|Tonight's supper: frozen pizza. It got a little more brown than|
we might have liked because we were glued to kmaland.com while
we followed the local high school football scores. Go Vikes and Eagles!
Q: What do a tired teacher and his wife have for supper on the last day of the first quarter of school?
A: Frozen pizza.
Yup. It's sad. Very, very sad.
However, this English teacher's mind appreciates the irony of cooking the quintessential modern convenience food in the appliance which symbolizes the kitchens of a century ago. I can't help but smile whenever I think about it. Weird, I know. I never have claimed to be normal.
I told Nancy that I'd been wanting to blog about cooking frozen pizza in a wood cookstove for quite some time, but I was a little ashamed to do so. She--ever the pragmatist--said that it would be a good post because it shows that wood cookstove cooks can be regular people too. Pretty wise sometimes, isn't she?
The Margin Gem is particularly convenient for baking a frozen pizza on a busy night because, as I mentioned in an earlier post, it is so easy to get the oven hot in a hurry. To do so, I just build the fire with a lot of small pieces of wood--usually nothing larger than two inches in diameter.
I've discovered that the thermometer in the oven door is not only inaccurate, but it is also slow. The oven thermometer that is to the right of the pizza in the picture above seems to be very accurate, and it shows that as the oven heats, it is always hotter than the thermometer in the door indicates. This proves true that some wood cookstove thermometers merely measure the temperature of the oven door rather than the oven.
Once the oven has reached the appropriate temperature, you want to back off on adding so much fuel because you don't want the temperature of the oven to continue to climb. In fact, depending on how much fuel is in the firebox and at what phase of combustion it is in when the oven reaches temperature, I can just close the drafts on the Margin Gem, and that will maintain the oven temperature for the short amount of cooking time that a frozen pizza needs.
My mother always served homemade applesauce on pizza nights, and now both my brother and I (and maybe my sister too, but we haven't discussed it) feel like pizza has to be served with the wonderful stuff. I didn't know that he had this same penchant until his wife mentioned how strange it seemed to her.
When we have frozen pizza, however, it is a last-minute, when-we-don't-have-a-better-plan event, so there is rarely defrosted applesauce waiting in the refrigerator. This used to mean that we'd have to negotiate thawing a tub of it in the microwave or chip away at it and eat it as slush. Now, I just put a container of it in the warming oven as soon as we are beginning to heat the oven for the pizza. By the time the pizza is cooked, enough of the applesauce is thawed to be able to serve it with the pizza.
Well, there you go: the ultimate "cheating with your cookstove" post. If you would like to comment, please be gentle.
Oh, and please don't tell me how evil frozen pizzas are. My imagination is probably more vicious than the facts.