New York is famous for its pizza. I imagine you knew that, but if not just ask wikipedia. It’s a widely accepted fact that one can’t get bad pizza in the city, that any pizza you get here is at least decent compared with the rest of the country. At best oh-my-god amazing. I stopped eating at fast food chains like Burger King and McDonald’s after reading Fast Food Nation my junior year of high school (Subway is the one exception to that rule and I only started eating there this year). Therefore pizza is generally the cheapest food option I can find in expensive-as-hell city. Therefore I must confess I often eat pizza once a week. Further confession: it’s not entirely uncommon that I will find myself making pizza my meal more than once a week. It’s so cheap and tasty! It’s available everywhere! It’s hard to resist, especially in cold weather (when hot food just feels good)!
Is this frequency really a problem? No not really. I only ever buy one slice, often plain cheese (for a dollar) or loaded up with veggies (if I’m splurging). Compared to that rest of the country where the pizza sucks, I have pretty great eating habits. This has been emphasized in Bumblefuck where I share a kitchen with 30 other people, several of whom have exclaimed at my healthy habits. I may be on the healthier side of the spectrum, but I am by no means to the extreme. I made peanut butter chocolate cookies tonight, in fact. Here in Bumblefuck, without a restaurant or bakery for miles, I’ve been cooking a lot more than usual. Which is lovely. So far I’ve only perfected things I’ve made before. But with opening this weekend (ahh!!) comes much less time devoted to rehearsal. I hope to expand my culinary vocabulary.
It’s much harder to motivate oneself to cook in NYC. Restaurants abound, bakeries tempt you on walks home, as mentioned pizza is everywhere, and popsicles are almost hard to avoid on hot days. It certainly helps if you’re broke though. Eating out is expensive. It helps even more if you can make a social event out of cooking. Which is exactly what me and my roommates started doing a month or so before I left.
It all started one day when I came home with a ball of fresh mozzarella and a packet of yeast and declared we were making pizza that night. It’s taken some perfecting, some less than great uses of whole wheat flour, debate over fresh basil or canned pesto. Trial and error is our friend because you really can’t go that wrong with garlic, veggies, and cheese.
Above is all the pizza you get out of one yeast packet. It’s enough for three girls and maybe a boyfriend to stuff themselves at dinner and still have left overs for much of the week. And it’s pretty damn healthy. And aesthetically pleasing.
- I had pizza at a shop in Bumblefuck yesterday. My options were cheese, pepperoni, or chicken wing (yes, chicken wing pizza). I grumbled at the lack of veggies, but settled on cheese (this doesn’t mean I’m a vegetarian). My low expectations were met. I’d like to see anyone try to live in NYC and not become a pizza snob. Until I return I shall avoid pizzerias and happily look forward to the next pie I craft with my bare hands.