party pizzas

after 50 years on the planet i finally met up with the meaning of life. it's simple really. nothing at all earth shattering, and it's there everyday in the smallest acts of kindness between friends. okay, so what is my purpose for being here?
          it's meeting a stranger who will become my friend.
          relating to them over time.
          laughing with them.
          agonizing over their sorrow as if it is my own.
          eating together.
          putting them first to make them feel good.
          being true to them.
          sending notes with words that can only be written for them.
          accepting their help.
          texting to let them know i am thinking about them.
          them texting me and signing off: xoxo
          just thinking about them and smiling.
i found my answer to the philosophical question of life standing on our deck with 40 or so friends we invited in for pizza and live music to celebrate my birthday. one of them, benjie, is the band leader and just for my party, he selected songs about food and wine and called the group beignet and the jets. after we ate, the music and friendship filled up the night sky and i felt the sweet-hot center of life that rained down on us as we grooved together. jim and a few friends sang, and i even sang one song . . . with no stage fright  . . . and then the cops came and made us shut off the amps. now that's a celebration.
what do you feed a crowd of people who define the meaning of life to you? i made patty cake pizzas weeks ahead and then froze them to serve at my birthday party.
this is the menu of food i served and the party songs about food.
patty-cake pizza dough recipe
• 1 cup of ripe natural bread starter
• 1 cup of water
• a few tablespoons of olive oil
• ground dried oregano
• several dashed of kosher salt
• 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour
• enough king arthur all-purpose flour to form a smooth, slightly tacky dough
1. knead the dough on a floured counter for about 7-8 min. until it is soft and airy.
2. rub olive oil in a large glass bowl and put the dough into it, drizzle the top with more oil, and cover it with plastic wrap. refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
3. allow the dough to come up to room temperature and then cut it into 10 small pieces.
4. press the dough pieces to about 7 x 8" rectangles that fit into gallon sized freezer bags.
5. pre-bake them on a pizza stone at 400 degrees just until they set but are still pliable.
6. layer on cooked aromatics, vegetables, meats, and cheeses. finish them off with a dusting of grated parmesan cheese and cracked pepper. 
7. stack 4 or 5 with waxed paper between them and freeze them. 
8. let them come up to room temperature and then bake them at 400 degrees until the crust is crisp and the cheese is melted and sizzling. serve topped with micro greens and tomato and olive salad skewers.
before freezing them, i spread pesto on some of the pre-baked crusts, fresh crimini mushrooms, and gorgonzola cheese . . . on others i drizzled olive oil, roasted russet potatoes, steamed green beans, provolone and parmesan cheeses.
i used a spoon and ate up every morsel of the night my friends gave me the meaning of life.


Anonymous said...

it was an honor to be a part of the celebration, patty!
you are an inspiration....and a fabulous friend.
xoxo, evie

Katherine said...

Your words are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing what this night meant to you and how it helped shape what you see your purpose to be......inspiring.

And I LOVE the pic of you and Jim so much.

May the good times, good food and good tunes continue, always-

Love, Katherine