mandag, januar 01, 2007

Excellent Beginnings

Though the treacherous icing of our city sidewalks has begun, I can't help but feel a little northern thrill at beginning the year with a touch of snow.

NOTE: I'm ignoring three things right now: the return of a mouse in my apartment (I believe he moved back in during my two weeks away); the front panel that fell off the bottom drawer of my dresser; and my bedroom doorknob falling apart, which I probably would have discovered long ago if I ever used my interior doors.

I've entered the new year writing, as is often my goal, after finishing my second Arnaldur Indridason book (Silence of the Grave). He's an Icelandic mystery/thriller writer, and while a bit more of Icelandic culture would be welcomed in his work, being that he's Icelandic he doesn't really have to write about Iceland for me, now does he, because everything he writes is, like him, Icelandic. You see.

But I enjoy his books. They are scene-intensive and have some pretty good lead characters. A film has already been made of his Jar City novel (which I'd read earlier in December). I've ordered a copy of Voices, the third of the Erlendur mysteries to be published in English.

I don't know what's open today, so I'm home avoiding football on the tele, because I'm sick of bowl games. Please, let's trim it back to five or seven and play them all on New Year's Day again. No more of this two or three weeks of forgettable match ups. Why reward teams for winning six games? Why have a showcase game with all its cost just to give the fifth place teams of two major conferences one more game? Once at a wedding in Kansas the father of the groom--I was a member of the wedding party--mentioned that they were struggling to track his company's $1.9 billion sports marketing budget. He was a president of this financial management company. A sports arena or field still holds the company's name, I believe. This was just a couple weeks after 9/11 and a great many corporate transaction records and accounts were in doubt. We were discussing this while getting situated in our tuxes.

"One point nine billion," he said. "Can you believe that?" Even he thought that was exorbitant. It seemed fitting that with this conversation there was a bit of ataxic winking from him, a facial tick brought on, no doubt, by nerves over his son's wedding.

But I guess that's why we have so many bowl games: because corporations have to spend the money they've alotted to spend on things like that.


New Year's Pizza

I made pizza this afternoon using this recipe for the dough, though I don't do pre-baking because I have a gas oven and bake thin-crust on a stone. The process, as documented gleefully by me with my new digital camera:

The base toppings: shallot, green onion (green and white ends), red pepper roasted on the stove burner, salted tomato, garlic shavings.

The toppings are cooked on the stove top for a few minutes in olive oil to mix their flavors just a touch. The garlic is added last and left on top, never put directly in the oil. I add a cover to sort of steam it. Remove from burner and leave lid on for about five minutes while oven heats and the dough is prepared.

The dough flattened, lightly floured (underneath mainly), and ready on the pizza board.

The secondary toppings:
Irish cheddar, fresh basil, a shredded mix of asiago, romano and parmesan cheeses, and some fresh ground black pepper.

Into the oven with ye!

Fini! Served with some Spanish brut while watching the opening chapters of A Very Long Engagement.

Indeed, it's been a rather satisfying day. Tomorrow will be nuts, but today has been lovely.
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