Monday Meal Review: Macedonia

THE SCENE

It took four batches of dough.

Eight pizzas… I think.

Honestly, I can’t be sure. I lost count.

There were many casualties. First, my fingers, from impatiently grabbing hot crust. Then the tip of my tongue, from greedily tasting the pizza too soon. And, of course, my clothes, the counters, and even the cat all groaned under a thick coating of flour. Even Ava was out of sorts on our first tasting, throwing an all out temper tantrum on the floor before begrudgingly sampling half a tiny bite of pizza.

Hoping to get the recipe right, I persevered. Over and over again I made the dough, diced the pork, and popped Macedonian pizzas onto the searingly hot baking stone. Sometimes the egg didn’t cook. Sometimes the dough didn’t rise (one batch, a bit too stiff, was simply too dry to puff up). Sometimes the egg slid off the pizza completely. And one time, it seemed the oven was 100 degrees hotter than expected. I’m not entirely sure how that happened, but the result was crunchy pizza, and not in a good way.

As I struggled over two days to make the perfect Macedonian pizza, I reached my breaking point. I might have persevered more gracefully, had the weather not been against me. While the plan to make a pizza in January seemed cozy and comforting, the house quickly became outrageously hot, thanks to the 70 degree weather we were enjoying. Or, rather, everyone else in Tulsa was enjoying. Nope… having the oven on for two days straight was not ideal, but this was the bargain I made when I decided to cook the world.

And, so, I cooked on.

The more conflict I came against, the more I sweat. If you can believe it, even my heart was sweating. Every little mistake became catastrophic. Tears burned in my eyes. Bad words burned in my mouth (especially when the egg slid right off the pizza, onto the baking stone, only to fill my house with plumes of smoke).

I fought and fought to keep do it right. But the more I struggled, the worse things got.

When I thought I couldn’t take it any more, I slumped onto the couch in a heap, the warm evening sun streaming directly into my tired eyes. I shut them for a moment. I tried to calm my frustration. To find a still place. In the silence, I heard a tiny voice:

“What a doin’ mama?”

And that’s when it occured to me, like an electric shock …  make the pizzas heart-shaped. I opened my eyes slowly and gave my sweet girl a huge hug. She smiled and said:

“I can help?”

“That would be wonderful,” I said, my heart breaking in the best possible way.

And, as is so often the case, once love factored into the equation, everything changed.

THE FOOD

Macedonian Pizza [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

I loved the flavor of this sauce-free, cheese-free pizza. It literally tastes like breakfast for dinner. I think it would be fabulous to add some baby arugula on top, or even some crushed oregano (which is native to the area). Ava had trouble with this at first, but really got into making it with me. In fact, the more I made it, the more fun she though it was (even though I was not-so-secretly pulling my hair out).

What I liked least about this dish:

I thought for sure this would be a favorite of Mr Picky’s… but unfortunately runny eggs are not something he likes. I tried over and over again to make one set firmly, only to realize it had to sit on the pizza the entire time to cook through. Only then would he consider it a favorite and something he’d even eat for breakfast.

Cozy Roasted Pepper & Eggplant Salad [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

Everything, everything, everything. So simple, yet so fantastic. The bright lemon flavor goes wonderfully with the roasted veggies, garlic and olive oil. I’ve already made this twice by choice.  One time we added onions, just for fun. This is one of those dishes that is nice enough for a globally inspired potluck, or a picnic in the park. I like to eat it cool with extra lemon juice, or warm with less lemon juice but more olive oil.

What I liked least about this dish:

Apparently I am the only one in my family who appreciates roasted veggies. Ava begrudgingly ate hers (only because I told her healthy girls eat all their colors. Mr Picky didn’t have much to say about it except “hmm.” He did like it better warm with less lemon juice and more olive oil, upgrading his comment from “hmm” to “good.”

Rice Pudding (Sutlijash) [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

This is creamy, sweet, and full of good flavor. Ava had trouble with the texture (I expected this, as I remember hating chunky puddings when I was little). Keith really liked it and enjoyed nibbling on it.

What I liked least about this dish:

The cooking time can really vary depending on the oven temperature. I thought I’d be done with this after 20 minutes of cooking, but it was closer to an hour when all was said and done. I found the dessert on the sweet side, so if you don’t have a major sweet tooth, you might knock the sugar back a bit.

Ava’s Corner

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Comments

  1. Soooo cute! The videos are my favorite :) You make everything look good!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      It cracks me up that she ate everything off the pizza.. before finally attacking the crust. The crust was always my favorite part :)

  2. All you need is love… I’m glad it finally worked out and you persevered :)
    I can’t even imagine Ava throwing a tantrum… LOL

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Love that song, especially when they use a bit of it in Moulin Rouge (one of my favorite movies). As for the temper tantrums, they ares extremely rare which, of course, makes them that much more shocking when they do show up…

  3. Lanetta Martin (grandma martin to AVA) says:

    Sasha, You looked alittle stressed !! Macedonian pizza looks good, as all your food does. Our favorite would have been the rice pudding (Both of us have a sweet tooth,as everyone knows)!!! And roasted veggies is a favorite of ours already, adding the lemon juice sounds great!!

  4. Jessica Bennett says:

    I really love the music in this video (and happy to see the artist offers his music under the creative commons license- I assume you do know about royalties and copyrights in terms of putting music in your videos).

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Keith does a great job picking the music out every week. He’s always digging around looking for good songs that are available for use like this. :)

      • Jessica Bennett says:

        Well, excellent job, Keith :)

        • It’s so hard to find decent, free music I don’t even search anymore. Nowadays it’s straight to Josh Woodward’s website unless it needs something edgy, like the halfway video, then it’s Pro Scores from Video Copilot.

          • Jessica Bennett says:

            I’m well aware. My ex is a voice actor/producer of commercials/videos and the like. He has a collection of royalty-free music that he bought. It was expensive but a fairly worthwhile investment for his business.

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