Friday, March 27, 2020

Porch Time Pizza

During the current virus crisis I've seen videos on social media of Italians standing on their balconies playing instruments, of neighbors having an impromptu social time by bringing their waste cans to the curb for pickup and bringing something to sip (wine, beer, water, soda) while standing far enough apart for social distancing but close enough to converse. There have been other examples of creative get togethers that keep the distance but allow for connection, like a mariachi band playing in a neighborhood in Petaluma while separated individuals danced in the streets.

We have done something similar with our neighbors by having porch time once a week. We meet at a pre-arranged time on our back deck. The chairs are far enough apart to be distanced, but we can converse. They bring their food and drink and we bring ours...sort of. Today I made up mini-pizza dough on parchment papers for each of us and each tray had that shaped dough blank plus things to put on it as toppings. Our neighbor brought some vegan cheese he enjoys and our other neighbor brought some curry already warmed for themselves to go with the pizza. Each of us used our individual tray to create our choices of toppings, then each person put the loaded pizza on parchment, one by one, onto the grill, baked them on a pizza stone, and returned them to the tray they came from. After that person sat down, the next one could cook. It was pretty hot around that grill and we've been told that this virus doesn't like heat. The neighbors also brought some lovely bourbon and some rye for tasting and each family provided their own cups and utensils. One person poured so no bottle was passed around! The important part was to catch up and converse and laugh together. At the end we made hugging motions but stayed apart. Better than nothing and certainly fun.

The recipe for the Pizza dough can be found HERE. Start it in the morning. Once it's ready for shaping, divide into four equal pieces (a scale works well here), shape each piece into a ball, place the four balls onto a large piece of parchment paper (they will spread a bit), spray with olive oil and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Put in the fridge until shortly before you'll need them. Shape each ball into a rectangle to fit a piece of parchment paper (I used half sheet of King Arthur Flour's ready cut half sheet pan size parchment sheets), being sure to make the inside fairly thin and the outside edge a bit thicker. Spray lightly with olive oil and you are ready to add the toppings.

We used both pre-made pesto and marinara sauces, various cheeses including Parmesan, mozzarella, Kite Hill non-dairy ricotta and a sliced white vegan cheese that was probably Dailya. Other toppings were thinly sliced fresh asparagus, sliced black olives, thinly sliced salami strips, bulk Italian turkey sausage that was pre-cooked in small pieces until lightly browned, and thinly sliced cherry tomatoes.

Sweetie preheated the grill to 400 degrees F with a baking stone in it. That stone ensured that the bottom crust was nice and crispy.

Have you found a way to stay at least 6 feet apart but still socialize?

1 comment :

  1. That looks just delightful - we've got to get our daily doings up on the blog again soon. Thanks for writing.