Yesterday as I was walking home from my one day a week job I was thinking about how I was going to prepare dinner. I knew I was going to make pizza, but I wanted something a little different, so I started brainstorming different types of pizza, then I chose two (I thought of a roasted vegetable curry pizza with goat cheese, pesto pizza with roasted cauliflower and cashews and several others, but I’ll make those another time). I chose a very traditional margarita pizza and then a not so traditional red cabbage over garlic beschamel pizza. I am delighted to say that these both turned out beautifully, and I’m very excited for leftovers, I may just eat them for breakfast.
Now what does this have to do with individualism? Maybe first, what is individualism? Well I’m going to paraphrase a definition, but for a complete definition click here. Individualism is basically the belief that the person is more important than the social group that the person is in. So in essence, I am more important than my family. There is a strong emphasis on self-reliance and not interdependence. So what’s wrong with that?
My first introduction to individualism was actually indirectly. I was 5 or 6 years old and we were driving in the car, my mother, brother, and I. My mom used to (and still does) listen to Christian talk radio (which I’ve grown to enjoy) so that was on in the car. As a 5/6 year old, I think I’d have rather been listening to music or something else. So anyways, being a rule follower and a respecter of my parents, instead of complaining I told my mom of an invention that I thought would be really cool! What if each seat in the car was partitioned off from each other, so that each person could have their own radio and could listen to whatever they wanted? I wasn’t imagining iPods back then, I was thinking more of plywood barricades between the seats with a radio built into them. My mom saw the danger of this and responded by saying, “how would we talk to each other?”
A life example of this happened to me yesterday. As I was walking up to my job I put my headphones in and enjoyed some music, but I noticed that when I had my headphones in nobody smiled at me, or said hello, probably because they saw I had my headphones in. On the way home I decided to do an experiment and see if people said hello if I didn’t wear my headphones. Guess what? My walk home was filled with hellos! I experienced how individualism can isolate you, whereas choosing not to put myself and my enjoyment over community resulted in experiencing a greater depth of community.
Now this is a very elementary experience of this. I have read about how individualism has infected marriages, the economy, family, nearly every facet of our lives, and it’s not good. So, what should we do? Combat individualism in our own life! And I say we combat it with PIZZA.
Pizza is one of those foods that are fun to share. I serve it on a big board and we just dig in. It results in a greater feeling of community than individual plates. It’s sharing one big plate! What would be even greater is to make the pizzas with a bunch of friends or family, and then eat them together from one big board, that, my friends, flies in the face of individualism.
If you’re more interested in this topic, there is TONS of information out there! Learn more, and educate the people around you.
Pizza Two Ways
I think you’ll enjoy this recipe, I had a lot of fun creating it, and eating it.
What you’ll need:
For the crust
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 tbsp-ish of honey
- 1 tbsp dry active yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cups of whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp fresh herbs of your choice (optional) (I used rosemary)
For the toppings
- 1 can diced tomatoes, drained (28oz will be too much so just use half and save the rest for another recipe)
- drizzle of olive oil + more to grease the pans
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup of fresh basil leafs
- fresh pizza mozzarella
- 1 strip of bacon (or omit and substitute with 1 tbsp of olive oil)
- 2 cups chopped red cabbage
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 white mushrooms sliced
- 1 tbsp butter
- t tbsp whole wheat flour
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-2 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 cup of milk
- 1-2 cups of shredded cheddar/jack cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
What you do:
- Start by preparing the dough. I always activate the yeast first, but do whatever you’re comfortable with. Put 1 cup of warm water in a large mixing bowl, stir in the honey until it dissolves then add the yeast. Let it sit for a few minutes, until it’s all dissolved and foamy. Add in the olive oil and herbs.
- Mix in 1 cup of the flour until it is smooth, then add the next cup. Add the remaining flour about a quarter cup at a time, stopping once the dough holds together in a nice ball. It shouldn’t be too tacky or too dry, just perfect! I think I used about 2 1/2 cups, but it will depend on where you are and what type of flour you are using.
- Knead for a bit.
- Let it sit in a bowl covered with a tea towel for about 45 minutes. Rise.
- While the dough is rising, start preparing the toppings and sauces! Oh, and also preheat your oven to 425* F
- In a small skillet start to fry up your bacon or, heat up the olive oil (maybe add a pinch of salt as well).
- Once the bacon is cooked or your oil is warmed, add the cabbage, and onions. Cook until veggies are soft. Taste test to check for salt and pepper.
- Next mix up your basic beschamel sauce. In a small saucepan add 1 tbsp of butter. Once it has melted mix in the garlic and thyme, then 1 tbsp of flour. This is called a rue. Then slowly, whisking as you go, mix in your milk. Keep over a medium heat and continue stirring until your sauce thickens to a loose sort of custard consistency.
- At this point your dough has probably risen (that is if you chopped up all your veggies during the rising time as well), so punch it down and divide it in half.
- Roll out both pizza crusts into whatever sort of shape you want them, and place on greased pizza pans, stones, or cookie sheets.
- For the margarita pizza, drizzle some olive oil on the crust first, then lay down a layer of the diced tomato. Dot the top with thick round slices of mozzarella cheese and top with pepper. We’ll add the basil after it has been in the oven.
- For the white sauce pizza, take your beschamel sauce and cover the crust. Next add the cabbage/bacon/onion mixture, and the sliced mushrooms. Then top with your shredded cheese, and drizzle any remaining beschamel sauce, and place any extra mushroom slices, to make it look even fancier.
- Place in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. I’d check it at 10 minutes, and go from there.
- Once the pizzas come out, top the margarita pizza with the basil (either leave the leafs whole, or chiffonade) and slice them both up to serve in the center of your table.
That’s that. Simple, takes about an hour, delicious, really flexible to what you have on hand, and pretty to look at.
Let me know what you think? Do you have any interesting pizza ideas?