Sunday, September 14, 2008

Today's Pizza Adventure

This summer I decided that since I live in a basement apartment with one of the loveliest back yards I've ever had (it ranks somewhere in the top 4) I would plant a garden. My landlord allowed me to plant in the small raised flowerbed just to the side of our patio. I was a little disappointed that I didn't have more room, but thrilled at the idea of growing my own peas and tomatoes. I planted even before I touched my room, which was full of the moving-in disaster. My roommates, I think, were a little surprised by this but I wanted to give my little plants as much time as I could before fall.

I started out at the wholesale nursery down the street, which has pretty awesome prices, but I don't think labeled all their plants right. Since it's wholesale, I ended up with seven tomato plants, six cabbages, two pepper plants, and a few mislabeled squash. I added a cucumber and beet and pea seeds to this, plus a few strawberry plants. I figured since my tomatoes usually produce approximately squat having seven plants was a good idea. Somehow I managed to fit all this in the little flower bed between the Peony and the Baby's Breath (neither of which I thought were actually alive when I planted) save four of the cabbages, two of which died a sad, sorrowful death at the hand of my landlord's landscaping project (which was fine since to be honest I'm not a cabbage fanatic and six seemed a bit extreme) and the strawberries which went in a little corner I scoped out for them.

A few short weeks later and I thought my squash was going to take over the world.

A couple more weeks, and my pumpkin decided to strangle the baby's breath, then make a little nest in the stalks.

Then it started to produce. First came the hoards of yellow squash. I didn't plant a yellow squash, but it came anyway. I think that was the one that was supposed to be an acorn squash, but it became quickly apparent that it wasn't, and that I'd better start dealing with these yellow squash soon. Mostly I gave them away, steamed them, batter fried them, (YUM!) made squash soup that turned out wretched, all sorts of things with them.

Then came the tomatoes. Oh so many tomatoes. I love tomatoes. I made fried green tomatoes, and tomato salads, and put tomatoes on everything. The best was when my cucumber actually grew a cucumber and I had tomatoes, cucumbers and feta cheese with olive oil and red wine vinegar. One of the tastier things I've ever eaten.

So I suppose the culmination of this story is today when I made Pizza. I made a whole wheat crust with honey and spices and all but two toppings came from my happy little garden. It had Zucchini, Crook Neck squash, tomatoes, red peppers, olives, and mushrooms, and since it was the ultimate vegetarian pizza I just had to take a picture. That and it was just so darn pretty. So, You have the before baking and after baking photos, but the tragedy is that it burned on the bottom. Otherwise it would have been absolute heaven. Who knew squash could be so delectable on pizza!


sallysue said...

Sounds even better than Ottavios pizza. Mmmm....
So, did you cook the squash at all before you put it on? Or did you just put it on raw? I do love squash.

Thora said...

Michele, I love you. And that pizza; man, it looks good. I think it's an exciting idea to make a food blog. I thought about doing it once, but then realized that I like to think about good food and eat good food more than I actually make good food.

I know where that pizza mesh pan comes from....

Lalaith said...

Oh, way to go and make me drool, dear. Seriously! I am quite jealous of your happy little veggie patch and your fantastic pizza, as I still only have the basil and the sunflowers, and I would so love some tomatoes and an apple tree. But I don't think my landlord would really go for that :-P I also want a brick oven in my backyard, after making amazing roasted vegetable pizza at a farm a few weeks ago. Le sigh... things to do to my house once I own one ;)