Amish Pizza

Wow Lori, your posts all look so amazing and healthy. Glad to see you and baby are eating so well. I’m inspired to make your beautiful crustless quiche, and have some ricotta in the fridge now for that very purpose.

This winter has seemed especially frigid with “polar vortex” daytime high temperatures sometimes only reaching into the teens and checking your part of the weather map even colder! The creek, an ever-changing majestic landscape, is now a strange sight to see – frozen over and in a slumber under a blanket of snow.

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Evening fog rolling in when the water is colder than the air.

Chores for living aboard are more difficult this time of year, and you are made acutely aware of all things consumed and discarded for survival, something I’m sure is familiar to your own remote lifestyle. Food, water, heating fuel, trash, laundry and even our own waste are all hauled to and from the boat via a steep rocky footpath and precarious decaying plywood covered dock, and you DO NOT want to fall in! Needless to say, all this hard work works up an appetite.

Last week I made a stop at the North Point Amish Market since I had never been there and was in the area. The Amish have always fascinated me, and they surely know a strong work ethic and how to cook! From the butcher I bought 3 chicken sausage links mixed with herbs, spices and feta. I asked him how he recommended preparing it and he suggested browning the sausage into crumbles for topping on a pizza. It sounded good to me so I took his advice.

pizza making

I cheated and picked up two pizza dough balls from the grocer – for $1 a piece ready-made, you can’t beat it. Remove the sausage links from their casing and sauté in a pan with a little olive oil. While browning, work the dough with a little flour stretching it to fit your pan. Place the dough in an olive oil greased pan and top with spoonfuls of pizza sauce and a 5 cheese Italian blend of  Mozzarella, Provolone, Romano, Asiago and Parmesan. Baked in my ovens high setting (around 375-400) for about 18 minutes using scent and sight as a guide to readiness.

If there is an Amish market in your area, it’s a fun visit. After my recent trip to the market I watched this beautiful PBS documentary titled “The Amish” which answered a lot of questions and curiosity I had about their way of life. My mind wanders back the film occasionally now, reminding me to find spirituality amid the rituals of routine chores.

“The Amish” on PBS American Experience

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Roasting marshmallows

Hey Katt, wish you could have joined us Saturday for a marsh mellow roasting party. Duane got the bon fire going and we found jumbo mash mallows at the supermarket. No frills, just the mellow melt. yum. Here is one of our friends from Iran trying out her first all American puff ‘perfectly roasted’ although there is a wide range of opinions about the perfectly roasted marshmallow. Some like a little black from the fire. I am partial toward the evenly brown toasted.

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It started off a snowy day and then the sun came out and melted most of it away. Here is Arlo in the foreground with our friend Annie. I made sure he was bundled up – and he practically looked like a marshmallow. Not to be roasted of course.

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Top Three Food Films

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Babette’s Feast (Babettes Gaestebud)

This Danish film is minimal in dialog and maximal in sensory rich details. The ‘textures’ of each perfect scene draws me intimately into the story and builds my anticipation for culinary love. By the time the cast sits for Babette’s brilliantly crafted cuisine, I am sharing in every dinner guest’s bite, sip and whiff. I am applauding with a wonderfully repressed hunger the fragrances of the next dish to come parading out from the rustic French kitchen, and I am savoring the fine liquors, wines and sauces that lavishly accent and finish each course.

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Like Water for Chocolate

This is magical realism film situated in Mexico. Each dish prepared is symbolically tied to the Protagonist’s life, so you can image much of the story takes place in the kitchen or around food. Like Babette’s Feast the motivation for the food is love, or shall I say in this film’s case, lust. The crescendo of the story is a feast of unspoken desires, made tangible by tasty and beautiful dish of Quail in Rose-Petal Sauce. I discovered this recreation on a blog called “Cooking with the Movies”. It looks so similar to the one in the film. Yum!

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The Scent of Green Papaya

This love story is staged in Vietnam between the late 1940s and early 1960s, and is seen through the eyes of a young woman who is taken as a servant into a merchant family’s home. This film is so controlled and serene, I can’t help but feel completely immersed in the sensory-scape, so precise and deliberate. These characteristics of the film make the presence of traditional ingredients and cuisine so memorable. Every grain of rice and every blink of the protagonist’s eye is accounted for. The film inspires a way of collecting, preparing, and consuming, as much as a curiosity about the simplicity and order of eating in that time and place. Beautiful!