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.