delicious discourse

Covered In Flour

Posted in whim by delicious:discourse on April 13, 2008

Just picture this – me, all dressed up for a party with 4 inch wedges on and covered in flour, my kitchen is a disaster and I have thirty-some-odd people at my house. This is what I get for deciding that Matt and I are going to have a gourmet pizza party, where we make pizza from scratch and the guests bring their favorite beer. Oh, and Matt is covered in flour too. Actually, even some of my guests are covered in flour. What kind of awful hostess am I?

It all started last fall when Matt and I made our very first batch of pizza dough and that was it, we became addicted. Pizza is so much more fun to eat when you get to make it. First, you have the satisfaction of creating dough and watching it rise (a ever impressive phenomenon). Secondly, pizza making allows for much creativity in regards to the infinite combinations of edible substances that an be thrown on its doughy stage. So, for part of Matt’s 29th birthday gift, I got him a pizza stone and a pizza peel so he could now be an official pizza chef. All he needs now is a chef hat for that unruly, but oh-so-sexy hair. With the over confidence of amateurs, we decided we were ready for a pizza dinner party. We were thinking about 20 people would be perfect to celebrate the arrival of Spring. An E-vite wassent out about three weeks out. Well, two weeks before the party a couple of Palomas (blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and Fresca) deep my roommate and I decide she is going to join Matt and I as a host and we will have the party at our house as the inaugural party for our small, but sweet pad. She adds a bunch of her friends to the E-vite list and we estimate about 35 people will come. Easy.

Shopping for the party–easy. Prepping for the party–easy. Making 15 batches of dough for the party–a nightmare. Matt and I usually make our dough with whole wheat flour, but for the party we had made the decision to go mainstream and do regular flour. We also happen to use very high quality ingredients and shop at gourmet grocery stores such as Central Market and Whole Foods. I bought regular ingredients to use for the party in order not to break the bank. This caused for some experimenting with very sticky dough and having to add about a cup of flour more per ball of dough. Also, where is one to put 15 balls of rising dough? My solution = a washed large Tupperware storage bin rubbed brushed with olive oil and using all the mixing bowls I own to house balls of dough.

Note to self, if you are having guests arrive at 8pm, do NOT go on the lake all afternoon, drinking Palomas and inviting more people, only to arrive home at 7:15pm still needing to SHOWER and start making what everyone is coming for, PIZZA. We would have been lost without Matt who started cooking pizzas and soon as he got there and had to deal with what I am going to call the “Calzone Disaster”. Brooke, my roommate, and I had decided to assemble three pizzas right when we got home so we could just throw them in the oven when people started arriving. We only had one pizza peel, so the other two pizzas we made on parchment paper. Another note-to-self, pizza dough sticks to parchment paper. The solution, to fold over the pizzas to make calzones that do not look so pretty because they were not meant to be calzones. They more resembled crumpled piles of dough. The first one of did not cook all the way through and was still dough in the middle. I couldn’t feed that to people. The second one turned out edible and people dug in. Beer makes you hungry I guess. On to the next disaster. I had planned for there to be 5 typed of pizzas. On the menu: 1) Margherita Pizza – olive oil, garlic, sliced Roma tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, 2) Southwestern Pizza – combination of jack and cheddar cheese, black beans, corn, and green chiles, 3) Cheese – cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, tomato sauce, 4) Sausage/charcuterie pizza – tomato sauce, cheese, and either proscuitto, sliced sausage or sauteed pork sausage, and 5) White Pizza – olive oil, ricotta cheese, spinach, and garlic. I had these options all written out for the chef (Matt and I) to follow and Brooke, in a moment of embarrassment in finding someone reading our menu, tore it down from the fridge. While I was socializing, Matt was slaving away in the kitchen in a sheer panic because he didn’t know what combinations he was to make. The result? We got creative and I have NO idea what kinds of pizzas we made, but people LOVED them. All night I was hearing things like, “This is the best pizza I have ever had” and “This pizza is delicious”, and “You guys are amazing”. Oh, and there was not a piece left over.

Our party would not have been complete without one guest insisting he could toss dough like you see chefs do to even it out into a relatively flat circular base. I saw the preparation and it involved a lot of flour, but I was pulled away before he could actually attempt air. I also seem to have missed a pretty impressive dough fight that started in the kitchen and thankfully moved outside.

All in all, disasters included, it was a success. People ate and people drank and people had fun. Mission accomplished.


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