If you don’t follow me on Facebook or Instagram, May 2nd was the six month anniversary of Tony’s death. SIX MONTHS. It’s just so weird. Some days if feels like six minutes, and other days feels like six years. But there isn’t a day that goes by that he isn’t in my thoughts at one point or another. The kids both had to work this weekend so Friday night I found myself sitting outside alone enjoying the beautiful weather, and cried a bit looking at the empty chair across from me. After a few minutes I took a deep breath and wiped away the tears and decided some kitchen therapy was in order.
When I got home I made my no rise pizza dough. So easy: 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons yeast and 1 cup water. Just mix and walk away. So normally you can just roll this out right away and use it, but I sat outside, looked through old photographs to start organizing them – I have BINS AND BINS of old photos, but in one bin you can find a picture of my Mom when she’s 15, next to that one of Hannah’s baby pictures, and next to that, one of my old field hockey pictures. You will all appreciate this photo though – when perms were big in the 80s?! Yes, that’s a phone extension in our room because we were so bad ass. Um, technology has come just a teeny tiny bit since 1986!
So what makes me happy of a Friday night? Pizza. I decided to recreate one of my pizza submissions that I entered in the Sebastiani pizza recipe contest – the Reuben pizza.
The crust on the baking steel is like no other – not even a baking stone can come close to this crust. Over the weekend I made bagels on them (recipe and pics to follow!) and they were just amazing. I watched some videos on youtube on the baking steel, and the consensus is to finish off the pizza under the broiler and I agree – look at those crispy edges of the corned beef! I could have eaten the whole thing, but I ended up eating only half.
Then on Saturday morning after the kids left for work, I started going through more pictures, and stumbled upon this one from our wedding night. What I miss the most about Tony is the way he looked at me. It didn’t matter if I was dressed to the 9s with full make-up on, or just working around the house in ripped sweat pants, he told me every single day that I knew him that he thought I was beautiful. I miss his face.
Again I found myself sitting outside on Saturday night. Jacob loves grilled meat, and can eat it cold out of the fridge and he doesn’t mind packing grilled chicken in his lunch when he goes to work. I had stopped by Hannah’s work earlier in the day, and I was asking her what she wanted for dinner. She missed out on Party Pizza Friday, but she said “you know what we have to do is go by The Lucky Monk sometime for their spinach and Parmesan pizza!” I quickly opened my tablet, and showed her the picture of when I recreated the just over FIVE years ago on the blog. So here’s the thing about that child I popped out of me. She doesn’t like a cracker crust pizza – she’s more of a chewy “Domino’s” pizza person. So with the no rise pizza dough, this pizza uses all of the dough to get nice and fat and chewy. Oh, and here’s another thing – she doesn’t really like red sauce on a pizza (or pasta for that matter). What?!
So the base for this pizza was 1/2 a cup of ricotta cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Roll out the dough, spread the ricotta mixture over the bottom. Then add two balls of sliced fresh mozzarella, 20 pepperoni slices and two ounces of shredded mozzarella, and top with another 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning on top. Bake at 425 on the baking steel for 10 minutes, then finish off under the broiler. Meanwhile, I chopped up baby spinach and drizzled just a bit of this walnut pear balsamic glaze for the topping, and then added shredded Parmesan cheese. Check out your vinegar aisle – they have a ton of balsamic glazes on the market – this was the one I used:
It was a nice night. Hannah and I sat outside and ate dinner, and when it got too dark, we lit candles. The dogs love being outside too, although I was telling Hannah that managing those dogs on our nearly acre lot with no fence was like watching two toddlers!
I went to bed relatively early for me on Saturday night because Sunday I had a 5k walk with my SIL. It was sponsored by her Weight Watcher group and the only entrance “fee” was to bring canned goods for the food pantry. No my SIL walks about a mile a day lately. A couple weeks ago we walked 2.25 miles at once, which was the longest she’d ever walked, but I knew she could make it just another mile! We were handed maps that looked like a 3 year old made, not legible at all, but we figured we’d just follow the crowd of about 60 walkers. The top one was right before we left, the bottom one was when we ended.
Jody’s friend and I both had our fitbits on, but Jody didn’t want to know how long we’d been walking or how far yet, otherwise she might have gotten discouraged. We ended up walking a longer portion (not sure if we followed the wrong people or what?!) but saw some of our group on a road one over, so quickly got back on that path. In the end we ended up walking 4 miles in 90 minutes! That’s the farthest she’s walked at once in her whole life – so proud of her! We celebrated with . . . steak tacos – I couldn’t let the weekend go by without a couple of those! Hannah met up with us and Jody’s son and his son met us and we hung out for an hour eating lunch and catching up.
One of the conversations we had was what to do about our lawns. I’ve never mowed my grass all by myself. Tony would get the riding mower out, pump air in the tires, get it all going for me for the handful of times that I actually got to mow my lawn. Jody’s lawn mower is broken again, it may need new spark plugs. So when I got back from lunch I got in our shed, turned the key and nothing. Not even a sound. I could hear Tony’s voice in my head saying “it’s the battery – go get a new one.” I remembered that the battery was under the seat of the riding mower, I found a crescent wrench in Tony’s tool box to get the nuts off to remove the battery. I took a picture of what it looked like before I took it out, then went to Auto Zone, and $25 later, I was back in business.
I was able to mow the lawn all by myself! Not only that, but I was able to drive the tractor back in the shed, which is really hard because it’s a pretty tight fit. Whew! I did have to stop a couple times because the engine started to smoke a bit. Not sure it it’s overheating or not, but my neighbor has a guy that does his lawn, and I am going to see if I can pay him to just take a look at my riding mower to make sure everything is in working order. Not going to lie, I was a bit proud of myself, but just another reminder that Tony isn’t here with me anymore. I could actually hear him say “are you going to edge around the mailbox up front?”! Well, yes Tony, I will – as soon as I figure out how to use the edger you bought several years ago and never let me use.
So all in all it was both a happy weekend and a sad weekend. I know it will get better in time, but it still hurts. I will leave you on a funny note – Roz, whenever I pick out bags of potatoes I try to find some unusual ones – last week I had two potatoes that each weighed 2.5 pounds each – yesterday I got this!
And I got several heart shaped potatoes, which I know is Tony’s way of letting me know he still loves me.