After 11 days of scorching sweltering heat our current heat wave has finally ended, and not a moment to soon! Saturday our temp peaked at 101, two degrees short of the record set in 2010, but with the heat index it felt like 108. Do we really need the heat index? It’s bad enough that they torture us with the wind chill factor in the winter time, but now they have to tell us how hot it actually feels…….really? Can’t we leave well enough alone and just say it was 101? Do we really need to factor in humidity, and what ever else they add in to let us know its even hotter than we think it is? Welcome to the modern world, where you can never have too much information……sigh
Lisa keeps reminding me that we want to move to Florida where it’s even hotter and more humid in the summer time ( I tell her we’ll get use to it, when I know we won’t). But Lisa’s not that worried about the heat, she preoccupied with the thought of all the alligators, lizards, snakes and armadillo’s…….now I can understand the alligators, and snakes, and maybe even the lizards….but armadillo’s? I keep telling her that they have all that armor for a reason….there slow and they can’t see. Granted if you try to pick one up and make it a pet it might get a little perturbed and use it’s very strong claws on you, but for the most part they just don’t bother anyone. It seems the only danger from armadillo’s is eating them under cooked, and I don’t think we have to worry about armadillo becoming a part of our diet any time soon.
Well enough about the heat and the armadillo’s let’s move on to last nights dinner!
I got out early Saturday morning to beat the heat and the crowds at out farmers market, but it seems I wasn’t the only one with the idea, it was packed! The market was full of fresh local fruit and vegetables, (we’re still waiting for field grown Jersey tomatoes) it was a glorious sight! Along with the produce we also have a nice assortment of other culinary delights, with a free range meat and egg vendor, and a clam truck, selling little necks and top neck clams. Normally I buy our clams at Wegman’s every week, and for farm raised clams they’re pretty darn good, and very consistent. I bought a bag of little necks and it’s been so long since I’ve had wild caught clams that I’d forgotten just how good they were! Needless to say, I’ll be buying clams at the farmers market for the rest of the summer!
But of course the highlight of my day was finally finding my precious at our farmer’s market! The first blossoms of the year are always a special treat, and we savored each and every bite! If you’d like the recipe for my blossoms, click on this link, Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of my precious in weeks to come!
With the weather as hot as it’s been, I’ve been a little reluctant to turn on the oven, and of course that being said, I was in the mood for pizza. I’ve seen grilled pizza here and there, but not being a master griller, I thought I would try my hand at a more conventional approach using my pizza stone. I heated my grill using all four burners and then shut down the middle two to use a more indirect method of heating. Well, that didn’t work as well as I hoped, after 12 minutes the pizza still wasn’t done, so I cranked up the other two burners and that did the trick. I got some great color on the pie, and the bottom of the pizza was almost perfect.
I’ll keep working on my technique and tweak the dough the recipe a bit, but I don’t think I’ll be making pizza’s in the house anymore, the grill really did a great job! I did unfortunately find out that Lisa doesn’t like white pies, and my ricotta cheese pizza was not a big hit. You think after 12 years I’d know that……sigh. And of course if momma ain’t happy, nobody happy! Luckily the squash blossoms made up for it.
- 2 cups (240 gm) all purpose flour
- 1½ (8 gm) tsp yeast
- 1 tsp (5 gm) sea salt
- 1¼ cup (300 ml) warm water
- 2 Tbs (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- sprinkle of sea salt
- sprinkle of black pepper
- 2 Tbs (30 gm) grated romano cheese
- 1 large tomato sliced
- 1 cup (110 gm) shredded mozzarella cheese
- place the water, olive oil and yeast in the bowl of your mixer and allow yeas to sit for a few minutes. (water should be about body temperature)
- Using your dough hook, add the flour and the salt and begin mixing.
- mix for about two minutes, then turn out the dough onto a floured work area and knead the dough for a few minutes.
- The dough should be fairly dry and elastic when finished kneading.
- Divide dough into two balls, and allow to rest for about two hours (or overnight in the fridge)
- dough will rise slightly but you won't see a dramatic change.
- When ready to make your pizza, flour your work area and flatten one of the dough balls*
- As the dough spreads out, make the outer circle of the crust , using your fingers to make the indentations around the circle.
- begin stretching the dough out until you have about a 12-14 inch circle.
- It's okay if the dough isn't perfectly round, its rustic!
- sprinkle some corn meal on your pizza peel and lay the formed dough on the peel
- spread the ricotta cheese on the dough, then season with salt, pepper, and grated romano cheese.
- Add tomato slices then top with shredded mozzarella.
- Bake in a 450 degree oven or your closed grill until the dough has gotten nice brown color, and the bottom of the pizza is fully cooked.
- Slice into 6 slices, top with chopped fresh basil and serve!
This week looks to be cooler with temperatures only reaching the high 80’s which is where the temps should be this time of year. Lisa and I will be making our first trip down to Florida this week as we begin our search for our retirement home (that doesn’t sound right, but you know what I mean). We won’t have time to visit with the Mouse this trip although we will be staying at Port Orleans, so we will get a little taste of Disney. After all it is the happiest place on earth…sigh
Have a happy week!