Fortunately, I'm terrible at being grouchy for too long. So I decided to tackle another Pinterest Challenge and attempt the impossible: recreating a part of the Maynard's experience. The first step was to find a potato pizza recipe - and of course, that was easy. I narrowed it down to these two:
The second step was to improvise, because I was too lazy to go to the grocery store. Not an easy feat, when your kitchen is as ill-prepared for spontaneity as mine is. Fortunately, I'd had great intentions of baking bread a few weeks ago...didn't happen, of course, but it meant there was yeast in neat little packets buried in the spice cabinet.
I immediately got stuck...there was math involved. This recipe didn't follow my cups-and-teaspoons version of measurement. Gasp.
So I did something I'm not proud of...I turned to Google.
The fact that there were countless people who had done the same thing didn't make me feel any better, but at least I got the answer...but not in dry measurements. (Do you think the cooking gods designed things to be this difficult in order to keep out weaklings like me?) Back to the internet, where I found http://www.reluctantgourmet.com's/ "cooking conversion calculator." Thank you, cooking gods.
After conquering that could-be-done-by-my-two-year-old-nephew mathematical challenge, I was on a roll - there was no stopping me. The dough was kneaded (I forgot how therapeutic it is to knead dough...not to mention the benefit of a forearm workout!) and I was on to the potato prep. I turned to another recipe since it was more complicated - and I assume that in cooking, complicated is good. (Yes, I'm sure that does have something to do with my general hatred of all things kitchen-related.) Rather than slice the potato, I copied my mom's/sister's practice of using a potato peeler to get super-thin slices. They're not as perfectly round or pretty, but I went with the theory that skinny was better than beautiful (oh good grief, now I sound like Hollywood). I obediently covered them with salt, threw in some dried Italian spices for good measure, drizzled on water and put them in the fridge. They looked like jellyfish or something equally as unappetizing.
Then came the fun part - I got to pick herbs from my garden! Remember the rosemary Christmas tree? It's still mostly alive, and seemed happy to contribute to my meal. The basil doesn't look so happy but there were a few leaves that haven't turned into flowers yet, so I gathered those for the second pizza.
While the pizza parts were getting ready, the oven was steaming away. I was nervous about the recipe's orders that I preheat the pizza stone at the oven's highest setting, but I did it anyway.
And it turns out, those recipe gurus were right: the hot pizza stone made a huge difference! The dough started baking as soon as I put it on the stone (somehow without burning myself), so I quickly layered on pasta sauce and Monterey Jack cheese (kind of gross for a pizza, but there was no mozzarella in the fridge). Only five minutes later, I added basil leaves and had this ready-to-eat beauty!
And then more sizzling, drizzling and baking...and voila!
I added salad and club soda in a wine glass for extra Maynards-like effect, and devoured my yummy creations. It definitely wasn't like Maynard's pizza but it was much closer than I'd expected. I need to use better cheese - Monterey Jack didn't do the trick - and I need green onions. But not bad for a first try with what was on hand in the fridge!
If you haven't already, check out the success of the Pinterest Challenge hosts - it's inspiring!