Time Travel

FullSizeRenderHello fellow time travelers! You do realize that just like H.G. Well’s hero, we all became time travelers over the weekend, right? Sure, we didn’t get a cool vehicle with fancy seats and all those flashy lights and knobs, we slept right through it. But forward in time we went! Aren’t you thrilled? Yeah, probably not. Unlike going back in time in the fall, we lost an hour upon awaking Sunday morning. So instead of cuddling under comforters and enjoying the arms of Morpheus a little while longer, you were up, grumpily up, on a SUNDAY!  So was I, though despite the hour and abhorrence of the thought of prying myself from my flannel cocoon, I happily discovered there is an upside to springing ahead. I’ll explain in a moment.

I find it interesting how different members of our species observe the semiannual ritual of changing the clocks. Upon further study I’ve noticed a few distinct groupings. First are the Fastidious. These are the breed that, if they haven’t already set an alarm to remind themselves of spring’s escaping hour, change their clocks the minute they hear it’s this weekend. Obviously they think they might forget, though if one is a creature who sets an alarm to remember to change their alarm, I kinda doubt it. These “clock watchers” also seem to have an internal inventory of all the time tellers in their path. Microwaves and stoves are obvious, but updating dress watches in jewelry boxes that may not see the light of day until the next wedding invite, really?

Then there are the Optimists. These are the folks who avoid changing clocks all together. Perhaps lazy is the word you would have chosen, but I see them as eternally hopeful that they will be around when time inevitably falls back, so why bother changing anything? Naturally, a Fastidious should probably not be coupled with an Optimist, but evolution often has other plans. So these two are usually together, bickering about being late, or way too early.

The final group is what I like to refer to as the Mathematicians. These are the souls who willingly have different time zones for different applications. The kitchen clock is 5 minutes fast. The car clock is about 8 minutes behind. And most importantly, the bedside clock radio is 17 minutes fast. It was supposed to be 15 minutes, maybe 20 ahead, but the physics and eyesight required to figure out how to set the damn thing wasn’t worth exploring (or finding reading glasses), so 17 it is. The point being, the Mathematician knows exactly how many minutes are required in calculations, so that when she wakes before alarm goes off,  she can calculate exactly how many minutes left before rousing. Government mandated time manipulation is not the favorite thing of the Mathematician. It’s a very delicate balance between the time zones.

You’re probably wondering which of the above creatures I ally with. I grew up in a household where the kitchen clock was always 15 minutes fast. We knew it, mom knew we knew it, but she set it that way anyway, forever hopeful that it would incite timeliness in my brother (who naturally fell into the Optimist category.) I was the Mathematician. Too lazy to focus and fix miss-set clocks, I’d wake, cracked an eye through inky bedroom darkness towards red glowing digits, and did math. I like to think I’ve evolved past this. Yet this morning when I started the car I noticed the clock on the dashboard was 50 minutes behind the time. And when the leaves turn amber again, it will be 10 minutes fast…

IMG_1073What does all this have to do with my newly discovered upside to springing ahead yesterday? Well, when time suddenly shifts from 11am to 12pm and you are in the midst of preparing what was then breakfast and is now brunch, you can add a cocktail! In honor of Daylight Savings time I give you Brunch Pizza, accompanied by the official cocktail of DST, the Blood Orange Old Fashioned!

Brunch PizzaIMG_1078

One pizza dough makes 4 mini pizzas

  • 1/2 recipe pizza dough (or one dough purchased from your favorite pizzeria or market), divided into 4 pieces.
  • 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 asparagus spears (try to find thicker ones for this), sliced into 1/2″ pieces on the diagonal.
  • 1/4 cup cooked pancetta or bacon
  • 1/2 cup shredded fontina, mozzarella, or monterey jack cheese
  • About a cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Cornmeal or semolina

Preheat the oven** to 450°F. Make sure the top rack is in the center of the oven. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment.  Sprinkle cornmeal or semolina lightly on the parchment paper and set sheet aside. On a well-floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to a rough circle, about 6 1/2 – 7″ in diameter. With floured fingers, press about 1/2 inch from edges to make a bit of a crust. Place each crust on the cookie sheet, leaving a little space between.

FullSizeRenderAdd the halved tomatoes, sliced asparagus and spinach leaves into a bowl, drizzle over the olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice, and a fat pinch of salt and few grinds of pepper. Toss together. Divide in 4 portions and top each pizza. Arrange the asparagus as a circle in the middle. You want to build a sort of damn, so when you add the egg later, it stays put in the middle of the pizza.

FullSizeRenderDivide up the pancetta/bacon and cheese into 4 portions, and top each pizza. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove hot pan from oven, crack an egg in the center of each and carefully return to oven. Turn oven on broil (if your broiler unit is on the top of the oven), and cook for another 5 minutes, watching carefully. When the white is set, remove from oven. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the egg to taste.

 ** I love making individual pizzas in my toaster/convection oven, and this recipe works very well with it if you are making just one or two. For more, use a conventional oven.

Blood Orange Old Fashioned

Makes one cocktail

FullSizeRender_2

  • 1 TBSP Amoretti Blood Orange Syrup** (check out  next week’s post to learn how I discovered this wonderful stuff!)
  • 1 TBSP blood orange juice
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 dash bitters
  • 2 oz. Bourbon
  • Ice
  • orange slices to garnish

Add the syrup, juices and bitters to a chilled cocktail shaker. Add in ice and bourbon. Shake and strain into a martini glass (or you could serve over ice in a rocks glass.) Garnish with a slice of orange. Enjoy!

Variation: Using Courvoisier instead of bourbon is great here too!

If you like what you read here, please help me spread the word. Meantime, I’d love you to join me on Facebook (please click the ‘like’ button), and check out what else is going on in my kitchen at cookinginmyheels.com. Thanks!  🙂

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2 thoughts on “Time Travel

  1. It was the wise Indian who said, “only the White Man could think if he cut a piece of his rug off one end, and sewed it to the other, he would have a longer rug!”

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