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Saturday, 4 January 2014

Warning: 1000 words …or so

Filed under: food & drink,whine — ejm @ 11:10 EDT

summary: homemade pizza; ISO decent mozzarella cheese; the super peel is super, but…; how do you clean a bread stone?

A picture may be worth a thousand words but sometimes it’s best to leave the camera in its case…

Last night we decided to have pizza. It would be comforting to sit inside the warm house, happily watching a movie, drinking wine and eating freshly made delicious pizza.

I made the dough in the late morning. It was a little on the slack side but we like it that way. And around 7pm, we happily sailed down to the kitchen to preheat the oven, with the two pieces of broken stone carefully pushed together inside, and assemble the pizza. Everything was going swimmingly.

he: Olives or capers?

me: Let’s have olives.

he: Great! [taking the superpeel off its hook] Okay, are you ready to hold the board?

me: Yup!

he: Perfect! [sliding the slack fully loaded floppy floppy disc onto the superpeel, opening the oven and sliding the slack fully loaded floppy floppy disc onto the hot stone that capriciously moved over ever so slightly] What the &%^4#*)*$#!~^…?

he/me: SHRIEK! [rest of transcript censored]

As the cheese on the stone began to run and drip onto the oven floor, the fire alarm started screaming furiously along with us, I stopped rummaging on the back of the cookbook shelf to find the pizza pan to turn the stupid fire alarm off, while T turned the oven off and tried desperately to pull the unfinished pizza off the stone with our regular wooden peel.

He somehow managed to pile the mess mostly crust side down on the pizza pan that I had thrown down onto the counter as I stomped back from turning the stupid overly sensitive fire alarm off (this is why people are discovered burnt to a crisp in their homes with the fire alarm disabled. They go off too easily!! There wasn’t THAT much smoke. Unless… is the fire alarm noise sensitive? Does it go off if it hears screaming and cursing and feet running around frantically?)

Then he pulled the two pieces of hot stone still covered with molten cheese and pieces of crust onto a rack on the counter and shoved the pizza pan into the still hot oven and turned the oven back on.

When the mess was finished, T divided it in half and we dumped it on the plates on the TV trays, sloshed some wine into glasses and stomped to the TV room to chew blackly, noting that the cheese was ALL wrong, and stare at a movie.

What movie was it? Ha. I can’t remember.

But. We were warm.

And in spite of all that had happened, it turned out that the pizza wasn’t terrible. Especially after we comforted ourselves with dessert of ginger cookies, fabulous chocolate bark that my sister had given us for Christmas and homemade ice cream.

In fact, let’s play the Glad Game:

I’m GLAD last night’s dinner was a nightmare. Now we’ll really appreciate tonight’s dinner!

Mozzarella Cheese Why can we not get decent mozzarella cheese? The kind that goes into long strings when it melts rather than oozing out into a solid flat dripping blanket? Is that really too much to ask?

We’ve tried the President, Kraft, Saputo. All of those brands USED to make decent mozzarella that was clearly pulled. NONE of those brands make decent mozzarella any more. Whatever they make is like inferior white cheddar.

[We had] white cheese that claims to be Mozzarella but isn’t (don’t get me started on how annoying it is that manufacturers think I’m too dumb not to know the difference between cheddar and Mozzarella)

-me, Baked Squash, Rapini and Mozzarella on Pasta

We imagined that we were going to make our own mozzarella, but I fear our cheese making has been less than successful. We have succeeded in making great ricotta, and that’s about as far as we’ve managed.


  • barbara

    Have you tried cheese shops for mozzarella? It sounds like International Cheese at Keele and St. Clair has fresh mozzarella:

    Thanks for the tip, Barbara. I’m pretty sure that our supermarket sells the International Cheese Company’s mozzarella, Santa Lucia, and that it’s one of the ones that we rejected a while back. But, we’ll try it again. After we’ve finished licking our wounds. (We bought Saputo Mozarellissimo yesterday to try it again….) – Elizabeth

  • barbara

    I just did another search (I love googling). I don’t know how I missed this chowhound thread before, but here are some people talking about where they get fresh mozzarella in Toronto. Some of the posts are a few years old, but maybe some of those places are still there.

    Thank you for your googling, Barbara! But rats. What a shame that that thread is from 2007. A lot can happen in that time to how the people make their cheese. Saputo, Santa Lucia, the President all used to make quite decent mozzarella. Even Kraft put out a not bad Mozzarella. Alas, over the past few years, clearly, some efficiency experts have been at work in all of their factories. We’re going to Highland Farms soon though. We’ll see what they have…. – Elizabeth (I’m NOT going to Pusateri’s to buy Mozzarella! We already have a mortgage on the house.)

  • Katie

    I don’t like fresh mozzarella on pizza – it gives off too much liquid – at least the mozzarella di bufala I get does. But we do get a pretty decent ‘fromage por pizza’ LOL At least it’s Italian.
    Hope the wine was good.

    Yes, thank you, Katie. Happily, the wine did help the situation a lot. :-) Oh! Good idea. We’ll try looking for “fromage pour pizza”…. – Elizabeth

  • MyKitchenInHalfCups

    … and still Life’s a Feast!


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