Saturday, April 23, 2011

books about feelings and shaksuka pizza

"The other women discovered not only that she was from Barnard... summa cum laude, parbleu!... but that she had the most adorable little cracked voice, like a boy's. It was perfect with her hair, so short and boyish too, and by the end of the second week three of the teachers were writing passionate notes to her."
-MFK Fisher

Ah, is there anything like picking up a book that you had previously discarded as inert and finding, well, yourself? I am loving The Measure of Her Powers. All of the stories are about somebody paying too much attention to their senses, which is how I feel basically all the time, so it's both a intimate window into someone's beautiful life and a private validation of feeling and noticing (too) many things.

Reminds me of a production of In the Next Room that has been haunting me since I saw it a few weeks ago-- something about two-thirds-finished women and a race of poets. A therapist once told me that I have "a certain capacity for emotionally intense states" and I think that's right. I think Sarah Ruhl's characters do too-- not in a stylized manic pixie dreamgirl kind of way but the kind of way that feels genuinely radical. Which is all to say that I was rereading some old entries and I am a little sick of my refrain that I am some kind of failure at adulthood. Unfinished paintings, Ruhl's painter says, are truer to life and nearer to God.

I think in the age we live in, raw emotional intimacy is far more radical than physical intimacy or selling sex, which we see on every block. We see radical emotional intimacy far less frequently.
-- Sarah Ruhl

Anyway, I have no good segue, except that I invented a really good pizza. It's based on the Israeli egg dish shakshuka, which are eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce. Ideally, of course, you make your own tomato sauce. I've even said on here that there's no reason not too. But listen, even a jarred-tomato-sauce hater like me sometimes has some in the house and wants to make a pizza and doesn't know what to put on it. Eggs. The answer is eggs.


--Pizza dough
--Tomato sauce (homemade or otherwise)
--Garlic, one or two cloves minced
--Red pepper flakes or chopped hot peppers. You could also use jalepeno or anaheim chiles (I used about 2 T worth of dried Japan peppers, chopped)
--Olive oil

+ Preheat the oven as hot as it will go.
+ Heat a little bit of oil with the garlic and pepper. If you do this in a cast iron skillet you can use that as your pizza stone: bingo. You don't need too much oil, just enough to give the spicy stuff a medium. You could probably skip this step and just use some hot sauce for some legit semihomade style Sandra Lee action. But it is really fast to make your own "hot sauce" so. yeah.
+ Then stretch you dough, spread LIBERALLY with tomato sauce and the spicy garlic oil. The eggs will get less rubbery if they are nestled in the tomato sauce, so use way more than you would for a normal cheese pizza. Bake for 4 or 5 minutes.
+ Then crack 2 eggs on top. Bake for another 8 minutes or so, until the whites are set.

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