Monthly Archives: April 2012

How much pizza can I eat? Apparently, a lot. Rather than slice up the last few months of pizza eating into a whole bunch of individual posts, I’m stringing a bunch of them together into the blog equivalent of a whole pie. Bon appetit!

First, some entries for The Anthology of Pizza Box Graphic Design:

Kashi Frozen Pizza

A perfect example of bland big box health food marketing, with prominently displayed nutrition/diet information and a big, boring photo of the food you’re about to buy. But then, Kashi’s marketing has always annoyed me. Is there anything more smug than, “7 whole grains on a mission”? It’s convenience food, people. Not a commitment to world peace.

Box gets a failing grade. The pizza itself was just eh.

Enrico’s Brick Oven Pizza

We picked this one up in Sturbridge after a day of gawking at antiques.

Overall Design Assessment: The box is definitely more casual restaurant than vintage pizza joint. Disappointingly, it doesn’t feature a cartoon Italian stereotype OR a generic product claim. It does, however, possess several traditional pizza box design elements — namely, the wacky title font, green and red color scheme, and repeating brick pattern.

My favorite element, though, is the insecure use of Italian:

“Excellent Italian Insalatas (salads)”

Parentheses to the rescue!

Pizza Amore

Food with heart. And a pizza box design with a wall o’ text.

Overall Design Assessment: There’s not much to comment on here given the (almost) complete lack of graphics. The little heart is cute, though.

Generic Product Claims: Instead of a generic product claim, there’s an awesomely redundant one: “daily homemade fresh pita.”

And now, an announcement of sorts…

Along with the help of a hand-me-down pizza stone and an elderly electric oven, I have begun to experiment with homemade pizza. Behold: Baby’s first three pies.

Attempt #1: Frozen Dough

I avoided the mistake everyone makes (too much sauce) and embraced the one that involves scraping your pizza stone for 20 minutes (too much cheese). Edible, but not yet sublime.

Attempt #2: Homemade Dough

Black olives and onions were my favorite toppings as a kid, so it seemed like a good choice for this, my first truly homemade pie.

I got the recipe for the dough from Jaime Oliver, omitting the optional cornmeal flour (I didn’t have any). The dough wasn’t rising at first, but a few minutes of googling revealed the problem: a chilly kitchen. I ran the oven for a bit and it popped right up.

The crust came out surprisingly good, especially given the elderly oven’s random hot flashes.

Plus I was able to restrain myself with the cheese. Inch by inch…progress.

Attempt #3: Highbrow Pie

My best attempt by far. This pie has a blend of mild cheddar and mozzarella and a topping of heirloom cherry tomatoes. The homemade dough seems to fare well in the freezer, which is good news since I didn’t notice until after I dumped all the dry ingredients into a bowl that the dough recipe makes 8 DOUGH BALLS. Oops. Guess we’ll be eating pizza for a while.

First, a bit of housekeeping: After over a year of writing about Lifetime movies and pizza, I have decided to retire the half-assed moniker of Attempted Blog. I’ve given it some thought and come up with a fresh new (permanent) title: The Lower Crust. I know this is kind of like naming a baby after it’s out of diapers, but hey, better late than never.

Onto the tag. Clip Snark tagged me in his (or her? Sorry CS – I’m not sure) post as part of a tagging game. I get to answer a few questions and then share a bunch of blogs that I enjoy reading.

The rules are:

  • you must post the rules
  • answer eleven questions
  • create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged (you can use the same questions, they’re good ones)
  • tag eleven people with a link to your post (yup)
  • let them know you tagged them

Do you have a test or tests that help you judge someone’s character?
Using two question marks (??) in an email. It’s never a good thing.

When did you first feel like a grown up?
Still waiting for that one.

What is something you read that made you wish you could write that well?
Oh, anything by Annie Dillard. How I wish I had that kind of boundless creativity.

What do you say when you answer the phone?
I have phone fear so on the rare occasions that I actually pick up it’s a simple “Hello.”

Have you ever stiffed someone on a tip?
Well…there was a dine-and-dash incident many, many years ago. I still have shame about it. Don’t hate me restaurant industry people!

Do you have a favorite writing utensil?
I’m a typer. I couldn’t live without cut and paste.

Do you use a calendar?
1) Yes, and 2) electronic. But I look forward to answering no to both of those questions one day.

Do you have road rage?
I’m mostly a pedestrian and a passenger. But yes.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Night owl cast against type.

What surprised you about blogging when you first started?
That people actually read stuff that you write.

How do you feel about this type of blogging phenomenon (tagging/awards)?
I dig it.

Other things I read (tag you’re it):

Cereal With a Fork
The Confederacy of Spinsters
Consider the Sauce
The Food Junk
Damp Squid
In Lost Lands
Mother May I Sleep With Lifetime
Pithy Pants
The Surfing Pizza
The Upstate Eater

From (really):

About Talking Heads
While some of their music can seem too self-consciously experimental, clever, and intellectual for its own good, at their best Talking Heads represent everything good about art-school punks.

About King Crimson
If there is one group that embodies both the best and the worst aspects of progressive rock (from the standpoints of both supporters and detractors), it is King Crimson.

About Thomas Dolby
Though he never had many hits, Thomas Dolby became one of the most recognizable figures of the synth pop movement of early-’80s new wave. This was largely due to his skillful marketing.

About Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd is the premier space rock band.

The April issue of The Farmer General is out! Once again, I’ve got a short piece in it. Read my essay here (it’s on fruit reproduction and Charles Dickens — piques your curiosity, no?) and the whole April issue here.

And, don’t forget you still have a couple days to vote for The Farmer General in the Saveur Blog Awards. You can do that here.

Phew! That’s a lot of links. Enjoy!