Pizza Experts

Oh, no, Mark Bittman, my Italian grandmother is rolling over in her grave – how could you recommend using a food processor to make pizza? In his article for the New York Times – For Chefs at Home, A Pie Above the Rest – Bittman proclaims that the best pizza only needs “…some confidence, practice, and a food processor.” The sacrilege reminded me of Jon Stewart’s ridicule of Donald Trump eating pizza with a knife and fork – another no, no.

Pizza can be anything from an English muffin covered with ketchup and sprinkled with Parmesan out of the plastic container to the thick-crusted Sicilian breads with home-made tomato sauce and slices of real mozzarella and aged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. When in Italy years ago, the pizza on the plaza was different to my American palate, but never a food processor in sight – I could see the cook making it.

My Italian ancestors passed on a recipe that keeps satisfying – an egg, a little olive oil, some whole milk, yeast proofed in warm water – mixed with flour – by hand. Part of making and kneading pizza is the satisfaction of working the dough (imagining it to be something or someone else). Turning on a food processor just doesn’t relieve suppressed anger – better than punching a pillow.

So, keep your food processor, Mark Bittman.

Want to Eat In Tonight?

By now, most of my New Year’s resolutions are either wavering or discarded, and one – to cook more and better – got an unexpected boost from an article in the New York Times.  Cooking is hard to do without a kitchen, but some people manage.  Others see the lack of pantry as a good excuse to eat out more.

Seems all anyone needs are the three basic recipes provided – one for a stir fry, one for a rice and bean dish, and finally, a salad.  Does not matter if you have one burner or a state of the art  commercial grade Garland stove; does not matter that you are a vegan, vegetarian, or meat-eater.  If you can read, you can cook – no excuses.

The recipes look easy and tasty – with variations on each type.  Maybe I’ll even try one – or maybe I’ll just keep reading Mark Bittman – and someone else will do the cooking.