We’ve made it back to Brooklyn. Successful, but now the city lacks that adventurous vibe we grew to love on the road. Not to mention the first thing we see upon our arrival into Manhattan was 45 minutes of traffic leading up to the Brooklyn Bridge. At one point Paul turns to me and says “You haven’t cursed this much for the entire trip”…and I wasn’t even driving.
Perhaps needless to say, but I am back on my kick of desperately craving a change of pace from city life and the abundant consumerism that is NYC. I want adventure. In the great wide somewhere….wait that’s Belle (from Beauty and the Beast a la Disney). What I really want is simplicity, purity, and, of course, fresh good food. I want to know how our ancestors survived without supermarkets. I want to be able to live off the land. I want to be the one friends and family gather around for survival after the apocalypse hits!
I am only a little bit kidding.
I do truly believe it’s important to bridge ourselves away from the convenience of city life and learn to fend for ourselves, at least a little bit, and at least so that we don’t just blindly follow and eat whats put in front of us.
Of course this sounds very familiar at this point. I know I may simply be falling into the organic, back to the earth food trend that is moving around the country, but it doesn’t change my drive. In fact it makes me more curious and adamant about the idea!
It was great to see places embracing farmers markets and local products, and non-hybrid crops. When you think about the last, say, ten years and how food trends have changed, and how we buy ad eat food has changed, it almost feels as though we are all part of a crazy science experiment! Instead of searching for good cheese, we settle for the system shock that comes with the wrong choice. It really made me wonder about the “allergy trends” as well. Granted I have a terrible memory, but I don’t remember ever hearing the words celiac, or gluten-free, or lactose intolerant or a lot of other intolerances that people seem to have developed (including myself) over the last few years. Suddenly these words and ailments are everywhere!
There has to be a connection to all of the genetically modified foods we eat. This is a concept that I had been questioning for a while. Then at the Mill City Farmers Market in Minnesota I found a heritage wheat flour company – wasn’t looking for it, but happily meandered over to question the owners. Their flours are all made with non modified wheat, similar to heirloom veggies – no mutations, no splicing, no combining. Just pure mother earth made wheat.
So I bought a bag of pizza flour (which the woman at the booth said is the exact same thing as their all purpose flour, but they label it as such for people who refuse to believe that all purpose will work for pizza). That night Paul, Kelly (my sister), and I made pizza with Paul’s three nieces (all under 7).
This was the best pizza I have ever made – maybe even ever had!
Pizza is an indulgence for me in general. When the little fat kid in me comes up and will only be satisfied by a perfect slice of New York pizza, the adult in me caves and deals with the consequences later. This time, using the heritage flour to make our dough, there were no consequences – and I mean none! It was almost jarring to eat an abundance of pizza and not feel the pain afterwords.
I just ordered more flour from the Sunrise Flour Mill (I used the “Pizza or All Purpose Flour” for the pizzas)
When cooking with kids it’s best to keep things simple and colorful. I followed the pizza dough instructions on the bag (3cups flour, tsp yeast, 1cup tepid water; knead for 6 minutes until smooth, and a pinch of salt, knead for 2 more minute, cover and let double in size;)
At the farmers market I also picked up a bunch of veggies – zucchini, patty pan squash, potatoes, heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, mushrooms, bell peppers, kale – and some fresh cheese. I sliced everything very very thin and made seperate bowls of colorful veggies for the girls to stick their hands into and layer whatever they wanted onto the pizzas. I used a really simple and delicious tomato sauce from a jar – look for something with very basic ingredients, the fewer the better. Also sliced some leftover italian sausage.
I found it easiest to give each girl a cookie sheet and a ball of dough – they needed some help getting it thin, but had fun dictating different shapes. Then layer sauce, cheese and veggies – let them go crazy!
Bake at 395′ F for about 15 minutes or until the crust is brown and the veggies are softened.
Then for dessert…dessert pizzas! Spread some Nuetella and layer fresh peach slices, bake as above.
For the record, I am not a doctor or nutritionist or in any position to guide anyone to try this product if you have severe allergies. I would however recommend trying this flour to anyone who is mildly gluten INTOLERANT – best case, like me you’ve found a solution, worst case, you have discomfort like any other day you cheat a bit.
(again if you’re allergic and could have a sever reaction to gluten, maybe talk to a professional first)
I hope you enjoy reading my crazy tangents followed by generally useful info! More to come soon.