In my never-ending mission to bring you good people fine food ideas, I offer my very own humble variation on that most wonderful thing of civilisation, The Pizza.
- A couple of slabs of pita bread that have been sitting on the kitchen bench for a while. Don't worry about the fuzzy green bits on them, you'll never notice.
- A fair quantity of Kraft cream cheese spread. It may be wise to sniff the jar cautiously first, as it may have been in the fridge for a while. Any curious crunchy bits in an old jar are just an added bonus.
- A jar of that pesto that's been lurking in the cupboard for so long you don't even remember buying it.
- A few olives (sliced) that you can just see lurking in the milky greenness at the bottom of the jar. Ignore the 'best before' date, they're lying.
- Some water chestnuts of dubious provenance you picked up in that funny little Asian food store a while back.
- Some sliced tinned mushrooms. If you can't find the can-opener to use normal ones, that jar of marinated mushrooms you bought last year will do.
- A handful of chopped strips of bacon you managed to prise out of the frozen tundra in the freezer.
- Grated cheese. Of course. I prefer Watsonia fully matured, as you don't notice such a change in taste as it gets older that you get with lighter cheeses.
- Dried diced onion and garlic granules. Naturally.
- Lovingly spread a generous quantity of cream cheese on each pita bread base. You may have to heat the jar to do this, but don't overdo it, or things get soggy.
- Smear great dobs of pesto onto this. Liberally sprinkle diced onion and garlic granules onto this.
- Bung the various other ingredients carefully onto the first base. Get cheesed off with how long it takes on the second base and just throw them on any old way, so that this one looks like a roadkill pizza. (Never mind, it'll look worse in your stomach.)
- Add the cheese last, grating it directly onto the pizza. Wonder briefly if the blood from your grated fingers will affect the taste.
- Try unsuccessfully to light gas oven for a while. Realise that the igniter must be broken, and get out a box of matches instead.
- Shakingly brush the burnt hair from the back of your hands and reflect on the fragility of life at this near-death experience of an oven full of gas going 'whoomph' in your face.
- Place pizzas in oven. No idea of the time or temperature - a visual check to ascertain cheese-meltage should be sufficient. (NOTE: It is strongly recommended that you use a baking tray. Pizza ingredients that drip off your pizza onto the bottom of the oven, where they tend to burn a little bit will not taste very good.)
- Take pizzas out of oven with hands. Place on a plate, screaming pained obscenities as you do so. Grab cold beer out of fridge to soothe burned fingers. Place contents of beer can down throat to soothe burned hands, and various other existential ills.
- Eat, periodically adding more beer to mouth to soothe discomfort of roof of mouth, which appears to be shedding skin.
A robust meal, not for the faint-hearted gourmand. Care must be taken in the level of cheese spread applied, or you may find your pizza best served in a bowl with a spoon. Best accompanied by beer to drown the nagging thought that perhaps a pizza should not quite taste like this.
As you awake in a cold sweat later that night after dreaming of being chased by giant machette-weilding enchiladas while trying to sing show tunes and wearing a stuffed-potato jacket, reflect that possibly the Italians had it right the first time, and that pizza recipes should not be meddled with.
That, or resolve to use fresher ingredients next time.