’m on service at 50% time now. That feels a lot different than the previous two years, when I was at 65% time. When I’m on, I’m going at a dead run. When I’m off, I just mosey along. It’s a little jarring to go from 0 to 90 and back again every so often—even though it’s less and less often.

I don’t mind telling you, I get a little bored sometimes. It helps to do something different every once in a while. I hadn’t made a pizza from scratch in over a year and a half. I guess it’s not completely from scratch. I’m still better at just sticking a frozen one in the oven.

Make that pizza!
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