Channeling My Inner Domestic Goddess with Friday Night Pizza


Getting used to doing NOTHING is difficult. There’s only so much running (in a not so nice gym and on a treadmill to boot) and lonely yoga one can do before insanity sets in. I’ve organized the home as much as possible, I have nothing to buy (and have shopping issues–see post 1 number 9 on the list), and no friends. What’s a girl to do? Cook.

Friday night pizza has been a tradition of Raj and mine for years. I’ve been sick of it for years because there’s no deviation from the type of pizza that is served. It’s always the same: whole wheat crust, tomato sauce, pepperoni on his side, and mozzarella (barely any on my side). I’ve occasionally and unsuccessfully tried to slip in a fig and prosciutto pizza with arugula, or even a white pizza, but Raj always insists on what he considers the gold standard–pepperoni. [If you’ve ever been invited to our home for dinner, you’ve most likely had THIS pizza. It would seem to most that this is my ONLY recipe. I only make pizza. Not true. I love to cook, but this is the dish Raj wants to share with EVERYONE.] If you’d like to see an homage to Raj and HIS pizza, here’s a link to Penzey’s catalog. The recipe was featured last fall: http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/recipes/JenniferPalumboMaan.html

Similar to the eggplant caponata of the previous post, there’s always a Middle Eastern snag. Here in Jordan (as you might have guessed) pork products are nearly impossible to find (and I’ve scoured three grocery stores thus far).  What we’re left with is  “beef” pepperoni and it’s not pretty. In fact, it reminds me of bologna. Yum.

Despite my trepidation to return to the kitchen with the lack of ventilation and the propane burning oven (you can see the blue flame burning brightly inside the oven where the heating element is usually housed), I gathered up my strength and courage and mightily slew the culinary dragons lurking in the open cabinets to prepare a feast like none other.  Here’s the menu (keeping in mind that everything is made from SCRATCH):

  • Focaccia with rosemary and sea salt served with caponata
  • Breadsticks and marinara sauce
  • Raj’s Pepperoni (bologna) Pizza
  • Pine nut and rosemary biscotti
It was a beautiful spread and I congratulated myself mightily. Raj commented that the crust on the pizza wasn’t as good as it was back home. I pushed. “What?” He claimed it must be the oven or the water. He still LOVED it, but it’s different, like everything else here. A taste of home, but with a Middle Eastern slant.