I have for a long time now promised Tina that I would make her a homemade pizza one of these days. On a similar note, Tina has for a long time now pleaded with me and pestered me about cooking her a homemade pizza.. I think we’re going on about three years on both of the above which, in a way, is kinda weird because I think I’ve cooked just about everything imaginable for Tina (and some pretty unimaginable things as well), but never gotten around to do pizza which is actually one of the things that I really enjoy cooking.. But somehow we’ve always found other things we rather wanted, I guess.
Anyways, after three years in the making, last Saturday was to be the day where I’d finally cook Tina the long awaited pizza.. And I’m pretty happy to report that it was well worth the wait.. Well, okay, maybe not worth waiting three entire years for, but it was good.. Really!
Now, pizza is something that for me has gone from being a rather simple thing to a almost unnecessarily complicated ordeal featuring days of preparation. The sauce alone takes at least four hours and requires slow roasting, heavy reductions, sweating and alcohol. The dough, not to be outdone, is hand-kneaded for at least 30 minutes and then left to rise for at least 24 hours in the fridge.. It’s a hassle to say the least, especially when you then have to carry everything down to Tina’s.. But the results are well worth it.. And, y’know, the things I do for people.
While I had done my best to prepare for the part, Tina had as well and when I showed up looked nothing short of the most worthy pizza recipient ever in that she was sporting her “Oh woe is me, I’m a hung over little girl”-look.. Which was kinda expected after I’d picked her up from a club the night before and walked her home only to spend an hour and a half listening to her adorable drunken ramblings..
Alright, I’m giving her a hard time now, but she definitely looked a little worse for wear and in need of a bit of pampering and pizza, which I was happy to provide – after losing two out of three quick games of Trivial Pursuit, thank you very much! So, after having tried not to scowl too much and not letting Tina’s comments of “Y’know, sweetie, you’re really cute when you’re losing” get to me too much, I went into the kitchen to do what I do a hell of a lot better than losing: Cooking dinner.
Pizza is a dish I’ve spent ages to perfect and I’ve come really close lately.. And as luck would have it, apparently last Saturday was the time I’d finally get it right. One of my major hassles has been getting the dough just right to a point where it’s elastic but not too elastic.. I’ve always been really jealous of those pizza makers who’d just throw down a slap of dough and stretch it into a dish with nothing but their hands.. I’ve never been able to do that.. Well, till yesterday.. Look!!
From then on it was pretty much just a question of slapping on the rest of the ingredients in moderation which was pretty easy:
Yet everybody seemed impressed, even the dog
And that’s the beauty of pizza, really, it’s such a simple dish, yet so very simple to fuck up.. So if you’re the guy (or gal) that makes really good pizza, well, I’m sure you’re bound to have friends for life.
From then on it was pretty smooth sailing for a while, we even have time to take part in my favorite pass time activity while cooking: Beer chugging!
Problems only really arose as I handed Tina the reasonably simple task of setting the table and opening a bottle of wine. The whole table setting thing went pretty well, of course, she’s a natural at that.. But the wine opening? Uhh.. Well.. Either I handed her a bad bottle, or you shouldn’t let little blondes handle wine bottles.. I wasn’t really paying too much attention but what happened went a little something like this: She got the corkscrew in the cork, pulled, nothing happened, she twisted and turned it a bit, pulled some more, squealed a little, got on the floor to use her body for leverage, groaned some and pulled more, pouted, pulled again, looked up at me and pouted some more until I went “Fine, I’ll do it!” .. At which point I grabbed the bottle from her, pulled at it some myself, cussed at the inanimate object and tried again and then went “Fuck it! We’ll get another bottle!”
“NO!” came the prompt and rather violent reply from Tina, “Wasting good wine” was apparently not in her dictionary. So she set off and returned to the kitchen minutes later with both the bottle of wine AND her toolbox. Yes, her toolbox! What transpired next defies explanation, but it involved the wine, a corkscrew, a screw driver, a kitchen towel and a fucking hammer!
Now, I’ve been known to do a lot of stupid shit in my life, but I wasn’t about to let messing with a pissed off blonde with a screwdriver and a hammer be one of them.. So I left her to her business and went on with creating a simple salad for our dinner. To her credit, the little one emerged victorious after a while with an open bottle of wine in her hand, and I presented in return my simple salad of arugula, pears, parmesan cheese, walnuts and a simple olive oil/lemon/cracked pepper and salt dressing.
The fact that everything (including the wine) was now ready meant that the pizza could go in the oven for about five minutes, only to emerge piping hot and looking a little something like this
We then sat down at the table with a glass of the wine Tina had so struggled to open, the pizza I had prepared, the salad, a few candles and some good music.. For a couple of really good hours of wining and dining, talking and laughing, eventually ending up fat and happy and somewhat delirious after eating most of a 24″ pizza pie.. *cough*
Which, needless to say left us a bit incapacitated, so we spent the next four odd hours on the couch, just chilling and hanging out, having fun and watching various TV shows while fighting for the dog’s attention and laughing a little at Tina who was incredibly tired after a long week.
Eventually, Tina started plain nodding off and we decided it would probably be better to call it a night and catch up some more some day during the week, so I made my goodbyes and headed out into the snow and on my way home to cook myself a midnight Asian fusion stir fry.. As you do.. From time to time.. If you’re weird.. Like me.. Either way, good times, good pizza, great wine and awesome company.. Big thanks to everyone involved!