Pizza

People may forever debate whether pizza is Italian, but there can be no doubt that it is American. One poll last year reported that “For Americans, pizza lands in the number one spot as the ultimate comfort food.” But if you were to ask, “What is pizza?” you’d get as many answers as respondents.

This, to my mind, is a good thing. It’s what makes pizza so popular. It’s also what makes pizza so easy and affordable to create from scratch at home. You don’t need a specific recipe with exact ingredients. You don’t even need a ratio with proportions of various toppings. All you need is some dough, a couple handfuls of garnishes, and a way to cook it. If you have a sourdough starter, the dough is in the bag—or should I say, jar.
Learn to make Sourdough Pizza Dough and Thin-Crust Pizza

Under Pressure

I have vivid memories of a giant silver kettle rattling away on the stovetop, letting off steam like a rocket about to head to the moon. But I was likely too young to be involved in actually running this pressure canner. And by the time I was old enough, my mom had acquired a vacuum sealer and exchanged the steamy heat-of-summer process for extra chances to open the freezer door.

When I inherited my mom’s canning equipment more than a decade ago (with the caveat that I fill both our shelves with its results), I also inherited “the beast”: the heavy pressure canner capable of holding 7 quarts. I promptly broke it before I could even get its old seal tested. It now makes a lovely open kettle for cooking down applesauce and other large batches. I’ve never replaced it, and I’ve never missed it. And here’s why. Read more about (not) pressure canning