Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Accidental Generosity of Others

A couple neighbors of ours just had a kid. As it turns out, that's why people move to the suburbs. They buy houses, quit going out to eat at any cool places, pull weeds, cut grass, then have a bunch of kids. The screaming-kid-and-urine-filled neighborhood pool is the only source of entertainment, save drinking. When I bought my house, I had grandiose visions of lavish barbecues every weekend: complete with the finest meats and cheeses, beer that flowed like pee in the neighborhood pool, and horseshoes. Horseshoes aplenty.

Okay, I was a little more wise to the situation than that. I suspected the party would slow down once bars were not within walking distance. It's okay; the free-wheelin' lifestyle afforded in my early 20's was not sustainable. An innate instinct to migrate to a subdivision and create 2.5 kids strengthened. Clearly, I was not alone in this shift.

So, derailing ramble aside (as usual), there's another newborn in the 'hood. As a first child saps one's energy like a metroid attached to the head*, preparing meals becomes a nigh-impossible task. The wife and I- now crafty veterans- decided to put together a tasty treat to satiate the weary on a night thought to be designated our turn to feed the troops.

*this is a REALLY nerdy joke, even for me. I just can't forget how those little f'ers would really set you back when you could sniff victory after hundreds of hours invested in no social advancement. Screw you, metroids.

Through communication error- something in which I excel- the couple had already eaten, and we were (perhaps fortunately) left in the possession of this:

A rather simple concoction: homemade sauce (olive oil, crushed canned tomatoes, garlic cloves, fresh basil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and ground fennel seed), fresh Mozzarella, Fontina, Pecorino, fresh oregano and basil, and roasted garlic. I piled this on top of some pre-made Publix dough. It's as close to making it yourself while still being lazy. The dough comes in a ball; just let it rise in an oiled bowl with a damp towel draped over, punch down, flatten, and toss. I make a decent homemade dough, but I also have a little kid. Spare me the grief concerning the shortcut, and allow me to play the "new kid" card.

I paired with a juicy, amply-acidic Zinfandel-based California red blend, and dinner was off to the races.

However, to Amy, Scott, and little Griffin: we're sorry for the goof, and we owe you a pizza. Just don't feed it to the kid.

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