Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Can we make pizza?

I have listened to Can we make pizza? all day long. And let's say up front, even with Can we make pizza? ringing in my head, it has been a tip-top excellent day thanks to the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Squirrel has asked Can we make pizza? everywhere. Including on board the Endeavour, the Australian-built replica of Cook's ship berthed in Darling Harbour, and which is such a fantastic slice of living history Grit would lick the deck if only she had not been pursued by Squirrel asking Can we make pizza?

And Squirrel has not given in. She has asked Can we make pizza? while we have contemplated Aboriginal art, early explorers and settlers, French and English maritime history and the sad, sad journeys of migrant children, sent from orphanages in England to make new lives in Australia, and how Grit was moved to tears over that, and still the question Can we make pizza? goes on.

Can we make pizza? goes on even while we are walking across Darling Harbour, seconds after Squirrel has suggested the thing she would like best to do in all the world is shove me in the water after I have told her off for asking Can we make pizza? all day.

Following some discussion about how you strategically approach those in charge to get something you want, of course I cave in and say YES! LET'S MAKE PIZZA! and we go directly to Coles supermarket, buy mini pizza bases and tomato paste, onions, cheese and mushrooms, and from then on it will be simple. We will go back to our rented apartment and compose pizza.

I need to remember to seal my face in concrete and jump off Harbour Bridge first.

Perhaps it is the dramatic tension of the day's build up to this delicious feast. Or perhaps it is the catharsis of the actual pizza making. Because there is a bloodybigboohooing from start to finish from just about all of us.

Here are the pizza bases, smeared with an assortment of onions, tomato paste, mushrooms and cheese. In varying amounts. Squirrel has slightly more cheese, Tiger has no mushrooms, Shark has extra onions. Only they all look the bloody same when they come out the oven, sparking a furious row called That's NOT my pizza!

Dig complicates matters during batch two by arriving half way through and assembling two of his own pizzas, thus fuelling more That's NOT my pizza!

Then the extractor fan makes things worse by dropping off the ceiling into a tray of carefully assembled pizzas waiting for cooking.

If only it could stop there. On removing a tray of mini pizzas from the oven, I upend them on the floor because the only means of extraction I have in this slightly under-resourced apartment, are the burned fingers of one hand and a soup ladle. Cue more weeping and more pizza making.

The final batch go in. The oven is now caked in charcoal pizza goo and raging at 240C when the unhinged Grit opens it, stares directly inside, burns out her corneas and sets the fire alarms off.

Seriously, I wish I could make it up now because with the children screaming behind her, the blinded Grit blunders out the kitchen to throw open the balcony windows and not fall fifteen floors down in a vain attempt to stop the fire alarm BEEPBEEPBEEPING when the phone rings.

Dig steels himself to explain to reception who by rights will be calling to check whether the fire alarm is real and should they call out the fire brigade and charge us $1000 for the privilege? But no. It is the reception calling to say they would like to come and change the beds. Not the sheets, note. The entire beds. Frame, mattress, the lot. And by the way, do you need the fire brigade because we can hear the fire alarm? And is that a woman screaming AARGHICANNOTSEEEE! Is it a medical emergency, Sir?

Tomorrow, Dig's hosts are taking us all out to dinner. I expect our behaviour to be exemplary.