Ideas are like pizza dough, made to be tossed around.
We had company for dinner this weekend and, as I've been so consumed by various projects at work, I didn't have time to plan until Thursday. When I finally sat down to write out the menu, I drew a blank. My pen tapped hollowly on the table. Tap, tap, tap... "What should we have for dinner this weekend?" I muttered more to myself than to anyone else.
"Pizza!" yelled Eve from her bedroom. She has the ears of a bat! Of course. Pizza is always the answer, isn't it? That got me thinking. Everyone likes pizza, right?
I remembered the Ratatouille pizza I made back in January with leftovers. Hearty chucks of eggplant and zucchini, delicate shreds of sweet basil. I've been meaning to make it again, with a topping that's not too wet, designed specifically for pizza. And so I began planning a causal, relaxed pizza party. Don't get me wrong; this is not you kid's standard, classroom pizza party. I wanted a grown-up party with intense, grown-up flavours. A party where my guests are laid back but the pizza is anything but. Where the laughter flows as freely as the wine; where we eat with our hands, with our elbows on the table, and the conversation stretches long into the night. That's my kind of party!
And so I started tossing various combinations of cheese and toppings around in my mind. It had to be something that was a bit unexpected, a bit gourmet. Something that my guests wouldn't soon forget because, let's face it, pizza parties are a dime a dozen. I wanted to make an impression. It wasn't until I finally went to the market Friday morning, and strolled through my favourite section of gourmet cheeses and charcuterie, that the menu became clear in my mind. The ratatouille pizza would have a Parmesan and black pepper crust and would be dripping in tangy Asiago cheese. Oh course, when I'm making pizza I cannot forget the salami one that my kids just adore. Like pepperoni only smokier, without as much heat, with a sweet, homemade sauce and chunks of tangy Feta, I know that's what Eve had in mind when she made the suggestion.