Commentary Recipe

Make A Pizza Night–Cooking Yer Pie

The Make a Pizza Night Post will appear Sunday around 7pm–at which point this sentence will turn into a link

Okay, so you’ve got your ingredients and you’re ready to go.  Here are a few final notes.

20120129-cheesypizza1. Preheat your oven a little longer than you think is necessary.

2. If you’re using a pan, make sure to oil the pan when you squeeze the dough out to the edge.

3. If you poke a hole in the middle, just tear a little extra off the edge and patch it!

4. A pizza peel and stone will raise your game considerably–the stone is just what it implies, a piece of porous rock-ish material that sits on your oven rack and provides a pizza-peelbaking surface.  When you put your pizza on the hot stone, moisture is drawn from the crust into the stone, making your pizza lighter and crisper on the outside.  It’s like magic.  The peel is like a giant pancake flipper with which you slide your pizza onto the stone.  To use a peel correctly, dust the surface of the peel with cornmeal, which allows the pie to slide off and on easily. Its like magic.

5. A pizza will cook faster on the pre-heated stone than on a metal pan.  Keep an eye on that bad boy so you don’t burn it.

6. Remember, that necessity is the mother of invention–you don’t need anything fancy to do this.  Pizza is descended from a way to use leftovers–glopping stuff onto collegehumor.b0bf821e82f23ae124e5ad2d73c17e83slices of flatbread.  An old Italian man I knew as a kid–a guy who fled Mussolini by stowing away on a ship, with no money and no documents, and jumping off the ship to swim ashore when it reached New York–wouldn’t have dreamt of eating pizza after he established himself in this country.  He owned a bar and two houses.  Pizza was poor peoples’ food and beneath him.  Enjoy it accordingly.

Oh, yeh–don’t sleep in your pizza.  It’s not done in the best of families.


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I actually have this one posted on my garden:



My Favorite Christmas Recordings #26 Rhino Presents Home For Christmas

Bitter, cynical, and borderline misanthropic for most of the year, I reform for the holiday season and from mid-November to the last minute of Epiphany I’m all about the season.  Readers of Old Road Apples will find themselves under a constant barrage of holiday fare this season–from themed essays to book reviews to a countdown of my very favorite Christmas recordings.  You’ll note I’m beginning this a little early–that’s to give you a fair shake at picking up the top of the list .

Rhino Presents Home For Christmas Various Artists

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I would have rated this higher, but I wanted to do a countdown and also wanted you to see them first–this we have 26 entries for the 25 days before Christmas.  Think of this as a bonus.

These were the first Christmas CDs I bought, after stubbornly clinging to a box of old, popping and hissing second-hand vinyl I’d collected over the years, and are the closest approximations to the old promotional albums, many of them sponsored by Firestone tires, that my mother had bought at grocery stores when she was a young wife and mother. If you’re over 40, you may recognize these–or if you’re younger,
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you may still listen to them when you’re over the river and through the woods at Grandma’s house.  For that matter, I have the whole setof the old Firestone albums, picked up for dimes and quarters at thrift stores.

The Rhino albums feature many of the old favorites, and represent the perfect building blocks for a Christmas record collection.  There are some glaring omissions–Barbra Streisand, The Ray Conniff Singers, and the entire Rat Pack, but it’s a great start.  You need to own this one. Don’t fool around, though–this is out of print, and at present unavailable for digital download, but every season a few used copies show up on and places like that, usually for a pittance. Jump on ’em. It never hurts to have backups.

Disc A

1. Sleigh Ride – Leroy Anderson
2. A Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
3. Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms
4. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Judy Garland
5. Carol of the Bells – Johnny Mathis
6. The Twelve Days of Christmas – Fred Waring & the Pennsylvanians
7. Jingle Bells – Bing Crosby & the Andrews Sisters
8. Boogie Woogie Santa Claus – Mabel Scott
9. Here Comes Santa Claus – Gene Autry
10. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
11. I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Connie Francis
12. Joy to the World – John Fahey
13. Away in a Manger – Roger Whitaker
14. Oh Holy Night – The Orioles
15. Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
16. Winter Wonderland – Johnny Mercer
17. Merry Christmas Baby – Charles Brown
18. Oh Little Town of Bethlehem – Paul Anka
19. We Wish You a Merry Christmas/Caroling Caroling – The Inner Voices
20. The Christmas Song – Mel Torme

Disc B
1. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
2. The Little Drummer Boy – The Harry Simeone Chorale
3. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Vaughn Monroe
4. Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys
5. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Jimmy Boyd
6. Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy – Buck Owens and his Buckaroos
7. Ave Marie – Mario Lanza
8. This Time of Year – Brook Benton
9. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town – The Jackson 5
10. All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth – Spike Jones
11. Deck the Halls – Jackie Wilson
12. Silent Night – Mahalia Jackson
13. Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come – Jimmie Rodgers
14. Adeste Fideles – Bing Crosby
15. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Gene Autry
16. Go Tell It on the Mountain – Bobby Darin
17. Mary’s Boy Child – Harry Belafonte
18. It’s Christmas Once Again – Frankie Lymon
19. There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays – Perry Como
20. Auld Lang Syne – Guy Lombardo & his Royal Canadians