Some things bring you down to earth. One of my relatively recent interests is cooking. Relatively recent. I’ve been making pancakes for years. In recent times, I’ve expanded to French Toast and meatballs.
My most recent is pizza. I have an attitude about pizza. I don’t think a lot of Americans know how to make it. You go into restaurant after restaurant with the same mediocre product.
It takes an Italian-American to make pizza well. I’ve considered myself as being in the category of good pizza makers. And most of my pizzas have been works of art.
Until two weeks ago. My wife had been helping me a bit with matters such as making dough and turning on the oven. Two weeks ago, she said to me, “I won’t be home til later. Here’s the dough. Make the pizza while I’m out.”
So when the time came, I turned on the oven and took the dough out of the dough-maker. All the ingredients were well placed: the black olives and mushrooms, the sauce and cheese.
But when I placed the pizza in the oven, the oven began to beep. Almost immediately. I kept pressing buttons, trying to stop the beeping. But it continued. Soon, well before the time, the pizza smelled finished. Then burnt.
I kept trying to turn off the beeping. Then I realized I didn’t actually know how to work the oven.
The kitchen began to smoke. The fire alarm went off. I went into the living room, climbed a chair, and disconnected the alarm. I returned to the kitchen, and finally figured out how to turn off the stove. I placed the blackened pizza onto the counter.
At this point, my wife returned. She saw the concern on my face, and asked, “What’s wrong?” I told her everything that had happened. She laughed. She figured that I had used too much flour, and that the flour on the pan had caused the burning.
We ate the entire pizza. My wife indicated that food-burning incidents are rites of passage of cooks.
I know that I should cook another pizza to regain my self-confidence, but I havent’ been in a hurry.