Some things are really cool like when you leave later than you anticipated on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend but manage to hit little to no traffic on the West Side Highway. This unexpected event got us up to the Red House in a decent amount of time (think under 4 hours!) from Manhattan.
When we opened the door of the Red House, we were pleasantly surprised by the beginnings of our new kitchen. Gone were the ugly burnt beams and in their place, a lovely in-the-works vaulted ceiling with new beams holding the room from collapsing in on us.
Even though it was late and we really wanted to have dinner, we walked around the space and “oohed” and “aahed” like little kids marveling at how different the room looked. We also thought the replacement of a regular old window with a nice octagonal window was really neat, too.
In the morning, bright and early with the sun beating down on the meadow, I caught a glimpse of the beginnings of a garden, my new friend Natalie had started for me.
Natalie (and her husband Greg) spent much of the previous week removing a large patch of sod (in the rain no less), raking the earth and coming up with a design idea of what should be planted where. Luckily, she’s not only creative but appreciates using found objects as much as I do. Consequently, she was able to take some hay we found in the barn as well as a couple of old railings and use them as accent pieces.
I love what she’s started for us and can’t thank her enough for helping me start my first vegetable and flower garden up at the Red House. Her own blog, http://gardenspot-natalie.blogspot.com/ is sweet, too.
Before I came up to the Red House this weekend, I had already decided I would try to make pizza on the grill since last summer’s attempt resulted in a charred, inedible mess. This time I was prepared. I dug out my pizza stone and decided that I would roll out the dough on the stone, then put the stone on the hot grill, before the cheese or any other toppings were added.
Now, I realize this is ass backwards; the stone is supposed to be piping hot to cook the dough but I figured this would be the easiest way and would circumvent me having to try and transfer dough from one board (wooden) to another (stone) without it falling apart.
So I rolled it out, put the dough on the stone, put the stone on the grill, added my tomato sauce and cheese, stole some basil leaves from Natalie’s newly planted garden and viola — Pizza on the Grill!
I will admit it wasn’t the best pie we’ve ever had, the crust was still a little bit too doughy but we’re getting there! After all, I have all summer to perfect this technique and experiment with different toppings, too.