Tonight’s blog post is going to be a little bit different. First of all, Hello! I’m back! Second of all, I and the gang were out of our element, if I may say so. We decided to go all crazy on your donkey and take a private pizza-making lesson at Forcella. The chef was offering this perk for a few weeks for free, as long as you paid for the pizza! How could we not try it, right? Unfortunately, not only was MTA hardly running at the time, the fine folks before us went over schedule so we ended up waiting about an hour at our table before anyone even so much as touched a piece of dough. Regardless, for me at least, the excitement tempered the hunger growls and transit nightmare. The pizza-making counter could fit three people max, so I let the rest of my party enjoy themselves with the chef while I thought about the future blog post (omg so meta, right?) and took 300 photographs.
As I walk you through our pizza-making experience, I will try to highlight the three most memorable portions of the evening: the Italian and the Italians, the aprons, and the fails. I think it’s important for everyone to know straight out that we were basically being taught how to make pizza by people we could hardly communicate with; although one of them felt pretty confident he could communicate with my lovely BFF4EAE by lightly touching her all over repeatedly.
After some standard miscommunication in the sink area, my lovely friends had to don the white floury aprons, tie the string behind their back, and get down to business. I mention this only because washing hands and getting on those aprons really was kind of a big deal, if you know what I mean (and I’m sure you don’t. But it was).
But then, of course, there was the business to attend to. First the dough had to be removed from the container filled with many flattened balls of pizza fetuses. This took about three minutes of intense explanation before everyone could give it a go. Apparently, not that easy, and it didn’t get easier from there. My lovely pizza chefs then had to flatten the dough to release the air bubbles. Some of us may have thought they really had it down pat (no pun intended!), until the actual chef mocked his approach with an all-out dramatic reenactment highlighting his pranciness and soft touch, whereas the dough really requires a heavy palm and no mercy whatsoever. Speaking of no mercy, one of the patted down doughs took a quick hot oil bath before being returned to the counter and topped with all the fixins imaginable: speck, arugula, mozzarella, tomato sauce and, somehow, gorgonzola managed to sneak its way in. Remember the intense language barrier and/or power differential? Yeah, so gorgonzola all around, folks. The other two pizzas were wonderful as well and included such exciting things as truffle oil, shaved something-or-other cheese (parmesan? reggiano?) and an entire bin of mushrooms.
Anyway, long story short, we all made pizza, we all made fools of ourselves, and we all learned almost nothing about the techniques involved in using 1000-degree ovens despite the hands-on instructional time. Good times and good food were had by all. And the subway worked on the way home!