Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Pizza Party

I made pizza last night.

From scratch!

OK, so my version of scratch involves refrigerator section "fresh" pizza dough from Trader Joe's and pizza sauce from a jar. But nonetheless! I rolled out the dough! I grated the cheese! I sliced up the mushrooms! And by 10:30 pm, a mere 2 hours after I embarked on my mission, I had my first taste of my deliciously fresh, homemade pizza...

...and its' soft, undercooked dough.

Where had I gone wrong? Never mind that my oven is so old the temperature markings on the dial have worn away... I cleared that hurdle with an oven thermometer, an enterprising move on my part if I may say so myself. No, it was supposedly at the requisite 400 degrees farhenheit. The package of dough told me 10-12 minutes in the oven... but 15, 20, 25 minutes later... still chewy flour flavor. What the f, man?

So, finally, I'm starving, I've gone through 2 glasses of wine and half a script waiting for this thing, and I can't take it. I take my undercooked pizza out of the oven. The veggies have roasted to 1/4 their original size, the cheese is healthily browned, but the bottom of the crust? I can't take it anymore. I cut out a couple slices, and into the toaster oven with it.



[Do you know that feeling when you are just starving, and all you can think about is food?? I get that a lot.]

Freaking finally. It's so hot, I don't care. Thank God, it's still good. The charred veggies, the crispy cheese, it doesn't matter; it's still pretty damn edible. And I have that satisfaction of having made it myself! Tho, it is admittedly quite late... where did I go wrong?

I will never again take for granted the 30 minute delivery guarantee. Does anyone even promise that anymore?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lopez: king of the office

This is a shout out to my man Lopez, who keeps the Brucks running like a well-oiled machine.

Lopez is from Guatemala. He is fluent in Spanish and English. He claims that the key to never getting sick is drinking quality tequila (his personal recommendations: Patron or Don Julio). And - he makes amazing carne asada.

Our typical morning conversations take place in the kitchen, and go something like this.

HJ: Hi Lopez...
L: Hola, senorita! How are you?
HJ: (exasperated sigh) I don't know... maybe I should just give up and move to Fiji.
L: Why you want to move to Fiji?? It's boring!
HJ: Because! I can just relax, lie in my hammock, catch fish...
L: You can't move to Fiji!

Then I reflect on his argument, which is a convincing one, finish applying cream cheese to my bagel, and go to my desk for another productive day.

From what I can tell, Lopez loves the Brucks. He always has a smile on his face when I see him, he never complains... everyone loves him.

Perhaps the only person in the office who has drama with our beloved Lopez is Paul. The trouble began during an event now known to most as "Pretzelgate". The disgruntled Paul, miffed there were no more pretzels, rummaged around the kitchen, on a crazed search for any remaining pretzel fragments. Paul (who, in his defense, was completely joking) turned to Lopez and demanded, "Lopez! What happened to all the pretzels!?" and continued on with his search. Now, I am not bilingual, but I imagine that if someone was being facetious in a language that was anything other than English, I would be completely lost. As it turns out, Lopez did not see the humor, and thought Paul was berating him for lack of pretzels. Hence... he may have a vendetta against Paul. We are not sure. But I digress...

Where would we be without Lopez? Hungry, uninspired, sick, unkempt? Maybe I would be in Fiji... which, yes, is nice to think about every now and then, but maybe after a little while it would get boring...

So thanks, Lopez. For the kind words, the inspiration, and the justification to drink tequila when the sniffles are coming on.