Sunday, June 7, 2009

I Was Much Younger Then

I met a long-time friend for lunch the other day. If you have read this blog, you have figured out that all of my relationships have some connection to food. So it will come as no surprise to learn that I met J at a cooking class in 1977. Thirty-two years ago? My apologies to Bob Dylan, but I was so much younger then; I'm older than that now.

I am not particularly an out-going or friendly person, but J and I had an instant connection. We became fast friends and formed, for lack of a better name, a gourmet group. Four couples would get together about six times a year cooking our way through the cuisines of various countries or themes. Some of our dinners were great successes; and just a few--not so much.

There was the night we celebrated Greek cuisine. Each course incorporated phyllo dough as an ingredient. After that disaster, we began to coordinate our courses more carefully. We cooked, we laughed, we ate. And through the years we became accomplished cooks as well as good friends.

But as usual, life happens and families grow and change; new people come into our lives as others leave. After our gourmet group ended, J and I remained close friends. She even was a guest one evening at my present gourmet group. We don't see each other nearly as much as I would like, but at lunch the other day we did not lack for anything to talk about. And I vow to be better about keeping in touch. But if I'm not, I will think of J every time I make her white pizza recipe. Try it for your friends.


This makes enough topping for 2 10-12" pizzas

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large shallot
4 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. fontina or gruyere cheese, grated

Process all ingredients except cheese in food processor until paste forms. Spread on pizza dough and sprinkle with cheese. Bake.

Note: I don't usually have dried basil or parsley on hand. Topping is fine without them.

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