Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘pizza

Guilty Pleasures

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A portrait of my perfectly unsophisticated after-work lethargy that a more sane person might not choose to feature for all the world to view:

Pizza dinner in bed with Pequenita while I enjoy our favorite guilty pleasure rerun television series, “The Closer” with Kyra Sedgwick as Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson of the Priority Homicide Division, LAPD.

Even though we have probably already seen all of the 109 episodes of the 7 seasons that first aired between 2005 and 2012, we usually can’t remember what’s going to happen when seeing them again on one of the local broadcast sub-channels our antenna picks up.

It’s probably not all that different from the many times I watched reruns of “Gilligan’s Island” after school as a kid. There was never going to be anything new to gain out of the shows, but that never seemed to matter. I think it has something to do with the ensemble of characters the actors portray. They become as familiar as friends, and it is comforting to hang out with them.

Add in our favorite thick crust Gina Maria’s pizza that Cyndie surprised me with for dinner and I was in couch-potato –well, more accurately: “bed-potato”– heaven. An exercise in low-cost, lowbrow entertainment.

I even used the side of my fork to cut embarrassingly large bites of the pizza, instead of my knife. Oh, the horror.

What can I say? It was Halloween. I was being spooky.

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Written by johnwhays

November 1, 2019 at 6:00 am

High Points

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After work yesterday, Cyndie and I hopped in her car and drove up to the lake for the weekend. Leaving on a Thursday night makes for easy driving, in the absence of the typical weekend traffic headed north. Our route took us through some of the damage from last week’s storms that produced near-hurricane force winds and some baseball-sized hail.

It was fruitless to try to capture a representative photo of the large scope of broken trees for miles, but I snapped a few shots on my cell phone through the car window at highway speed.

It was a little easier to capture a sample of some building damage that hadn’t been covered up yet.

The extensive damage to trees was a really sad sight. It gave me a whole new perspective on the comparatively minor issues we are facing at home with a few dead or dying trees leaning across our trails. We’ve got it easy.

High point of the day for me yesterday was finding a neighboring farmer working our fields to finally bale some of the cut hay that has been left on the ground for weeks, repeatedly being rained on instead of properly drying out. The past week offered the longest stretch of dry days that I can recall so far this summer.

The second high point was getting a chance to watch portions of Stage 18 of the Tour de France on the subscription TV channels when we got here. At home, we only pick up what is publicly available through the airwaves, and bike racing coverage is minimal.

Two big mountain stages remain, today and tomorrow, and I am thrilled to be able to view all the drama as it happens.

Maybe it will be rainy here as the morning progresses so I don’t waste sunny lake time sitting indoors in front of the glowing screen getting my bike racing fix.

Honorable mention high point yesterday goes to the Coop’s pizza dinner we devoured when we got to Hayward. Oh, so delicious.

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John Photos

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Written by johnwhays

January 24, 2019 at 7:00 am

Kitchen Aromas

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Honestly, I don’t feel worthy of the aromas that greeted me from Cyndie’s kitchen when I walked in the door after work yesterday. She pulled me all the way into some of my fondest November memories with a robust batch of fresh Chex mix roasting in the oven.

Threw me back to Thanksgiving day parades, afternoon football games, and my dear ol’ mom.

I don’t know which came first. Did my love of cereal lead to an overwhelming attachment to Chex mix, or did my fondness for Chex mix lead to my mind-boggling passion for cereal?

No sooner does the mix come out of the oven and Cyndie puts in a pizza crust to pre-bake.

Not one to avoid a challenge, she was working her magic on an untested recipe for an adventurous fresh cranberry balsamic white pizza.

I can sincerely say that this did not bring back a single memory or aroma from my past. I can take, or leave, an arugula salad on my pizza, but ricotta cheese in place of a good salty tomato sauce left this experiment lacking.

It looked tantalizing, though.

Just needed more sauce and maybe a heaping crown of mozzarella cheese for my tastes. And bacon.

What?

That was Cyndie’s idea. We read somewhere that the most common ingredient in contest-winning recipes happens to be bacon flavor in some shape or form.

We both got a chuckle out of that.

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Written by johnwhays

November 14, 2018 at 7:00 am

Food Love

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Thirty-seven years ago this morning, Cyndie and I woke up in a cute little cabin by the Cascade River on the north shore of Lake Superior. It was the first day of our week-long honeymoon that would ultimately include some camping, and then visits to one of the old Wildwood cabins in Hayward and a night at Telemark Lodge near Cable.

One of the memories we laugh about is a breakfast we enjoyed at a restaurant where everything was perceived as exceptionally perfect. The best eggs ever, the toast was out of this world, the service, the lighting… I believe we were in such a state of newlywed bliss that we were filtering every single experience through a lens overflowing with love.

Or, we just really love food.

Last night I brought home Cyndie’s favorite pizza for dinner. She arrived with a package of coconut infused dark chocolate covered almonds for me.

I gotta say, they tasted pretty close to similarly exceptional as that brilliant breakfast we enjoyed 37 years ago.

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Written by johnwhays

September 20, 2018 at 6:00 am

Natural Oscillation

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There are days, and even just moments within days, when it feels like the world surrounding me is flowing away from my presence. Then there are probably an equal number of occasions when the sensation comes across more like everything is blowing toward me.

Well, duh. Ebb and flow. Of course it would feel that way. The thing is, I have to pay enough attention to perceive that oscillation. It might seem obvious, but it is also, for the most part, invisible. That is, unless you take into account the marvels of the universe that are all riding along on the same waves.

Our animals, the weather, the innumerable growing things everywhere around us, they are all dictating and reacting to the energy that pulsates and resonates through our beings.

We recently watched a documentary about water, and it pointed out how much connection there is throughout the world, simply through water. Our bodies are mostly water. If you and I drank from the same pool, we would have the same water within us. It would be the same water being consumed by the plants and animals in and around that same pool.

The same water that has been cycling from sea, to sky, to earth for as long as we can imagine.

It’s no wonder the pull of the moon and the reacting tides make such a common impression on people. It’s affecting the same water in all of us.

Or, something like that.

For some reason, my craving for pizza tends to arrive with a mystical regularity that exceeds most natural frequencies. I benefit from not being very picky about types and styles, and am blessed that Cyndie is almost as adventurous as me, so frequency comes with variety.

Last night, she baked a homemade pizza on the grill.

All I can say about that is, “MmmMmmmm.”

That’s a comment I tend to make around here at mealtimes with an unsurprising regularity. It’s my natural pizza oscillation.

 

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Written by johnwhays

July 13, 2017 at 6:00 am

Pizza Magic

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 I live with her every day, but Cyndie continues to amaze me with her gifts of getting things to happen. Last night she listed off a couple of dinner menu options that failed to inspire me. Reading my hesitation, she started tossing out other ideas.

“Pizza!”

She said the magic word. That choice resonated for me. I had actually noticed a craving earlier in the day for her homemade pizza, but didn’t want to trouble her with it. Obviously, she sensed it anyway and dug the option out of her bag of tricks.

She channeled George with her masterful crafting of the dough for the crust. I reminded her that I saw George put his crust in to partially bake before adding toppings. As I helped to grate a large block of mozzarella cheese for her, my fingers got cold.

Cyndie mentioned it had come out of the freezer, as had the pre-baked sausage she was using. Even though she had not planned to make a pizza for dinner, she didn’t hesitate to react to my craving and rustle up the best of ingredients in our kitchen, both fresh and frozen.

She knocked this one out of the park!

Even with a sauce she admitted was a compromise settled on by necessity, this custom pizza pie was fantastic. I fear how much better it might have turned out had she been given proper time to plan in advance.

I witnessed some real pizza magic last night, I tell you.

Pizza magic.

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Written by johnwhays

April 25, 2017 at 6:00 am