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Commentary Recipe Uncategorized

Remember: Sunday Night Is I Dare You To Make A Pizza Night

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

http://foodstoriesblog.com
http://foodstoriesblog.com

Make a pizza.  Post a link on the Pizza Post that will appear on this blog Sunday Night.  It’s a double dog dare–you can’t refuse.  If you must, shortcuts are allowed: pre-made crusts, sauce from a jar, whatever it takes.  Hell, send out or heat a frozen cardboard pie.  I’m going to make this easy for you…here’s a crust recipe, with a sauce recipe to follow this evening.

Perfect Pizza Crust

You can make this up to a day ahead of time, or any time up to 2 hours before you’re ready to eat.  The longer it has to rise, the more subtle and tasty it will be.

1. Put 1 Cup of very warm water in large, heavy bowl.  Add a tablespoon of brown sugar, honey, or even plain old sugar if that’s all you’ve got, and a tablespoon of flour–we like pastry flour or 00 Semolina, but use whatever rocks your world.  Mix it up to form a pasty broth.

2. When the water has cooled (but remains warm–ideally around 100-105 degrees F, the temp you’d use for a baby bottle–above 114 degrees you risk killing your yeast) add 2.5 teaspoons of dry yeast, mix that in until it dissolves, and set it aside for 5-10 minutes.  It will get a little foamy–that’s little baby yeast growing up. While it proofs, get the rest of your ingredients ready.

3. Add 1.5 cups for flour, 2 tablespoons of olive oil  (or some sort of fat, like softened but not melted butter, or even vegetable oil–but if you use a solid, make sure it gets mixed in), and 2 teaspoons (or I heaping teaspoon) of salt.  Chemically, you need the salt, but erring on the side of caution is preferable to too much).  Mix this mess together with a fork until it’s a sticky ball, adding more flour (a little bit at a time) as needed.

4. When it’s relatively solid, spread a little flour on a flat, clean surface and start kneading.  Press the dough ball flat, fold it in half, turn it one quarter turn, fold it again, squeeze it flat, and keep going like that for 10 minutes, until you’ve incorporated enough flour to make the dough “silky”–pliant and smooth, but not sticky.  If the dough becomes difficult to work, let it sit for five minutes then continue. If you get too much flour and the dough feels flaky, add water a few drops–literally– at a time.

5. Put a tablespoon of oil in that large bowl, throw the ball of dough in on top, and swirl the dough around until it’s coated, then cover the whole deal with a damp towel and sit it in a warm, draft-free place to rise until double.  An hour is probably about right, but once it’s done one rise you can put it in the fridge or just leave it on the counter over night and it will be even better.  The proportions I gave you should be enough for one really big pizza, or a pair of 12-14″ pies, depending upon how thick you like your crust.

6. Preheat your oven to it’s hottest temperature.  Some people use the “self clean” setting, but if you’re like me your oven locks on that setting and burns your pie to ash.  I can get 575 out of my vintage hotpoint gas stove–but a good brick oven place is cooking your pie at upwards of 800, so don’t be shy.

7. Get your pizza flat.  The best way to do it is by stretching it, working around the edge, or tossing it.  I’m terrible at that , so I sort of push it out with my fingers from the center to the edge of the the floured surface I’m working on ( you can also squeese it out directly on the pan you’re using).  A rolling pin is an option I use when I’m cooking several pizzas in a row, for guests, but squeezing the dough changes the texture a little–and purists will regard the use of a rolling pin as sacrilege.  Stretching, if you can do it, is preferable.

8. You know your oven.  If it’s not really hot, you may want to pre-cook the crust for about 4 minutes before adding the toppings–especially if you put your pizza in a pan with an edge (like a cookie sheet).  Throw on your toppings and go to town–remember if you use a lot of watery veggies that they can make the pizza runny.  Avoid this by laying the veggies on top of the cheese and other toppings.

9. Cook until the cheese is bubbly and just beginning to brown on top.

Categories
Photo I Took

Sunday Evening is Pizza Night–I Dare You to Make a Pizza

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

The Steelers play a late game on Sunday, so we’re making pizza from scratch.  I dare you to join me.  I double dog dare you.  Nobody says no to a double dog dare!  Make a pizza and post a link in the comments section of the PIZZA POST which will appear on this blog around 7pm on Sunday, October 26.  Plenty of time to go shopping.  Now, if you just can’t do it, no matter how much you want to, no matter how long it’s been your dream–I understand.  Send out for a pizza, or cook up a frozen pizza, snap a picture, post it on the web–your blog, your facebook page, twitter, tumblr, stumblr, mumblr, tattoo it on aunt sally’s…oh, you get the idea.

It’s this easy.

SAM_0488 SAM_0491

Categories
Funny and/or Strange Poetry

Jimmy Stewart & His Poetry on Shprockets : Best SNL Sketch Ever

hqdefaultQuite possibly the most gut-wrenchingest, funniest SNL skit of all time.  If anyone has a copy of this video–which I’ve been unable to find–send me a link, drop me a line, let me know and I’ll be eternally grateful.

Sprockets

Announcer…..Phil Hartman
Dieter…..Mike Myers
Jimmy Stewart…..Dana Carvey

[FADE IN on the “Sprockets” opening, with the nuclear bomb and city scenes.]

Announcer: Shprockets. Shprockets. Vest German television presents, “Shprockets.” Vith your host: Dieter.

[SUPERIMPOSE “LIVE SHOW” and then FADE to Dieter.]

Dieter: Velcome to “Shprockets,” I am your host, Dieter. Tonight our guest is vone of America’s foremost poets of anarchy and rebellion. An obsessed outcast, whose dark visions drag us to the edge. His book, “Jimmy Shtewart and His Poems”… [holds up book] …is filled with biting images that assault the senses, unmasking both reader and poet alike in a macabre dance of despair. He has also appeared in films. Please velcome Jimmy Shtewart!

[Audience cheers as Dieter stands up, claps stiffly, and then sits again. Jimmy Stewart finally dodders onstage in a dark gray suit and dark-rimmed glasses. He takes a seat next to Dieter.]

Dieter: Mr. Shtewart. Critic Graus Greck, in the latest issue of “Verdkunst,” described your book as an asylum, vhere man meets his Creator and screams.

Jimmy Stewart: Well, uh, thank you, Dieter. That’s, uh… Y’know–y’know, Gloria and I are big fans of YOURS.

Dieter: In your poem, “Old Rocking Chair,” you write: “You sit in the corner/Old rocking chair/It makes me feel good/To know you are there.”

Jimmy Stewart: Yeah…

Dieter: I feel emotionally obliterated.

Jimmy Stewart: I’m glad–glad–glad to HEAR that, y’see, good poetry is about DESTRUCTION.

Dieter: Under vhat conditions does a man experience such raw truth?

Jimmy Stewart: Well, Dieter, it’s no picnic, I can tell you that right now. I was holed up in a Mexico City slum. I hadn’t eaten in weeks, and what few pesos I had, I’d spent on alcohol. Some cheap crap called chocho. I was down and out. That’s when I wrote “Good Old Rockin’ Chair.” You see, you’ve gotta go through the PAIN.

Dieter: And vhat of your poem, “Funny Little Pooch”?

Jimmy Stewart: Yeah. There’s a rather interesting story about that “Funny Little Pooch” thing… There was a period of intense creativity for me, Dii-eter.

Dieter: Dieter.

Jimmy Stewart: Dooter.

Dieter: Dieter.

Jimmy Stewart: Yeah. yeah. You know, I’d been hitchhiking through Paraguay when I finally settled in Bella Cristo with a 15-year-old WHORE. For a week straight, I was either having sex or hallucinating. Yeah… And then I woke up one morning and she was GONE… she’s just–just GONE. And she’d taken all my stuff, and I–I just got crazy paranoid for a minute–well–you–know–how it can be. And I just curled up on that floor like a little baby, and just bawled my eyes out. And–and then a very interesting thing happened. I realized that I was just a speck of crud in a godless VOID. And twenty minutes later, I’d written “Funny Little Pooch.”

Dieter: Jimmy Shtewart: you are a running sore. Running from yourself, yet your scab heals us all.

Jimmy Stewart: Yeah. Yeah. Well, y’know, I just do what I do.

[laughter]

Dieter: May I read a passage from “My Kitten, My Pal”?

Jimmy Stewart: Well, I’d be HONORED, Dau-Daughter.

Dieter: Dieter.

Jimmy Stewart: Dooter.

Dieter: Dieter.

Jimmy Stewart: Yeah.

Dieter: [reading] “My kitten, my pal/You sit on my lap–”

Jimmy Stewart: Well, well, now–now–wait a minute. Now, now, you gotta read it–you gotta SCREAM it, like it’s a matter of life and death, you, can-can I show you… how, here… [takes book from him]

Dieter: Go right ahead.

Jimmy Stewart: All right… [reading] “My kitten, my pal/You sit on my lap/You’re a friendly sort of chap.” [muttering] I’m a little… thirsty here…

[Jimmy picks up a bottle of tequila and swigs from it.]

Jimmy Stewart: Now… GOOD.

[sets bottle down between him and Dieter]

Jimmy Stewart: [reading] “A little bit of gray and a little bit of white/I’ll tell you, little kitten/You’re doing all right.” Yeah.

Dieter: That poem pulls down my pants and taunts me.

Jimmy Stewart: Well, that’s exactly what it’s supposed to do. Yeah, it’s not rare when something happens like–I wrote that one on a piece of toilet paper, after waking up in a puddle of my own SICK.

[laughter]

Jimmy Stewart: Now, it wasn’t pretty, wasn’t pretty.

Dieter: Is it true that you vonce killed a man?

Jimmy Stewart: N-now, now, wait a minute there, Daughter. No–

Dieter: Dieter.

Jimmy Stewart: That’s right, Dieter. No man ever really dies by the hand of another, you see, every man’s responsible for his own DEATH. And by the way, you haven’t asked me if I want to touch your MONKEY.

Dieter: I thought it beneath you.

Jimmy Stewart: Well, Dieter, if that monkey knew where I’d been, he wouldn’t LET me touch him.

Dieter: Then touch him. Touch him! Touch my monkey! [babbles in German] Touch him, LOVE HIM!

Jimmy Stewart: [walks over to monkey] All right, you little pal, let’s go–

[Dieter’s monkey squeals and jumps off his pedestal after Jimmy touches him.]

Jimmy Stewart: [yanks back hand] Oh! Oh, son of a bitch BIT me!

[Jimmy leaps back to the table and breaks off the top of the tequila bottle.]

Jimmy Stewart: [brandishing broken bottleneck] C’mon, monkey, let’s see what’s in that belly of yours!

Dieter: [standing up] Now is the time on “Shprockets” when we dance!

[The theme song starts up as the other dancers join Dieter and dance stiffly. After a moment, Jimmy squats down and starts doing the Charleston.]

Dieter: That’s all the time we have on “Shprockets.” Our guest has been Jimmy Shtewart. My name is Dieter. Auf wiedersehen.

[Dieter trots up close to the camera and dances in front of it.]

Jimmy Stewart: Hi, Gloria! [waves] I’ll see ya in six weeks! I’m making a pit stop in Turkey!

[FADE to black over applause.]

I did find this (the real deal)–Jimmy Stewart doing Jimmy Stewart is almost as good as Dana Carvey: