Thursday, May 17, 2012

Acorn Pizza Devoured

So I walked into the kitchen last Friday afternoon to find a couple of smallish people – smallish people who theoretically have ½ of my DNA but whose good looks and love of cooking argue strongly otherwise – kneading dough.

“Whatcha makin’?”  I asked.

“Pizza dough,” came the reply. 

Thoroughly confused I asked, “Why, is our phone line disconnected?  Because where I come from you can just make a phone call and a guy will literally bring pizza to your door… and it’s already cooked.”

For about the nine thousandth time these smallish people looked at me with that peculiar mix of scorn and sympathy that I have come to know so well.  “Papa, that pizza has all kinds of junk in it.  And it has too much salt.”

“Heaven forbid,” I said, reaching in the cupboard for the chips.  “OK, but why is the dough so… brown?  Are you using that special spelt/millet/amaranth flour again?”

Look of scorn/sympathy #9001:  “No papa, we mixed in a cup of your acorn flour.”  At that very moment I knew that my life has been a complete success, despite its myriad failures.  What an amazing feeling. 

How was the pizza you ask?  Awesome.  Not awesome only after taking into account  its unconventional ingredients, or awesome in the self-righteous/delusional way newly minted vegans eat a bowl of quinoa and black beans sans flavor and call it awesome.  I’m talking awesome to an avowed pizza lover, awesome to a guy who would (and, in fact, has) become a vegetarian with the only and inviolable exception of pepperoni.  (Can life without pepperoni be considered “life?”at all?  I think not.)  I mean awesome on the same laudatory scale in which, for a native Minnesotan like me, the phrase “not bad” is considered high praise.

Where did I get the acorn flour you ask?  At my friendly neighborhood hot dog and acorn flour shop.  They don’t have those where you live?  They’re pretty much on every street corner here it California.  Right next to Starbucks.  Actually the one and only Sue’s Acorn Café & Mill is located in Martinez, CA, about 5 hours from me.  Luckily business takes me by there regularly.  And it really is a hot dog joint.

A couple days before to the pizza epiphany we ran short of whole wheat flour when making our usual honey wheat bread.  I keep saying that the white fluffy Wonder Bread and Roman Meal I was fed as a child clearly never did me any harm, but for some strange reason the more I say that the more my kids demand homemade. 

We substituted a cup of acorn flour for one of the 3 cups of whole wheat, and otherwise did everything exactly the same.  Don’t ask me what “exactly the same" means.  I am only the designated kneader.  I am banned from the kitchen until it’s time to knead, and am quickly banished thereafter out of (well justified) concern that I’ll do/spill/drop/burn something to ruin the whole batch.

The bread turned out beautifully, and tasted great.  The acorn flour added a healthy dose of healthy fat and protein to what is otherwise a carb-fest.  The kids loved it and were clearly inspired to add the acorn flour to the pizza dough.

By the way, acorn flour fetches about $18 a pound.  Anyone sense a business opportunity, or is it just me?  Hopefully it’s just me.  Forget I said anything.

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