I've got a pretty special one today and it's the start of trying to theme the weekly pizza to life on the road. Plus we get to share it with family and friends which makes the whole experience even better!
One of the strong memories that Theresa has from Missouri is picking wild blackberries. Note that I didn't say that they were particularly good memories. After picking, she found herself covered head to toe with chigger bites. These tiny little pests live in these wooded areas and their bites can cause super itchy red bumps.
While we were exploring the bike paths of our current campground we saw loads of wild blackberry bushes. Theresa said there is a 0% chance she will be picking these berries and convinced the kids not to either. I confirmed with the park attendant that we were allowed to pick the berries on the trails, and verified that there's no look-alike berries that are poisonous.
But... I'm going to go for it. I want them for the pizza I'm making this week and it'll make an interesting story either way. Theresa made sure I prepared myself, making sure I was covered with bug spray. I would also be required to throw my clothes in the wash as soon as I came inside, and shower, just in case I brought any chiggers back with me.
Thus prepared, I grabbed a small bucket and picked as many ripe berries as I could while still standing on the bike trail and out of the brush.
My fingers are purple and I've got as many berries as I need for tonight.
Showered and changed, I'm all set to take this show on the road. We're driving about an hour to visit with Theresa's grandma for a little while (future post) and then have dinner with a good family friend. I prepped all my dry ingredients for my dough and about 2 hours before dinner I mixed everything with water so the yeast would have time to rise. I'm doing it on the tailgate of The Beast so that's a first.
Meet Betty! She's a good family friend from when Theresa lived in Missouri. We'd thought about ordering dinner in, but that was going to be $10+ per person for sandwiches, and who knows how good it would be.
Instead, she's agreed to let me take over her kitchen and make pizza for everyone tonight.
The Wild Blackberry pizza is first. I made a round of dough and oiled it to start. About 2/3rd of the blackberries were crushed up, leaving the other 1/3rd whole.
The crushed berries are going down as my sauce base.
They're pretty juicy, but I'm sure it'll work itself out in the oven.
Next was a layer of mozzarella, some parmesan, dollops of ricotta, and a few dashes of basil. After all that, the remaining blackberries were sprinkled on top. Looks like a tasty pizza to me!
With a bunch of people to feed, I wanted to have all the pizzas ready at once. I brought along my pizza toaster oven, and combined with Betty's oven, I can have 4 pizzas baking at once!
Twelve minutes later and my pizzas are ready to come out of the ovens.
The Wild Blackberry, Ricotta, and Basil pizza smells fantastic. All the berries have lost their deep purple color and look like a raspberry color.
I've got people to impress tonight too, so I want to do something that's a little outside the ordinary but particularly delicious. The BBQ chicken pizza with the BBQ sauce base, red onion, and cilantro is a unique flavor that is very tasty.
And I don't particularly care for it, but others always seem to like the combo pizza with peppers, onions, olives, mushrooms, and sausage.
And then a pepperoni pizza with something for everyone. I made a part of it for Ian and Alli. Ian's with triple pepperoni, and Alli with her sauce only except this time she asked for sausage on top. I aim to please little girl, so sure, why not.
Everyone gathered around to bless the food.
My pizza crust isn't quite like other pizzas. It's lighter and fluffier than your typical store bought pizza. It was very well received by everyone. One even said "best pizza they've had". Awesome!
My first plate. A sampling of everything.
But how is that Wild Blackberry pizza?
Honestly, it was so good! The sweetness of the blackberries was so good, and paired with the creaminess of the ricotta cheese, it was delicious. The berries were like a jam once they baked up and all the flavors paired very well together. I'm really glad I chose to make this one today. And with freshly picked blackberries too!
I'm glad everyone enjoyed the pizza!
And it was great to visit with everyone!
Wonderful family gathering with lots of family and long-time friends...wow! Sounds like the pizzas were a hit (again!). I like crusts that are light and fluffy, too! The Wild Blackberry pizza sounds like a great "dessert" pizza because of its sweetness and jammy texture...looks like a yummy creation (I assume you escaped any chigger bites, too!) The "Life on the Road" theme idea for pizzas sounds like a fun one...can imagine even more creative pizzas to follow :-) EOMReplyDelete