Monday, July 05, 2010

Kitchen nightmares

We wanted grilled pizza. Jon was doubtful about his ability to make pizza without my supervision. I told him his doubts were nonsense. All he had to do was find a pizza crust recipe on line (my own recipe is in my head and uses no precise measurements) and I would take care of the rest when I got home from work.

I was greeted at home with the almost hysterical concerns of Mr. McP about the state of Jon's pizza dough. "It's weird! It's wrong! He ruined it!" I assessed the dough myself and Mr. McP's first two descriptions of the dough were correct. It was weird and wrong, but not quite ruined. I couldn't imagine what had gone wrong. Jon had selected a perfectly straightforward dough recipe. The ball of stuff in the bowl smelled like pizza dough and looked like pizza dough, but it was strangely heavy, with an odd crust on the outside. It reminded me of something, but I couldn't think what. Still, I felt we could make a respectable pizza out of it and the resulting pizza was, in fact, far better than I thought it would be.

But what was wrong with the dough? A clue asserted itself when I started the clean up. The bottom of the dough bowl was caked with odd, solid chunks of dough. Suddenly I realized what the dough had reminded me. It reminded me of bread, because it was already partially baked.

Me: Jon, this dough is baked to the bottom of the bowl. What did you do?

Jon: The recipe said to leave the dough in a warm place, so I turned the oven to 200 and left the dough in there for an hour.

Me: You left rising bread dough in a lit oven and it never occurred to you that it might BAKE the freaking dough.

Jon (Looking at me like I was daft): Yes, that's why I left the oven DOOR open the entire time.


Jon: Sheesh. What's your problem?

Oh my GOD, people. We have been having homemade pizza for dinner once a week for years--that's at least 200 pizzas, not to mention numerous loaves of bread that I have baked in our eighteen year marriage, during which I had a lengthy spell as domestic goddess and made literally all our food from scratch. Did he EVER see me treat bread dough in this manner. When I pointed out to him that I've made hundreds of pizzas, in his presence and have always left the dough to rise on the counter, he said he'd never noticed.


  1. At least he didn't burn the house down or just leave the gas on and pull a Sylvia Plath on the family. Have a great 5th of July!


  2. That is exactly something Yankee would do. He sits around thinking about and solving the most complex problems ever for fun, but when he empties the dish washer he always puts things in the wrong place because he never notices where it was stored in the first place, and it's not like I go around putting the pizza slicer into the dish towel drawer just to confuse him.

    On another matter, I've started letting my dough rise in the fridge. I know this is counter intuitive, but it gives it a nice yeasty flavor and you can roll it out very, very thinly which is how I like it.

  3. O.M.G. I'd have totally lost my marbles and spewed them straight at his head at that point!

  4. Someone who shall remain nameless once tried making a simple recipe for meatloaf. The end result was gritty and rather yellow. I found out later that someone used cornmeal instead of breadcrumbs. Another recipe for chicken gave the following direction: 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes. Someone thought that cutting each boob in half was good enough.

  5. Does that "someone" like to drink Miller Light while hating on Okies?