So, seeing as I had plenty of time and not much to do, I decided I would attempt the pizza recipe in my Cooks Illustrated Book.
This involved making pizza dough from scratch, assembling and then cooking. How hard could it be?
Well - harder than I thought. The dough seemed to form itself wonderfully, but shaping and stretching it out into a 21 inch diameter pizza base seemed impossible. It kept ripping and pulling back!
Well eventually I got the pizza built on the Pizza Peel which had been liberally coated with cornmeal to assist the pizza sliding into the oven.
It wasn't totally circular, and it was smaller than the requisite 21 inches, but I was feeling pleased with myself.
To put the pizza on the tray that had been heating in the very hot oven (500F) the book said - and I quote "Use a quick jerking action to slide the topped dough off the peel and onto the hot tiles or pizza stone." It is amazing how much angst can be concealed in a simple sentence.
There I was standing before a ferociously hot oven.
I used a quick jerking motion.
The toppings slid into the oven and the base remained on the peel.
Not quite the result I had hoped for, so I maneuvered the dough into the oven and piled on the toppings.
It came out a little misshapen but then a miracle occurred.
I tasted it.
It may have been deformed, but it tasted perfect!!! Steve took one bite and said that I should open a restaurant.
Ennobled by the taste, I attempted Pizza 2. I also realized upon a close rereading of the recipe that I had added the cheese to early to pizza 1. I tried to slide using a less jerking motion. The toppings rolled, but stayed on the dough - but the dough wouldn't move.
I pushed it into the oven with a wooden spoon.
Pizza 3, I used a lot more cornmeal and Steve offered to try the jerking maneuver - well he does have some Italian heritage so maybe the problem is actually genetic.
Because I couldn't get the dough thin enough the pizza was too thick to slide.
It did taste incredible - now we can have left over pizza for a few meals :)
Oh and just in case you wondered there's not much to report to Ike right now. It's 8pm we don't have much wind and we still have electricity.
We do have some ominous clouds overhead though!