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Cooking for a Small Army: Pizza

votania decreed that we would have pizza tonight. And lo! we do! Belatedly, but enough for a small army.

It was not actually my fault, this time, even though it was.

Rather than make the pizza dough laboriously, by hand, or even batch by batch in the bread machine, I whipped up one batch of dough in the bread machine, and then after that pilot batch of dough was done, I put in for the rest. Mind: this is a four person household, and for mouth/stomach happiness, we were to make four pizzas, one each. And, I figured, each of us would take a batch of dough for our pizza.

It may be significant to note that while I was measuring out the ingredients for the three remaining batches, and dumping them merrily into the bucket, that I was on the phone with Dawn. I measured, and counted, and dumped, and started 'er up. Three batches: 4 1/2 cups water, 6 cups flour, oil, salt, and an assload of yeast. In a 2-lb-loaf capacity bread machine. It was moving right merrily along, but didn't seem to be mixing much. I realized, at about this point, that I'd forgotten to put the paddle in. So I did, with much gooing and glumping and sticking of hands.

Things got gnarly after that, with me poking down a mushrooming blob of dough, me adding flour so that the dough would not stick to itself and me like a tentacle monster's suckers to his beloved, batting frantically with the spatula to knead the bits that the paddle wasn't touching.

It was a mess.

It was a monster.

Words were said, flour was flung, the rolling pin was called up for active duty, and plates were marshalled. The oven only has one rack, so pies were rotating in and out on the two pizza trays, with more finished saucers of half-baked pizza dough than baking trays, and more flour in the air than common sense, and overheating.

Some four hours later, all the dough is nearly baked. There are four blank pies left; they will find a temporary home in the freezer until some brave soul dares top them and bake them the rest of the way.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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