If You Can’t Stand The Heat, Order Pizza

by Kevin Burton

   So we’ve had two days of flapping jaw concerning pizza – that’s eating and talking – with no real pizza production. 

   Time for action!

   Page 7 now steps inside the Burtons’ fully-equipped, modern kitchen for take one of homemade pizza. We’ve already put a take two into the equation because well, stuff happens.

   This all came about because I was annoyed that I missed the National Pizza Day celebration Feb 9.  I even declined to order pizza on Super Sunday. Not sure why. Maybe on some level I knew the Chiefs would lay an egg and the pizza wouldn’t taste as good.

   Anyway I was determined to make up for missing pizza day and it led my wife and me to making homemade pizza for the first time as a married couple. 

   So how did it go?

   My first editor in talking about the statewide press club awards said he wasn’t sure why they would give honorable mentions.

   “It’s like, ‘ooo that was almost good,’” he said. 

   So I’m saying take one of the pizza baking was almost good.  I would give it no lower than a B-minus, but I think it merits a solid B. 

   We got the crust thicker than we wanted it. But the crust was good, like a less-tall version of a biscuit.  Kind of deep dishy. The finish product exceeded my expectations. The same toppings on a thinner crust would have merited some sort of an A.

   We got Hormel pepperoni, fresh mushrooms from Dillons (Kroger) and Johnsonville Italian sausage.  We made it with layers of Kraft pizza cheese, a combination of mozzarella and parmesan.  We put cheese both under and on top of the toppings. 

   Maybe next time we will use a touch more sauce.  I noticed late that the jar of pizza sauce we got was only 8.5 ounces.  I thought that was not nearly enough, but we didn’t even use the whole jar.

   Production was a little disjointed because we had two major interruptions in the process, one concerning our taxes, one concerning a car repair. 

   Jeannette asked me if I wanted to help make the crust. I was gung-ho to help, maybe too gung-ho.  It wasn’t long before she got annoyed with my questions. 

    I retreated to my office, still within earshot, in case a further instruction was issued.  While there I looked up what some of my fellow bloggers had said about pizza crust.

   There is no end to the variations.   I read about cauliflower crust, no-yeast crust spaghetti squash crust, non-gluten and sourdough crust. 

   Making a crust is more complicated than I knew. I didn’t know you had to dissolve the yeast in warm water between 105 and 115 degrees.  I didn’t know you had to poke holes in the dough.  

   I didn’t know most of the steps.  I didn’t know enough to ask good questions. 

   I figure this was the equivalent of watching sports with Jeannette and her asking me why coaches or players didn’t do this or that when she doesn’t know the sport.   

   So I stuck to the Kev-proof jobs, the ones I couldn’t mess up.  Actually the first miracle was when I didn’t eat all the pepperoni before we even got a chance to bake the pizza.  How about that?

   I have become the family rolling pin person though, be it sugar cookies or pizza dough.  Next time I’ll roll it much thinner.

   We do not have a traditional pizza pan.  Our first try went well enough that I think we’ll be getting a set of them if we can find them, in three different sizes.

   Now that we have some pizza experience (not to mention some pizza) under our belts, we’ll be making our own sauce.  I got some recipes from friends on FB.  This week I will show them to Jeannette and we can come up with something from them.

   With our own sauce, maybe some new pans, give us another week and we might just start looking at empty locations to start that restaurant. We’ll put beep baseball memorabilia on the walls. 

  But maybe we better figure out that crust thing first.

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