dinner time conversation, green energy, horrific mistakes, lovely things, miscellaneous, drivel, potentially useful information, things I love, tom being tom, wind power

…making due…

The strange and beautiful thing about life is it somehow always gets lost in the shuffle. For a few brief moments, though, you find it. Maybe, more accurately, it finds you and reveals itself, giving you a divine moment of clarity, synergy, where everything makes sense. Like winning a game of solitaire – it just happens. There’s no way you can force or will it.

It’s grandiose, I know, to think of things too much in this way, but sometimes it makes you realize the simple things that you’ve glossed over and lost sight of. There are a few very simple things about cooking anything, anywhere, anytime that matter more than a sauce, a presentation, or a recipe… The best things come when you learn to make due with what you have. All of the best cuisines and cooks know this, of course. They use, even exploit, everything. It’s elevated into an art instead of awkward flagellations. A lovely thing to aspire to.

I’ve been (halfway) obsessed with wood fired ovens for years. There’s a part of me that dreams of building one of my own someday, stoking it with maple and alder trees from my neighborhood in order to bake bread and pizzas and maybe a duck or a saddle of lamb. In the mean time, I’ve got a regular oven that gets nowhere as hot… But that’s OK. Sometimes you just have to learn to how to use it to do things you want it to…


blind baking a crust… with some shaved pecorino romano…


I love making pizza, but it’s difficult to get a really thin, really crispy crust – even with the mammoth baking stone I’ve got preheated to 450 degrees. It dawned on me that I don’t have to follow rules. I can’t, actually, anyway. My oven doesn’t get hot enough to do it as fast and severe as I want or need. To overcome this, I blind bake it for 5 minutes. Then I flip it over and added some Pecorino Romano cheese and bake it another 3 minutes…


a bastard Margherita; pepperoni, chiffonade of basil, roma tomato with kosher salt, dried thyme and minced garlic, whole milk mozzarella…


topped and back into the oven for another 10 minutes…

Lovely… Just as you should never let money stand in the way of doing the things you want to do, nothing is gained by letting reality or rules stand in the way of your imagination…



One thought on “…making due…

  1. I have my bib on!

    Posted by Will | March 22, 2013, 3:35 pm

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