Pizza for a sad mood

Last night, I made pizza from scratch.  Roasted peppers, and garlic, tucked in a small steel dish and drizzled with olive oil and covered with foil, and the surprisingly delicious roasted fennel bulb leftover from a salad two days ago.  Whole wheat dough, rolled thin, and smeared with olive oil, kosher salt, the smashed tender garlic. (Garlic, softly dripping, sliding out of its jacket like a hearty lover).   

It’s been a challenging week–nothing directly personal, impacting my life, but sad things swirled around and fell in lumps around us, and I felt them.  The empathy that is such a friend to a writer is not such a friend at times like that, when there is nothing to be done and no way to fix anything, and just those simple, stark, sad things lying there.   Writing is too much, too pointed and sharp, for times like that.  It takes me closer, not farther away.

So I found myself in the kitchen, looking through ingredients, tossing through cookbooks, hunting for the actions that would soothe, satisfy.  A can of pineapple, hiding at the back of the fridge, leftover mozzarella from a party last week, the garlic and onions and red peppers I keep in stock, and just enough white flour left to lighten up the whole wheat.  Bread dough to knead and punch and leave to rise, coming back later to see the speckles of grain, two balls rolled out, one for me and one for CR, to create our own masterpieces.  His was a some beef sausage and pineapple and lots of cheese and a base of red sauce.  Mine was mainly the vegetables and garlic and pineapple wiht a little cheese.   

Outside, the cold winter wind blowing. Inside, the smell of comfort and love and peace, all wrapped in a bit of dough and leftovers.

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7 thoughts on “Pizza for a sad mood

  1. Magycatt

    Sounds good, I certainly understand the empathy that affects your life, with no way to change the outcome, but still we try…..

  2. Oh my….I love when you write about food in that rich, sexy way…it’s terrible to read hungry! Did you make a sauce or use a jarred one?

  3. Mmmmm….I discovered years ago that pineapple and Canadian bacon has nothing on pineapple and just about anything else on a pizza. The CB overpowers the pineapple, but everything else seems to showcase it.

    I just got done eating a huge Italian dinner out, and yet, this made me hungry for pineapple pizza.

    Sorry you had a melancholy week. I’m glad you found something to soothe your soul.

  4. Christine

    Food is definitely an answer. To borrow from Mme Bollinger:

    “ I cook when I am happy,
    and when I am sad.
    Sometimes I cook when I’m alone.
    When I invite company I consider it obligatory.
    I trifle with it if I am not hungry,
    and cook especially when I am.
    Otherwise I never cook… ”

  5. Well, magycatt, a nurse would know about empathy.

    Andrea! Poor you.. :) CR likes jarred pizza sauce, though I love the canned tomatoes from Muir. (Was it Christine who put me on to them? Very good.)

    Even my dogs like roasted pineapple, J. I could eat it by the bushel.

    Thanks for that, Christine. I am going to print it out and post it somewhere.

  6. Yvonne Erwin

    Hey Barb,

    I’ve had one of those days. Sometimes, it’s hard to connect as a writer – the tv is on, distractions arise, “I’ve got to get the laundry done,” etc., and so on. Today was one of those days. I’m weary of the football announcers with their stupid jokes and affected laughter and barking tone. I personally would turn the tv off but that would set the house afire and so I compromise. Writing in all that racket could drive me insane. On another note, my dearest friend’s sister passed away from cancer one week ago today. She was buried Thursday in a flapping windstorm, so chilly. My dear friend is still struggling with her loss. And my own sister so lost in an incomprehensible world called and told me all her troubles. So. I decided to connect with myself in another way. To the kitchen I went and spent the entire day, creating. Before long, while chopping onions, searing boneless pork chops, frying leftover rice and scrambling eggs, I felt totally at peace. Such a quiet but certain connection came over me and I felt as if I had accomplished all my pages in one simple afternoon, while the sports announcers continued on in all their banality (if that’s even a word, just made it up) and the chill outside tapped at the windows.

    Sometimes one just needs those kinds of days. Indeed. I especially like Christine’s post above. I cook – well, all the time. Like the postman, in rain or snow, in inclement weather, whatever. I cook.

  7. Yvonne, I love that. Thank you.

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