Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Emergency Weather Emergency

You might have noticed a weather emergency going on in Baltimore all the time since as long ago as anyone can remember. Weather emergencies and pizza are a volatile mix. The fear and agitation that snow inspires means that you may not be able to get pizza delivered to your house, or return to your house ever again. Ultimately there will be no houses left -- just gushing broken water mains and gas flowing from pipes sticking up out of the blasted earth.

The authorities will tell you to stay off the roads during emergency weather conditions. I don't know whether this is right or wrong. Pizza Club spent about an hour inching down 83 in the snow, but then we couldn't scale the off-ramp to 28th Street, so we glided slowly down to the end of 83, and thence down to Patterson Park, where we took shelter in the home of Eliza, a gracious Friend of Pizza Club. On the Baltimore winter driving meter this experience registered as 'harrowing'.

Secure in our weather-resistant shelter the group became hungry and didn't know what to do. This would have continued until we died if Eliza had not mixed up a batch of pizza dough. As the dough rose so too did our hope of survival. Here you can see an industrious stovetop where we caramelized onions and stirred sauces.

Two pizzas were produced: an olive, artichoke heart, and caramelized onion pie, and a Swiss chard and mushroom pie. A block of feta cheese was the only cheese on hand. Putting feta cheese directly on tomato sauce is a great idea. You don't really need mozzarella. You don't need anything besides a ruthless survival instinct and a bottle opener, but actually it's not that hard to open bottles with a spoon.

These were the most exquisite pizzas the Pizza Club has enjoyed in some time, even if we hallucinated them. Here's a recipe that Eliza endorses from America's Test Kitchen. Use a food processor to mix your dough, says the Test Kitchen.

When the authorities tell you to stay off the road for your own safety, that's when you call up your friend with an SUV who seems pretty rugged because he went to college in Maine. Are you going to obey the authorities, or insist on following through with your Saturday night plans -- in this case, drinking tea and reading Ed Dorn -- at any cost? In other words, are you an American?

We gave this pizza 7/8 slices, one point off because we were pretty drunk. It's all gone though and these circumstances can never be recreated. Matt, whose SUV conquered the icy incline of Charles Street, is the only other living person who tried it. He said it was good.

Photo credits: Ada. Thanks to Eliza for courageously navigating down I-83 and letting us make a mess in her kitchen.