Louis C.K. once said, “The meal is not over when I’m full. The meal is over when I hate myself.” I don’t live by this aphorism but of course, Louis, you are not entirely alone for I have been there amongst the many hungry, hungry, and then not hungry, but still very much hungry people who can’t and won’t allow for leftovers – so the food must be eaten! – And I’ve lived through the post-meal compunctions, lying backside in bed, pining for swift digestion, unable to pull from within one big, deep breath because, oh my god, I just devoured enough food to last me until the next Yom Kippur fast. And it’s not just “undone goes the belt buckle.” As if that trick works! No, Louis and I don’t care to burden ourselves with what’s to come, the amount of blood that will inexorably rush to our abdomens after the inhalation of so much yum, not to mention the naïve notion that this will be my last stomachache, that I will never again have a stomachache like this one – that yes, this will be my last stomachache, I promise. Oh, beloved food coma - how I love and loathe thee.
Yeah, so, a couple of weekends ago in Connecticut, on a rainy night with friends, I ate too much pizza. I couldn’t stop. It was homemade from dough to finish, and it was good. Crispy thin but also light and airy, I’m afraid to say this dough made for the best pizza I’d eaten in a long time. (My favorite spot is Di Fara’s on Ave J but the lines and the hype have chased me away.) Here’s what happened: when you’re making your own dough, you don’t realize how much pizza you’re potentially in for. There were four of us and so each of us made our own pizza, plus some more. We experimented with chopped pear, sautéed mushrooms, raw onions, artichokes, garden-grown spinach and basil, sauce on top, sauce on bottom, doubling the cheese; the amalgamations went on and on. No surprise when the stupor hit like bricks. Even the long walk we managed to take after the pizza-storm failed to remedy my body healthy again (or at least the feeling of healthy). Walking gave me side stitches and, honestly, I could barely breathe through the ingestion of so much cheese, toppings, and crunchy crust. But, but! – this time it had been different – this pizza overload had been so immensely worth the pain that as I was drifting off to sleep that night, I couldn’t help but fast-forward to the morning, dizzy again at the thought of one last leftover slice with my coffee. The meal will be over when I hate myself. A special shout-out to Michelle Hack, the woman responsible for walking my mouth and I through this award-winning (in my mind) pizza dough recipe, and to her saucy husband, Adam Hack, for his sauce contribution.