Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Taking Care of Business, Part 2

Speaking of last Sunday, we had quite an evening, and the fun really began in the kitchen. The plan was to make pizza, since we fell short on this project the Friday before. We’d made the dough and kept it in the fridge for a few days, which actually works well and is recommended in some recipes to add flavor. It also buys the busy SAHD more time.

On the subject of dough, we’re finally happy with our recipe, it cooks up nicely, crisp and chewy, compliments of our beautiful pizza stone (thanks, DR), and it’s healthier than starchy white doughs because it’s whole grain with flax seeds. The only drawback is the time and effort involved in forming the dough, making the toppings, and assembling it.

The kids actually do all of the assembling, and they really love it, but man does it make a mess. Something about kids and flour. In fact, it’s better that R is not there to witness the kids rolling dough, because there is flour everywhere, which I’m diligent about cleaning up before she gets home. No need to stress her out more.

Since we hate wasting oven time (and propane), we always try to bake several items concurrently, and this often gets us into trouble because we always bite off more than we can chew. However, as I’ve mentioned before, sometimes that’s the only way things get done. When you look for convenience and ease, nothing gets done.

This time, I may have gotten in over my head. In addition to pizza (we usually make 2 large pies and 6-8 small ones), we were making mom’s raisin bread (3 loaves), and two types of cookies - chocolate chip (our staple) and a new one, peanut butter oatmeal, which for the record is a winner. It is also the first in a series of cookies that we’ll attempt to knock off in our cookie cookbook.

We had a lot to do, but I really found that in this instance, it made a big (positive) difference to have the kids in the kitchen helping out. It freed me up to make the cookie doughs and shape them, and while they were putting the toppings on, which they love to do and get crazy with it, I could bake/monitor the cookies. This makes it easy because then I can just raise the temp for the bread and pizza, which with proper planning are rising during this time.

Talk about multi-tasking. As crazy as it gets, it sure is nice after all is said and done and we have fresh bread, pizza, and cookies to eat, and a clean kitchen, to boot.

All before mom gets home, so we can all sit down and have a nice meal together, and that’s what family is all about, right?

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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