Saturday, February 09, 2008

All In Stride

Today was really a pretty perfect winter day. For one thing, it wasn't very wintry. It was warm enough to be out and about moving around early, and stayed pretty nice the entire day. We were very busy but it didn't feel exhausting as it usually does. It was sort of a day taken in stride.

The focus on the middle of the day was my daughter's last ski lesson. While she was on the slopes -- having acquired the highest level of difficulty for her class, Black Diamond -- I spent some time with my son going over the things he'd been doing at school to prepare for selecting his first semester of high school. The methodology involved is really something more akin to college scheduling than anything I ever experienced in high school. However the fact that he can take Latin and Sociology, two areas of study mastered by any archeologist worth his salt, bodes him well. And he seems unfazed by the process.

My daughter finished her lessons beautifully. She really is a natural on the slopes. To celebrate and to take advantage of a girls-only evening (my son was spending the night at a friend's who is celebrating a birthday), we designed a sort of "sleepover" for ourselves. We determined that this would be a good occasion for a homemade pizza, so we acquired the ingredients early in the day. We crafted the dough from scratch, and it was a beautiful thing to see rising. We covered it with all kinds of lovely things -- special black olives, sundried tomatoes, some mushrooms I sauteed, some roasted red peppers, and of course a LOT of cheese. And as we prepared to move it to the baking stone in a sweltering 450 degree oven, we encountered severe technical difficulty. Since we didn't have the right board on which to prepare the pizza, this great thing of beauty had stuck to the surface on which it had been prepared and rather flopped on to a very hot stone, beginning to bake almost on contact. It was quite a conundrum. But we managed through this very messy moment -- our beautiful dough now had great holes in it, and through them fell cheese and olives and other ingredients that immediately set to cooking, and yet the dough was so copious that had we done it on the proper surface it still would have been too big for the stone. Nonetheless we ended up with one of the most delicious pizzas we've ever tasted, ever.

Sometimes it's best just to take it all in stride.

Since it's already Lent, and nearly Valentine's Day, which brings us ever closer to St. Patrick's Day, I'm throwing your way this wicked good number from Solas. It's called The Stride Set and it's from their release, The Words That Remain. It's a kind of "just keep going" collection of reels and such, perfect for renegotiating a flopped over pizza or just about anything else that throws a challenge your way.

Better get back to my sleepover while my powder hound kid still thinks it's fun to hang out with me. I'm a goofy mom but the kids have learned to take it in stride.

4 Comments:

At February 10, 2008 11:39 AM, Blogger DrDon said...

As Homer would say, "Mmm...pizza"

 
At February 10, 2008 6:50 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Oh it was a thing of beauty I will say, even if it had a bit of an accident on the way into the oven. We're mighty proud of ourselves.

 
At February 12, 2008 8:56 AM, Anonymous leotaprof said...

I love the pizza story, as you might well guess. And the key to the successful pie was, no doubt, the omission of Romano cheese!

 
At February 13, 2008 6:58 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Leotaprof, you were of course our inspiration! I must say, I began to reach for the Parmesan but thought better of it. Had you seen the finished product, you would know we already had enough to contend with before adding a sharp dry cheese.

 

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