Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fenneltastic Pizza

Ah, sweet day off. Ten years ago I may have used a day off to pack up my Dodge Omni with recording gear, drive up to Boston, play music all night in a crummy club, have a footrace down Beacon Street with a friend, attend some random stupid college party and then drive to Cape Cod at 4 o'clock in the morning.

That was then and this is now. Today I stayed at home, did the laundry, cleaned up around the house, did some diagnostic work on my father's computer, had three cups of tea, and made dinner. Not only did I enjoy my day immensely but I had been looking forward to this day all week and I'm now sad that it's over. I was looking forward to this day knowing that that would be exactly what I would do.

Jen was scheduled to work very late this evening then IMed me to say she'd be home at a normal time. Reading that, I quickly snapped into action to get dinner ready and start to work through the vegetables which have been backing up in our fridge lately.

I used the white carrots (as well as some older normal-style orange carrots) to make a carrot ginger soup. I didn't put much else in it other than garlic and onion. It came out pretty good but way too strong on the ginger. I think I'd use half as much next time. I guess we won't have to worry about our blood pressure after tonight's meal.

The lettuce has been getting meager in supply. The past few weeks we've been lucky to make two average sized salads out of what we've been getting. Tonight we used the green leaf we got along with the grape tomatoes, goat cheese, chives, avocado, olive oil, salt and pepper.

One of our classic meals is pizza with shaved fennel and mozzarella cheese. We started using a pizza stone after I got one for Jen a couple years back for Christmas. If you make pizza at home more than once a year, this is well worth the small investment. Crusts are incredible when cooked on the stone. The pizza is simple: any pizza dough (store bought or homemade), any pizza sauce you'd like, mozzarella (preferably fresh), shaved fennel and a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Bake on preheated stove at 450 degrees for 12-13 minutes. Grate Parmesan on pizza after it comes out of the oven.

As a pairing: Gravity Hills 2003 Syrah. Why this Syrah? Because my favorite Smoking Loon Shiraz was out of stock at the local wine shop I purchased this bottle which cost twice as much and tasted 85% as good.

For dessert we were going to have one of these amazing cookie sandwiches from The Cookie Sandwich Company that Jen got from work. We ended up having more peaches and yogurt. How do I know the cookie sandwiches are delicious? Because I had one for lunch and it was the best thing that has happened to me in a while.

There is another waiting in the fridge. I just may pay it a visit before bed.

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