Well, ladies and gents, I know some of you have been watching for my recap of the pizza-party bridal shower that Girl Slice roped me into catering on Saturday. I'm sorry I didn't post it yesterday. It's taken me this long, you see, 'cause I'm typing without the use of my right-hand index finger:
Yeah, I know I look kinda crazy. I'm blaming it on the blood loss. Lesson learned? Slow and steady wins the race. My fingertip was on the losing end, literally, of a run-in with a mandoline.
See, it was 12:36 p.m. and I had just flipped on the oven to preheat. By my estimation, I needed to get at least two pies on the table by 2:15, which was when I figured the first guests would arrive. (Start time was 2 p.m.) I wanted no lag time between arrival and eating. Because I've been to events where the food didn't come early and fast, and that always sucks.
- The Lack-tose: Crust brushed with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and rosemary
- The New Yorker: tomato sauce, Parmesan, fresh mozzarella, basil
- Signore Patata: Yukon gold potatoes, rosemary, sea salt, olive oil
- The Original A: tomato sauce, Parm, fresh mozz, homemade sausage
- Freestyle: tomato sauce, red onion, toasted pistachio, sautéed mushroom, garlic, homemade sausage (no cheese)
- Funiculi, Foeniculum*: fresh mozz, braised fennel, pancetta, anisette cream drizzle, fennel fronds. (Plus a second cheeseless version)
- The Famous Original A: tomato sauce, fresh mozz, Parm, homemade sausage, red onion
- The New Pepperoni: tomato sauce, hot soppressata, garlic (optional drizzle of Mike's Hot Honey
But, uh oh, 12:40 and I still had to slice the baby Yukon golds, brine them for an hour, then toss with olive oil, salt, and rosemary. I wanted my cheese-free pizza patate to join a Margherita as the first horses out of the gate.
I even remember thinking, "Boy, it sure would suck if I cut my finger on this mandoline. I better be careful." And then, YOWZA! FUGG A DUGG! GARRRGGH.
Long story short, after catching some hell from my wife for being such a dumbass, she went to the pharmacy and got me some gauze, first-aid tape, and plastic gloves. It took a while, and about half a bottle of liquid bandage, but the damn thing finally stopped bleeding, and I was able to get back to work. Like I said, slow and steady wins the race. I wasted more time dealing with my finger than I would have spent slowly and carefully slicing the potatoes with my mind in the game.
Anyway ... that was probably the most dramatic thing that happened at the shower. Everything else went off pretty well, at least from my vantage point — which, granted, was around the corner from the shower, but, well, I could hear the ladies talking about the pizza, and they seemed to like it ...
The final menu is to the right. If you've been following this saga, you'll know I had to take into consideration one guest who was lactose-intolerant. Lucky for me, she had no other special needs besides that. So I was able to do it up right for her with a cheeseless version of a Paulie Gee–inspired braised fennel–pancetta pizza and with some weird-ass freestyle pizza that featured homemade fennel sausage made according to the Pizza a Casa recipe.
The braised fennel pie, which I call "Funiculi, Foeniculum" (both cheesed and cheeseless), seemed to be the showstoppers of the afternoon. Which was good, because that's essentially where the show did stop. The ladies cried uncle and moved on to dessert. But ... I still had five dough balls left, and I hadn't eaten yet, so ... I made a couple pies for myself.
Anyway, I've got a slideshow of the pizza I made above. You can page through that if you'd like.
* I couldn't very well call it Anise & Anephew, could I? So I made up my own groan-worthy pun. I think I did quite well with it, too. (Google it if you don't get it.)