My friend Kat can run with an idea like no one I know. This is a woman who, upon moving into her first house, not only painted and decorated, but did wiring and plumbing as well. “I took the toilet apart and put in a new one,” she’d say during one of our weekly phone conversations. “It wasn’t that hard at all. And I’m going to fix the wiring for the kitchen lights so I can install new fixtures. I’ve got an electrician friend I can call, he’ll talk me through it.”
It’s quite amazing to me, really. I am someone who is horrible at following directions. I can be creative, I can think “outside of the box” until the cows come home, but if I tried to install a toilet by reading step by step instructions from a Do-It-Yourself book? There would be water everywhere.
And it’s not just complicated household tasks that Kat takes on. Last year, as a gift to me, she offered to read any book I wanted her to. This is a great free, non-stuff-related gift idea if you ever need one. The book I chose for her to read was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Kat has always had an interest in food and cooking, but I thought she’d enjoy and benefit from the book’s discussion of local, fresh food.
Kat started the book in the late winter, reading chapters here and there between chasing after her two small children and falling into bed exhausted. Our weekly phone calls became a forum for talking about local foods. We discussed what was in season and what she was finding at the farmers’ market versus what I was getting in my CSA box. Within a few months, Kat had become a fixture at her local farmers’ market and was cooking amazing local vegetables and meats for her husband and kids. And at the end of the summer she canned and preserved like a maniac, learning from her awesome Mom and running with it from there. I was very impressed. I’ve never gotten around to canning anything and I don’t have an autistic three year old and an infant to take up my time.
When I was visiting last weekend, I asked if she still had any of the sauces that she’d “put up” in the fall. She did, and kindly sent me home with a jar of pizza sauce and a jar of applesauce. I haven’t opened the applesauce yet (I plan to use it in some vegan baking when the opportunity presents itself) but The Man of Science and I had one of our rare cheesy pizza nights this Saturday and I was able to sample the pizza sauce. It was awesome. Great to have someone else's well-made food available to me as I get back into the swing of things, kitchen-wise.
So I have no recipe for you, just this story of nutritional epiphany and the making of pizza. I promise I’ll get back to recipes soon. In the meantime, here is the oft-linked-to pizza recipe from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and some lovely pictures of our Saturday night dinner, featuring Kat’s pizza sauce.
P.S. In an entirely unrelated note, readers who want to hear me chatter, giggle, and play a bunch of music should check out my first Razorcake Podcast which went up at their site this week. I play a lot of fun songs by locally grown bands, and talk it up with my friend Todd. The podcast was recorded just a few feet away from the chard pictured in my header!