Tag : social
Well, this is something different to put on my blog.
Okay, a bit of background, I was having a few people over. Decided to make pizza and like they say: Necessity is the mother of invention.
I wanted to offer my guests something different and if I could, make something they had never quite had before. Thus, this pizza was baked. Just as a quick note, I have been baking for quite sometime now so these days I do not measure anything anymore as I just go by sight and taste. As such, I am going to defer to you to do a bit of the same so you can match your tastes. Also, since I ended up making more, not all pizzas were exactly the same but more so to match my guest’s tastes. Also, I am going to try to cut the recipe down to just the one pizza you see above. So let’s jump right into it:
12 X 8 inch metal baking pan
White flour as needed (3 cups)
2 1/4 tsp. of quick-rise yeast
2 1/2 tsp. of sugar
1/2 tsp. of salt
1-2 cups of water, weather/humidity dependant
1 large yellow pepper (or red, not green)
1 bush of kale
1 broccoli stem with florets
3-4 already cleaned heads of garlic
3-6 stalks of cleaned Gai Lan (chinese broccoli)
4 ounces of minced lean grounded pork (more if you want to)
Tandoori powder or sauce
Yellow curry (powder)
Can/bottle of tomato/pasta sauce, 425g+ — Get one with herbs included for extra taste. 😉
Good quality olive oil
Pink Rose Salt
Green Onions both the bulb and the stack
Fresh cloves — not dried
2 cups of 50/50 grated cheese, either Old Cheddar, Swiss or Mozzarella, although I hardly ever use Mozzarella. That’s for pizzas I buy when I am out.
Oyster sauce as dipping sauce. Add a few drops of water to mild the saltiness.
Take 2 cups of the white flour into a large mixing bowl, make a doughnut, thus you can see the bowl in the middle and in it add the 2 1/4 tsp. of quick-rise yeast, 2 1/2 tsp. of sugar, 1/2 tsp. of salt 1/2 cups of water and mix. You want a consistency where all the water is absorbed and the flour is NOT sticky but a touch bouncy. If you press your thumb on it and if you can see the exact indentation, then you have used too much flour. Add water or flour as needed to get this consistency while you continue to mix. Once achieved, knead for 10 minutes, and lightly coat with flour if it is still too sticky. Put aside and very gently brush oil on the dough as to not let it dry, cover bowl and work on the veggies.
Chop your veggies as per taste. Take your tomato sauce, which for the pizza above I used between 1/3 – 1/2 of the bottle/can and mix with yellow curry to taste. Remember that curry goes a long way so you do not have to use a lot and you just want a hint of it. Put aside.
Take your pork and mix in the paprika and tandoori to taste as well. The same as above goes for the tandoori, you do not need too much. Once the pork is evenly marinated, put aside. You can either quickly sear it for a few seconds on a hot pan before putting on the pizza or you can put it raw, trust me, either way, it will be fine.
Evenly yet lightly, oil your baking pan, take the dough which should have risen a bit and knead it for an extra 2 minutes. For an extra crispy pizza add one extra 1-2 tsp. of extra olive oil on the pan, disperse evenly. Flatten your dough on pan, add your sauce, a touch of pink salt and powdered garlic to taste followed by the cheese on top. Add all your veggies and sprinkle the pork, in tiny bits as the top layer.
Quick note: If you want your veggies to be more crisp, then layer your veggies from heaviest to lightest, weight-wise. If you want otherwise, reverse the order.
Preheat up your oven to 425F and place your pizza in. If you want crispy, leave in for 20+ minutes. For a bit softer, then for about 17+. Don’t worry about the pork, if you sprinkled as mentioned, due to its small individual size, it will cook through.
Take out, cover for 5 minutes with a cloth, take out of the pan, serve and ENJOY!
Let me know how it goes!
One of most interesting developments in the Human condition occurred in the small-backwater-town of Enfield, England, just 16.3km from Charing Cross, 18.8km from the London Stone and in case you are an abradant cockney, 18.9km from St. Mary-le-Bow, you dandy city-folk.
In 1810, at age 40, philosopher but mostly part-time cat farmer Meil Sans Bishopsgate had, after living a tremendously menial life come to the realization of his sad menial life and decided to do something about it. Being far too poor to purchase bullets or rope, he decided to make the best of it.
He immersed himself in philosophical study for two years at the Clarke’s School in Enfiled, with the set intention of improving the quality of his being or at the very least be able to then afford a bullet or two – the second, in case he missed.
Sans Bishopsgate almost quit his studies mid-way due to the elements and the never ending stream of insults coming from the children who attended the school -although in all fairness, from time to time, the teachers joined in too.
His muse, per-se, was a young and brash tuberculosis ridden boy who beat Bishopsgate to a pulp outside the local pub after a fight broke over the iconic importance of the King James Bible, England’s level of abject poverty and Meil having a stupid name. In his memoirs, published for his mother in 1815, Sans Bishopsgate describes the incident in detail and joyfully recalls, ‘Damn Keats’ boy. Hope he dies soon.’
After finishing his two years of standing outside the window where the philosophy class was taught, a full year of what he called ‘staring up at the sky’ followed with him to the conclusion that he was perfectly happy in his life. Meil wrote, “Even though, I have yet to taste the pleasures of the flesh, one must wonder, what does the body of a man truly encapsule? His Spirit? His gravitas? Does a man’s worth be set upon his receding hair line? Would the tender touch of a woman, nay, the spectacle of her bosom and weaving flocks heaving through the wind from a galloping horse bring peace to an aging man? Am I able to achieve these sights with my bare hands and sheer will?’ Sadly, Meil’s body was found at his mother’s cottage the next morning. Who knew? Sliding off the stairs head first had accomplished what self-illusion and the two bullets encrusted on the wall had not.
In the end, Meil Sans Brishopsgate peeked into the human psyche seventy-three years before Freud and coining the term “Mid-life Crisis” in the last page of his journal. Now, used by men loosing their hair and in desperate attempt of transcendental gratification. For this, he will always be remembered. By the way, that Keats boy ended up becoming one of England’s best poets. Go figure.
Last Friday, February 29th a milestone was crossed: My group’s 100th event came to pass! As some of you know I run two social groups, one for people between 23 and 35, while the other focuses in people between 25 and 40. Yes, they do overlap, and they are both social and quite the pleasure to organize, and no, they are not dating groups. Both are quite interesting however, as the dynamic can be rather different at times. The “younger” group as I call it, the To23-35 Social Club tends to be more party and dancing oriented, while the “older” one has a more dinner & lounge vibe to it.
So which group was it that turn 100 events old? Why the TO23-35 Social Club! I had been thinking about this event and it importance of it for a while. Few groups in meetup.com have reached this far and can proudly say our group is one of the largest (11th in Toronto out of hundreds) and one of the the best rated by its members. So at first, I thought of doing some Biblical, End-of-Days-carnival-of-the-senses affair but… in the end I opted to do something a little more low-key.
You see, I have never been the clubber type. Sure, I love to dance, but I dislike the whole line-up, cover, coat check, meat-market vibe and at times ridiculous prices for a bottle of beer. I am looking at you, sub-posh-wannabe Club V in Yorkille, charging a blasphemous $8 for a miserable 341ml bottle of Stella! Let’s see how long you last with such ridiculousness!
Although quite often we end up at a club as the girls in the group just love to dance, so we usually start off at a lounge only to end up at a club dancing the night away –or until they kick us out, whichever comes first. So, if we do end up going to a club the rare, odd time, I don’t mind it.
Anyway, back to the 100th event, I decide on The Rivoli, a quaint hot spot on Queen Street West. Known for its concerts in its back stage, its eclectic restaurant and pool hall on the second floor. Oh, and they have a small spartan lounge bar area which they try to sell as the ‘Sky Bar.’ Pressumably because aside a few chairs the place has nothing in it but air. Silly marketing.
The event itself was great! The vibe was great! The weather was downright miserable and as such only about 66 people showed up. However, as you know, it is the company that makes all the difference. And it did. So many new faces that it got hard to remember everyone’s name.
It was great to see so many people having socializing and having fun. Playing some serious pool and I am sure, some flirting. What can you do? Can’t stop it, right? In fact, quite a few people over the years have hooked up thanks to the group. That has to be worth a sizable chunk of good karma, I am sure of it. No reincarnating as an earthworm for me!
At the end of the night, when everyone was gone and there were only a few of us left. Yes, we practically closed the place –again– I have to say that it has all been quite worth it. Have met some interesting people and even got a few great friends out of the enterprise. You know, you aught to come out too, see what all the fuzz is about. You never know!
In our western society, few are the times for greater reflection than on, and around New Year’s. A time to look back at a set of time and space and ponder on the deeds and non-deeds that have carried us to this point in our lives. A time only followed by one’s birthday and the death of a loved one in the totem pole order of reflectiveness. Surely many secular-types would like to add Lent, Christmas and Ramadan to name a few, but from an general perspective, New Year’s still has a certain Je ne sais quoi, which can inspire or still be abhorred by all people equally.
As I have always said, ‘people do not take enough time to know themselves.’ It is most unfortunate as this is one of the most important lessons a human being can learn. Alas, this is generally not the case. In fact, people will pay others to half-ass do it for them. Hence the number of inspirational Jesters out there who, for a fee, will surgar coat wonderful promises of ‘how you too, can be happy with money/love/sex/or all three!’ …It is quite the multi-million dollar industry. While omitting the fact they themselves would be as poor as dirt had you not paid them to tell you how you too, can be like them. Which ironically, it would have to be by you charging other people and tell them how they too, can be happy with money/love/sex/or all three. Creating some evil infinite loop where someone just has to be miserable for the whole industry to exist.
So I sit here, babysitting the flu and wondering about my last year on earth. Nothing better than spending it alone and sick as an old chapter approaches to a close. As you can imagine, it had both its highs and lows. Ultimately –for us who do it– that is, put your life on a proverbial balance from time to time, the hope is for said balance to lean over onto the highs rather than he lows. But this year, sadly, it has been a little too even. Losing a very loved one, changing jobs, faced some life-long illnesses. Well, I could just take it in for what it is and call it George, right? But I can’t do that! For it has been a year of some really good accomplishments. As they say, ‘the longer the fall, the more alive you will feel looking back down at the abyss when you climb out.’ And although I am not totally out… no point in lying, right? I can see the top closer than ever before. Teasing me to move forth. It will be sad to let go of a few things –someone in particular– but that’s how life is. The view is going to be breathtaking.
So, I sit here, waiting for the flu to get the hell out of my body and for my immune system to really get cracking. I mean, what else do I pay it for?
I hope all of you are in good health and have some interesting plans for the weekend; And subsequently, take the time to find out where and who you are. Only then you will know where you are going! Cheers.