Wednesday, 11 June 2014
Author Takeover: Jeff Norton - A Recipe for Meatball Pizza by Adam Meltzer
My dad usually makes it, but of course I pay attention, so I’ll do my best to guide you through the steps.
There are a lot of shortcuts with store-bought ingredients, but Dad insists on making the pizza the old fashioned way…leaving the cave and wrestling a feral pizza to the ground. Sorry, that’s his standard joke. Please forgive him; I think they teach dad humor at the barber shop or something.
Okay, the very first step, always, always, always, is to wash your hands. Before touching any foodstuffs, I suggest you wash your hands in hot water with an industrial grade anti-bacterial soap. The stuff they sell in conventional drug stores just doesn’t cut it. If you want to stay healthy, and sleep well at night knowing that you’ve locked the door to germs, then email me and I’ll give the name of my supplier. They’re under military contract to the Navy, so they’re doing something right.
So wash your hands, with the above-mentioned soap, and use really hot water. When I first came back from the grave, I was worried that the near-to-scalding water I like to use in my hygiene routine would simply melt my decomposing skin off, but actually your dermis is stronger than you think. Go on, turn the up temperature! It may be really painful, but that tingling, itching, burning sensation is the feeling of germs being eliminated. Focus on that and the pain tends to subside.
Okay, now, wash them again.
Great, you’re ready to start cooking.
Preheat the over to 400 (that’s in American, it’d be 204 degrees in Celcius) and prep your ingredients.
Wait, what’s that smell? Oh man. Seriously!? Nobody cleaned the over after last night’s lasagna fest!?
Okay, turn off the oven and wait for it to cool. The last thing you want it remnant food burning inside the over while your Meatball Pizza masterpiece is cooking. If you want an activity to do until the oven is cool enough clean, I suggest you take good, cold, hard look at your spice rack. See what I mean? It’s a mess. I you’ve got two tarragons and not enough rosemary. You can arrange the spices in alphabetical order, or by spice grouping. Whatever works for you, I’m pretty relaxed as you can probably tell.
Great, the oven’s cooled down. Now, to attack the burned on grease, I first suggest rubber gloves. Next, mix a cocktail of oven cleaner and baking soda. A dash of vinegar will get the whole mixture frothing and those bubbles are your first line of attack. For an implement, I’m old school. A double-sided sponge: rough on one side, smooth on the other. Now really work that oven. It doesn’t have feelings, so you can be as rough as you like. But be methodical. I prefer to scrub on the diagonal and then come back for the sides and edges. But everyone’s got a method that works for them.
Once you’ve rinsed the oven, throw away the gloves and wash your hands again for good measure.
Now, we’re ready to cook!
Oh wait. Hang on, someone’s calling me.
I’m so sorry, it’s Dr. Mom calling me. It’s time for dance class at Sunshine. Listen, I don’t want to leave you hanging but I have a thing for lateness.
‘Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie’ by Jeff Norton publishes on 7th of August from Faber.
Adam Meltzer is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AdamMeltzerZombie and Jeff can be found at www.jeffnorton.com and tweeting as @thejeffnorton.