The weekend started rather nicely on Friday, with Lunch with my friend May. tea, chat, laughing, and the discovery that an enormous cheese and ham roll and a sausage roll actually is too much to eat. A wander through town followed, where I picked up a few books from a charity stall. It was for a cat charity and the man manning it seemed to being doing well as there was a wee outbreak of sunshine.
When I got home, I found information trickling through on twitter and the news about the horrific tragedy in Norway.Young people, using part of their holidays to take part in politics, gone. It's terrible, and something I am still trying to process. The Norwegian PM's insistence that the answer to this should be 'more democracy,more openness, and more humanity' is utterly humbling. If only this was how our government sought to deal with things.
Saturday began with the news that Dave and Ciaran were having transport issues for their tour, and would be coming back for the weekend. It was my designated 'deep clean' day for the month, and I cleaned, tidied, organised, dusted, and washed. I always feel more settled for things being nice. An hour reading, a bit of a blog catch-up, and just as the boys arrived, the very sad news that Amy Winehouse died. That poor girl. The evening comprised of making pizza, eating and talking about music, and the boys playing guitar. The boys went off to the pub and I had some quiet time, pottering and reading. The internet descended into arguments where people were expected to portion off sadness about current events, and I got so annoyed that to get away while waiting for the boys to come back (we have only one set of keys) I ended up baking a cake a 12.30 at night. A bit more chat with the boys, another cup of tea, and it was bedtime.
Sunday has been waking up late (9am!!), reading/interneting in bed. Having cake and tea for a very late breakfast whilst listening to Springsteen. I've made more pizza(This is the closest I've come to my idea of perfect pizza), I've sat on a newspaper covered windowsill(the newspaper if for catching drips when the ceiling leaks) with the laptop/my book with BBCR4 in the background. I've eaten more cake and drank more tea than I should have.
The thing that I find so odd about life is that things go on. We find out about and are shocked by horrible things happening. We are sad and horrified and angry. We watch the news almost obsessively when these things happen, unable to turn away, partly out of the sheer need to hear one small thing that's positive. But there's still everyday life and fun, eating and laughing. Perhaps these horrible, awful things remind us that we only get one life and we have to use it as best we can. I don't know. I don't know how to finish this or segway to a recipe either, but I have one so I'm going to stick it below, ok? OK.
Pizza Dough (Makes 2 bases)
500g bread flour
325ml hot water
7g sachet quick action yeast
1/2 tube tomato puree
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
pinch chilli flakes
100g butter softened
2 cloves garlic, pushed through garlic mincer/grated
small pinch chilli flakes (optional)
7 Slices German peppered Salami
7 Slices Chorizo
1 Ball Mozzarella, torn into small pieces
50g cheddar, finely grated
handful mixed tomatoes, torn.
- Put flour and salt in large bowl, stir
- mix yeast into water and leave for 10 mins
- make a wee well in the middle of the flour
- pour yeast mixture in and stir with a spatula till it begins to come together.
- flour hands and work dough till you have a nice, elastic ball
- dust with a little more flour, cover with a dry tea towel and leave to rise - half an hour is fine if your ok with thin pizza, if you want a thick crust give it 1-1.5 hours.
- while that's doing it's thing, mix your butter, garlic and optional chilli fakes in a bowl.
- When the dough has risen, pre-heat oven to 180c
- knock back dough, knead a little and split into two
- dust counter, and roll/stretch out your first chunk of dough.(I roll. I am not ashamed!) for a thin crust, i find about 5 mm works.
- jab with a fork (not all the way through!) in the area where your topping will go
- spread on tomato puree, roughly evenly
- sprinkle on chopped garlic and chilli
- add toppings (I do a very small cheese sprinkle, meat layer, majoirty of cheese, meat layer, veg)
- place on floured tray/pizza stone
- take next chunk of dough, roll out till it's about 1cm thick
- invert a shallow fairycake tray(make sure it has a lip as garlic butter will run!, and place dough on.
- spread over your butter mixture, more concentrated in the dips, and lightly greasing the higher bits.
- put both in the oven, garlic bread about and pizza below
- bake 15 mins
- remove garlic bread, and leave pizza to finish in the oven if needed (mine needed 3 more minutes)
To achieve perfection, I'd add a few slices of pepperoni and some roast peppers. Of course, everyone's Idea of pizza perfection is different (I had some spectacular pizza when I stayed with Han. She used more vegetables. It was ace too!). I like lots of meat and a thin, crisp base. Dave likes it to be a wee bit doughy still in the middle, so I try for that too. This is a good basic dough though.