The monster within

dec81 On the eighth day of Christmas, my true loves gave to me…..eight pieces pizza, seven inches’ snow, six chocolatechip cookies, five hours alone…..four people dressed, three frozen fruit treats, two burning snowmen and a queasy feeling in my tummy…

After dinner, Jason sat back in his chair and stuck a plastic curler over his eye. [Because that’s what Canadians do, post dinner.] ‘I spy something pretty,’ he said, pointing his mini-binocular at me.

‘A curler?’ G tried to guess. Uh, no. ‘Sitting on a red and orange chair,’ Jason said, trying to be more specific. ‘Is it a car,’ G asked. No. ‘Something wearing jeans and a grey sweater,’ Jason tried for the last time.

‘A monster?’

Which resulted in Jason bursting with laughter.

Once again, my oldest spoke the truth. I’d been acting like a bit of a Cyclops in the kitchen, pre-dinner. Trying to bake pizza in a smoking 500 degree oven, with no pizza peel, defunct (i.e. ripped) oven mitts, oven racks that won’t pull out, and eyes burning from all the smoke (because the oven is dirty). A disaster waiting to happen. And when you put a whining child who suddenly claims an aversion to tomatoes in the middle of that equation……

Watch out!

Clearly I should just give up making pizza, because it either doesn’t work, or it’s detrimental to my family’s mental health….and my own.

But if you want to make it for yourself (beware this is a small pizza), I got the recipe from Delicious magazine, which has to be the best food magazine ever. Too bad it’s Australian and the bookstore wants me to pay $15 a copy.

Monstrous Margherita Pizza (not really)
7g yeast (about a packet’s worth)
2 tsp olive oil
160g flour (almost 3/4 cup)
1 tsp salt

Mix the yeast with 100ml water, whisk until well blended. Add the olive oil in a ‘stream’ and whisk well. Put in a warm, draft-free spot until bubbly.

Sift the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture. Knead until smooth and elastic. Pour some olive oil in a bowl so that it’s covered. Rub the dough around the bowl, so it gets covered in oil too. Cover with a cloth and put in a warm, draft-free space until doubled in size.

Punch down and place on a baking sheet lined with paper. Cover and let rest until risen about 50%.

Preheat oven to 250C/482F with stone in the oven. Sprinkle cornmeal and roll out pizza dough until about a 10-12″ round. Spread with sauce (250ml chopped canned tomatoes, and a handful of fresh basil/oregano….processed until smooth….use half). Top with shredded mozzarella, thinly sliced cherry tomatoes. Bake 5-6 minutes – or until golden. Then add thinly sliced bocconcini (mozzarella balls), parmesan and basil.

And serve.

Hopefully in better spirits, and with more grace, than me.


This is what you look like when your big brother (kindly) pours you a cup of hot chocolate in a regular cup and your mom isn’t around….

6 thoughts on “The monster within

  1. Shoot, Shawn, it actually looked decent and tasted good (slightly soggy since I couldn’t get it on the stone without risking life and limb).


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