Back to Basics

Everyone always goes back to the basics. The tried and true. The first. Working with pizza, having grown up on “American’ pizza, it’s hard sometimes to remember that not all pizza is the same. I work with Neapolitan pizzas. Thin crust, hardly any ingredients. Or at least that is the way it’s supposed to be. It’s hard to not want to fall back on old habits when they are familiar. New tricks aren’t as easy to master as old habits. I’m sure that would make a great Zen proverb.

Asparagus bacon stromboli

So my new challenge to myself, my craft, my pastries, my life, and my restaurant, is to… go back to basics. I am researching classic Neapolitan pizzas. I had an IG picture one of my strombolis ‘liked’ by a pizza place in Philly, of all places, and a now I’m paying attention to the finer details. Fewer ingredients, hardly any sauce, thin it down, bake it fast… taste the dough. “It’s all about the dough.” So says Coffeeman. I wish someone would have told me that from the beginning. No one has explained that Neapolitan is more about tasting the dough. So now I’m forcing myself to light, light, light on ingredients. And I want to try three ingredient pizzas. White sauce, spinach, mushroom. Bacon and spinach. Asparagus and feta, or ricotta.

I played with a new Margherita the other night, where the sauce was not all over the pizza. Just dotted on, along with the cheese. No pesto, just basil. It was divine. Fresh. Alive.

Basics are good. Simple is better. Right now the simple life is taking over. Okay, right this minute it is the ‘not doing anything’ life, but whatever. It’s my Saturday, sue me, I’m tired.

With desserts, I want to try my hand at some simplistic things that are high in flavor. Partly after Mr. B was on my case, the restaurant’s case, etc., about needing a thin cookie with the pots de creme. Whatevs, dad, but he does have a point. I don’t always have the luxury to create, all the time, but Coffeeman gives me lots of leeway. I am thankful for that.

I need simple in my life. (‘I need corny in my life,’ says Iris — The Holiday) I am trying to step back from irritations at work. The boys being brats, grumpy moods, the monthly PMS of every single female in that place (including me) and trying to let it slide off my back. One of the servers tells me frequently, “Miss K, you have to let it go.” I don’t let go, I grab hold and then it eats away at me.

We have three new people in the kitchen, so I am having to relearn new moods and new people. Miss Luna replaced Twin Bear. She is good. But she isn’t Bear. I miss Bear a lot. At one time we were at odds about everything. She drove me nuts. I thought she was going to make me rip my hair out in insanity. Then I just kind of fell in love with her as a person. She’s off learning new things. I’m happy for her, but I miss our jokes. No one quite gets my statement, “I love the game of everyone standing in the pass!” Bear would. By the way, there were a lot of people in the pass the other day. I had to just walk through the bar, much to Fancy Pants perpetual annoyance. (not really, but really. He’s such a drama queen. I think it’s why we work so well together. We both excel in drama queenness.)

Not getting so involved with people’s drama frees up my life and simples things down.
I’m working to scale down my life. The clutter and things I don’t use are getting to me. Like a lot. I want a room that doesn’t look like I’m there much. Or maybe clutter and stuff free. I wish I didn’t collect books like a fiend, but well, I have issues.
Let’s all pair it down and get back to basics. The basics of living and being. (maybe living in the country lends a way for this to happen.

Kate

6 thoughts on “Back to Basics

  1. Love getting a peek into your kitchen life. Are you keeping a lil notebook about the peeps, their drama and…loved the pms part…and the humor in it all?….for when you write your award winning novel…titled in my head, Kitchen Choreography…Also love your intense curiosity about your baking art…your willingness to try new ways..hope they are appreciating you…..

    • Melinda, I do keep a notebook of little things, and I jot down sayings at times. The humor is slipped in like food is salted, to keep life tasty. I have novels and ideas in my head. I keep jotting down poetry. I’ve been meaning to recite some of it online or FB so friends, like you, can see it, since I’m not at writing group. I don’t know if everyone appreciates what I do, but for me, it’s the challenge. I love the food I create. I love sharing it with the people I work with and the people who come to the restaurant. I love walking up to a coworker, nearly shoving something in their mouth and telling them to taste this! I’m told I’m evil because of all the good things I make. The whip cream with just the perfect amount of vanilla and sugar. The tiramisu cream.

  2. Ditto what Melinda said and I’ll add that decluttering must be in the air. I have it in spades right now!
    Miss and love you, girl. LOTS!

    • I’m currently sitting with a pile of paperwork around me and it’s irking me to no end! I have so much desire to declutter so that when I get home super late I can fall into my room and read without it irking me.

    • It is so amazing! I wish I could send people my food. I’d love to send you a pizza that your mouth waters over the instant it hits your tongue (and that isn’t me bragging, it does it to me!) Oh so good.

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