Sunday, February 25, 2007

if pizza could talk it would say, "turn it up!"

this pizza isn't round, i know. it's harder than it looks.

my largest pizza yet! and possibly my roundest too.
sadly i didn't get it all onto the baking stone and had to sandwich an edge

worked with the sourdough culture this time, though the dough was still pretty bland, next time i'll put more in. overall, the second batch made for an improved pizza. i worked in two sets. the first two pizzas i made the same day i doughized the water and flour. the second set was from the same dough, just aged in the fridge a couple of days. the theory was that it would have (a) more time to rise and (b) more time for the sourdough flavor to permeate the mixture. it did seem to help a little bit to age the dough, both in terms of rise and in terms of flavor (but only marginally). overall though, i think it may have been too wet a mixture for the heat i'm using (roughly 550F). even after a nine minute bake, the crust was still wet and pretty gummy. i think that if i make the dough much drier, it'll be hard to pull without breaking. the sauce this time i think was a bit better. added a ton more oregano and some baking soda as per (erica's recommendation) as well as some diced fresh tomato (supermarket off-the-vine variety... didn't have any roma). definitely an improvement, but still not up to par. next time i might just not cook the sauce beforehand... it could work... i guess only more pizza-making will tell...


they're doing some kind of maintenance on the sewage line across the street from the shop i work in. it a faint scent of urine and/or popcorn wafts through every so often. it's not as pleasant as the maple syrup smell that briefly permeated manhattan and not as unpleasant as the garbage odor everywhere in New York in the summer. I could do without the jackhammering though.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

...baked bads!

I got my first real paycheck yesterday and I celebrated by purchasing a pizza peel. And then further celebrated by making my first ever home baked pizzas. They were edible, but certainly didn't fall under the category of "good." Number one out of four came out more as a calzone than a pizza. the edge got stuck on the baking stone as I was shoving it in the oven and as I tried to push it in it just kind of flipped up on top of itself.

The recipe I used, by the way, was roughly this one posted by Adam Kuban.

Current problems:
- Bland crust. I'm trying to remedy this. I have two plans. One might call it a two-pronged attack. (1) Use fresh yeast instead of instant dry yeast and (2) cultivate my own sourdough yeast culture. I seem to have succeeded in cultivating a sourdough. I just have no idea if it's going to be any good. It sure looks and smells pretty gross. I may use both of these in my next attempt.

- Too much pull-back when stretching the dough to make the base. Probably due to not enough hydration.

- The sauce is maybe a bit bitter and I think generally needs some more seasoning. Jeff Varasano rinses his tomatoes to rid them of the bitter flavoring that I assume is due partially to the tin the tomatoes are packaged in. At least, that's one theory Mr. Varasano posits.

Things that were alright: basil, cheese, olive oil... basically anything I didn't really have a hand in actually making. Though, even the mozzerella was a bit bland this time around.

The tentative plan is to try making one set of pizzas a week. Making dough is pretty time consuming though.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


According to the BBC, the US has, in the past 4 years since the Iraq war started granted 463 people asylum as refugees. 463 out of an estimated 3.8 million people who have fled Iraq in that time period. Read about it here.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

the great unknown

John Smythe says this about the fringe festival show I worked on...


Following her extraordinary Arctic Antarctic: a bi-polar play in last year's Fringe, Charlotte Simmonds has come up with another astonishing and challenging work about people who live on the edge: on the fringe.

The Story of Nohome Neville and Unwholesome Clare who Worked in the Kitchens and Smelt like a Dish evokes the relationship between a young homeless man (Alex Greig) and a café kitchen hand (Simmonds). They treat each other as objects while simultaneously commenting on their actions ...

continue reading

dark photos from the show...

Happy Batman Sticker Day!

Hello! You're probably wondering what Batman Sticker Day is and what this is all about. Quite simply, Batman Sticker Day is the action-packed alternative to Valentine's Day, where instead of celebrating flowers and hearts and the color pink (oh, okay, and the joy and beauty of love), you celebrate Batman and the fantabulousness that is the Dark Knight. Batman Sticker Day is great to celebrate as an alternative to Valentines Day, or simply in addition to it, if that's your bent. You see, Valentine's Day is great for those in a love situation, but for those who aren't it can range from, well, meaningless to angering and excruciating. Batman Sticker Day works whether you are in a love situation or not. If you are in love, what better way to surprise a significant other or crush than with Batman-y goodness? Batman is sleek, sophisticated, attractively mysterious, and all-in-all just plain cool. The people close to you are sure to realize that if you've sent them a Batman Sticker Day greeting, then you're just as cool as Batman. We guarantee. (I know that Batman is the way to my heart…) But Batman Sticker Day also works quite well if you're not in a love situation as it happens to feature a lot of dark clothing and ass-kicking. So next year, when you're making plans for February 14th, leave some room for Batman Sticker Day.

Batman Sticker Day Trivia:

- Batman Sticker Day was founded at a small, public high school in 1998. The original founders plastered their school halls with Batman stickers. All were apprehended sent to the office, and forced to remove the stickers, but the holiday lived (and lives) on…

- Batman Sticker Day is actually being celebrated for its tenth consecutive year by a growing minority of people along the east coast.

- Batman Sticker Day has been celebrated at Vassar for seven years now.

- Batman Sticker Day has also been celebrated by students at Brandeis, Cornell, and Ithaca College, and in such far away places as Scotland and New Zealand.

Monday, February 12, 2007

che bizarre

151 Cuba St. (a street apparently named after one
of the original ships that arrived in wellington)

Aptly named X Air competition

a photo from the pre-show set up from nohome neville (the fringe show i'm lighting)

and other scenes from wellington...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

quantum leap frog

some yahoo claims to have created the first commercial quantum computer. rather, some yahoo canadians. read all about it.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

i am job.

got provisionally hired by design zoo today. i'll be selling be cool-looking things. wednesday is my start date. and, of course, just after i accepted the job at design zoo, i got a call asking if i could start tomorrow at pandoro panetteria, which i no longer can. ideally, i'd work part time at both, but they're both looking for full time employees.

in other news, the superbowl is turning out to be a sloppy, but relatively entertaining game.

go colts!