Pizza Nights

Since Jon moved into his own apartment in town we do not see him very often. Thus we have instituted a weekly dinner to gather all four of us around the table. He has become a vegan, so to make the meal simple, family night is always pizza night. I make dough for the pies and provide sauce; Jon brings vegan “cheese” for his pizza and I make fresh mozzarella for ours.

Here’s a blurry picture of Lucy helping Jon dress his vegan pizza.

Lucy and I are proud of how our pizza crusts have improved. After a few too many unbending pizza frisbees, I have compromised my “whole wheat only” stance to make our dough with 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour to 2.5 cups of white. This appeases my desire for nutrition while still providing a silky dough. (Lucy says generously that the whole wheat that remains makes for a more flavorful crust.) Our friend Gary gave us a wonderful tip when he suggested that instead of sprinkling the bottom of our pizzas with corn meal, as most recipes suggest, we use masa harina — finely ground corn flour. This has proved to be key.

We slide the dressed pies on parchment paper onto a hot baking stone at the bottom of the oven and they puff up to be crisp and tender.

Here’s Jon pretending to consider adding flesh back into his diet.

Hot cheesey pizza and the candles lighted at the table — it’s a fun night of good food and good conversation, and often a lot of laughs.

*   *   *

Yesterday it was -18° F at morning chores. It is no fun hand-milking at those temperatures, but I did it anyway. My bare fingers ached and went numb in seconds, and every minute or so I had to pause and stuff first one hand, then the other, under all my layers to thaw on my belly.

This is what happens when you promise to supply someone else with fresh milk. You milk!

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