Monday, June 6, 2011

When good karma comes knocking

My weekend started right with a friend sending me what she thought was a coaxing text message:

“Play hooky tomorrow and come with me to see U2”…

Hooky wasn’t necessary … I was all in.

We took the commuter train into Seattle and along with 65,000 others we converged on Qwest Stadium. I crossed one thing, one great concert off of my bucket list. Pinch me!

Though we were too far from the stage to catch one of the flowers Bono tossed to the audience while singing “Where have all the Flowers gone”, we were close enough to “feel” the enrapturing presence the band sent through the crowd. At many times I found myself completely unaware of the masses that surrounded me and fully aware of the near “religious” feeling of being in that crowd. It was memorable and inspiring.

Back to that karma… I was offered up the entire month of June on a silver platter recently when some good friends who just HAPPEN to have the greatest home on earth asked me to house sit for them.

They encourage entertaining. In fact they designed their house around it.

So, Sunday dinner it was, around the glowing warmth of their outdoor wood-fired pizza oven. The fire was started, stoked and fed for 6 hours before the guests arrived. Twelve of us pooled together a thoughtful but un-orchestrated spread of toppings and salads. We roasted fresh, local asparagus in the 800 degree oven and ate the still-crunchy, perfectly smoky spears with our fingers as we watched our pizza toppings bubble and sizzle in the oven.

I was going to make the dough myself but the after-effects of a rock concert running until midnight convinced me that pre-made flat breads were going to be just perfect for the occasion. And they were! I made a red sauce and a white sauce and we chose from a myriad of toppings to create the most colorful and yummy pizzas.

Among the toppings were caramelized onions, homemade pesto, sautéed mushrooms, crispy bacon, Andouille sausage and crispy pepperoni. There were fresh roasted Anaheim peppers, jalapenos, red and green bell peppers. Cheeses included fresh mozzarella, smoked mozzarella, feta, and chevre. There were spirals of mozzarella and prosciutto. Fresh heirloom tomatoes, basil leaves and crispy garlic.

There was a salad of hand-massaged kale with almonds and currants. There was fresh fruit and of course there was also wine. There was music and laughter and some colorful story telling made easier by the recent antics of Sarah Palin. She brings guaranteed laughter, to any table. Really, you MUST laugh when you’d rather cry when it comes to Sarah Palin.

I wish we could all have a wood-fired pizza oven on our patio. Even if we can’t have everything we can have friends around our table. The table isn't even necessary! There are plenty of Sarah Palin jokes to go around. Listen my friends and you shall hear about the midnight ride of Paul Revere.