I’m trying to break a bad habit. With Addison’s chronic fatigue is a symptom, especially in the afternoons as the stored cortisol levels from the morning dose are waning. I try to take a short nap or rest to combat the fatigue, but that really doesn’t help the low blood sugar, which itself is a response to low cortisol.
Waking up from these naps has become a trigger to stuff my face with the first available thing I can find in the kitchen. It doesn’t end well. For a man who looks routine and plans, I have terrible impulse control with snack food.
This Christmas I added a new tool to my pizza arsenal: the Uuni 2s. The Uuni is a portable, wood-fired pizza oven. I’ve been eyeing an Uuni since the original launched on Kickstarter five years ago and Santa finally came through this year. With the weather finally warming, I’ve been able to give the oven a good test drive the last few weeks.
Ideally, I’d have the time, skill or money to put an outdoor oven in our backyard for bread and pizzas. We have a great spot for it, but let’s be realistic, saving for college is going to trump a pizza oven. Never say, never, though! In the meantime, the Uuni is a nice consolation and takes up way less space.
It also happens to make some great pizza, but it definitely takes a little time and practice.
I wasn’t planning on posting, or even finding, two back pocket recipes so soon, but this recipe is so good and so easy that we’ve made it twice within a week. I’m struggling to think of anything beyond a slightly soggy bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch or a steaming bowl of 69-cent high-sodium ramen that is as easy or as quick to get on the table for a week night dinner.
Pasta and beans is not something we traditionally throw together here in America often, but you will see it all the time in Sicily. It really did remind me of sitting on the family’s farm (Michelle’s father immigrated from Sicily) and eating the bowl of pasta and green cauliflower they served for lunch. That’s still a taste memory that I can call up almost at will. Never mind the great pizza we had in Rome or the fish by the coast, it’s that bowl of pasta that something still sticks in my mind (and taste buds).
One other thing occurred to both of us as we each polished off seconds for the second time in a week. These also taste like adult Spaghetti O’s. In a very good and elegant way. There’s something about that rich tomato paste sauce, oil and pasta that must have been hard-wired into our brains as latch-key children of the 80s.
I am officially adding a decent pub to burritos and good pizza on the list of things that are difficult to find when moving out to the suburbs. For the last two weeks of these constant slate colored days both of us have been wishing for warm comfort food and dark beer. The kind of place that smells gently of bitters and fry oil with fogged windows that shield you from thinking of what’s outside.
Or, basically nothing we could find within a 20 mile radius of our house.
There are certainly places to drink out in the ‘burbs, but most are faux-authentic chains trying so, so hard or dark paneled Legion halls steeped in the smoke of unfiltered Winstons. Not places you want to bring the kids or kick back and finish the crossword puzzle that the fish and chips came wrapped in.
Some days just leave you drained and dragging by six o’clock. The kids will always eat mac ‘n cheese or nuggets, but you are left staring into the cabinets wondering if saltines and hummus can qualify as dinner. This is when you need a back pocket recipe. A recipe that requires little thought, little effort and little time, but yields something you know you like and will leave you satisfied. One of my back pocket recipes is okonomiyaki. The most difficult part of the recipe is the pronunciation.