Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My First Delivery

This happened a little while ago (January 25th if you are keeping score at home), and when I think about it, I still laugh. Like right now.

I bought some pizza boxes from Restaurant Depot. The wind blew open the outdoor cabinet where I was storing them. I didn’t want anything to get at the boxes, so I moved them into the basement. Lately, I’ve been making eight 13.5 inch pizzas when I fire up that little pizza oven. We maybe eat a little less than three. I keep a lot of leftover slices in the storage containers I got for my birthday and we slowly pick at the slices during the week. It’s a lot of pizza…not that it’s bad thing.

I’ve also been flip-flopping between dough formulations and recently made a decision to stick with one and try to dial it in to a repeatable, good pizza. Unfortunately, that requires some self restraint and I really don’t have any. When dialing in the recipe, it’s best to only change one thing at a time, analyze the impact of that change, accept or reject the change and then continue with additional adjustments.

Lacking that level of self restraint, I changed two things in my last go around. I upped the salt and moved to a 2-day ferment by dropping some of the yeast. Madness, I know. As it turns out, I got lucky and it looks like both changes improved the dough. I was making some pretty good pizza that Sunday night. I was filling up, my wife and kids were pretty much done and I had already cooked 6 pizzas with leftover slices all over the kitchen. Two dough balls left. Since making pizza is a lot of fun, I was making these two pies.

Having moved the pizza boxes earlier in the day, they were fresh in my mind. I came up with the idea of delivery. If that didn’t pan out, I have them boxed and bring them to work on Monday. So at precisely 6:22, I texted Albany Jane:

“Any chance you are home…and want some pizza?”

I proceeded to cook a sausage pizza, slid it into a box and giggled. I closed the box and headed out to make the last pizza of the night, a pepperoni. This particular pepperoni was sliced on the thin side and was kind of drying out in earlier pizzas. So I sauced the dough, placed the pepperoni and then topped it with the rest of the cheese I had grated. Probably a bit too much cheese. As I was pulling it from the oven, I got Albany Jane’s reply: “Yes and yes”

I texted back, “See you in a few,” sliced the pizzas and headed out the door, laughing at the idea of delivering pizza. I giggled like a little kid the entire short ride over to her house. I knocked on the door and made my first delivery. Albany Jane took a few pictures to commemorate the event. Basically me looking like a slob, wearing a crummy green jacket covered in flour and grinning holding two pizza boxes. She also took a shot of the pizzas.

I had to head out because it was a Sunday night, kid showers, bed time approaching and clean up my mess - all that fun Sunday evening stuff. I got home just after 7:00. Forty minutes, from spur of the moment idea to done. And no joke, it still makes me smile.

Back in the fall, I was all set to make too much pizza and we invited a family we know over for dinner. It was a really fun night. I ran into mom and the kids leaving the afterschool program the Monday following my first delivery. According to her mother, my pizza has stuck with my daughter’s friend. Every pizza since has been, “Good, but not as good as Casey’s dad’s.”

I promised her the next delivery.