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Pizza dough, bubbling away. Guilt rising, but it won’t stop me.

Published May 30, 2017 by The Merida Review

I have pizza dough sitting on my counter with a faint tinge of guilt staining it. I am forever trying to lose weight. I look better when I’m thin. Face it. I guess there are also health benefits, or that’s what they say. But I’ve been trying to lose weight for so long that I have an automatic guilt-o-meter in my head that weighs every bit of food I put into my mouth. (It doesn’t stop me from eating it, mind. Just makes me feel guilty about it.)

I had dabbled in pizza making in the past, but it’s so much easier to pick up the phone and order, isn’t it? When I moved to Mexico, however, I had to learn how to make my own pizza in self defense. Pizza down there (in Merida, anyways) is pretty bad. No, not pretty bad. Really bad. Awful. Horrible. I spent 10 years trying to recreate pizzas from home, and got pretty good at it. I also figured out that it’s a really cheap food to feed friends when you invite them over, as long as you have the kind of friends who bring along the booze, so I could afford to entertain on a poet’s salary. We had many a pizza night. Fond memories.

When I moved back to Ohio, I really looked forward to hanging up my pizza apron, and exercising my dialing finger again, but something has happened. I haven’t had one delivery pizza that’s as good as what I make myself. I even ordered from my old favorite place (granted, I was gone for 10 years) and the flavor was there, but it was underdone. Limp, soggy crust. Damn. What’s happened to the world?

And then Serious Eats came along. Or rather, I stumbled over their recipe for a deep dish pizza, which had been out there in the world for a couple years, but I didn’t know it. Here’s a link, if you’re curious:

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/01/foolproof-pan-pizza-recipe.html

I went out and bought a cast iron skillet at the flea market, just to try the recipe. I think it was because the photo looked so good. I am vegetarian, so instead of pepperoni, I like onion, black olive and banana peppers. And there’s only me. The pizza is best when it’s hot from the oven, the crust has a texture then that’s so good. So I (without any math skills whatsoever) guessed my way down to a one meal and a piece or two leftover recipe, basically it’s 3/4 of the dough recipe, and I cut that in half, and make 2 pizzas on 2 different days. It fits my little 8 inch skillet (it says 8 inch on the bottom of the pan, I didn’t measure it) and would probably feed two if I didn’t eat with such wild abandon.

But it still doesn’t fit into my diet. I gain weight every time I make it. (I am a compulsive weigher.)

Let me add in here that I live 2 blocks away from an ice cream place and I haven’t allowed myself to eat any ice cream from it in a year and a half. Is this any way to live? Gees.

Yesterday morning, however, I decided I deserved some pizza and I whipped out the bowl and the flour and yeast before I could talk myself out of it. And it’s right there. It’s doubled in size. Pizza for breakfast maybe? No, lunch would be better (the dough has to rise in the skillet for 2 hours, so duh).

You just don’t want to be around tomorrow morning to listen to me whine about gaining weight. What a crazy society we live in! Why couldn’t I have been born in an age where fat was appreciated, hey? I could do that one really well, I’m sure. I mean, if the admired physique was short and dumpy, I would have it made!

Yeah. I am eating pizza today. Just saying.

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