Monday, February 23, 2015

50 Shades of Pizza

The birthday food binge continues on! This time with my family birthday party yesterday. Seriously detoxing this week. 

My dad grew up next to a legendary pizza bar in the South Shore area of Massachusetts called the Lynwood. It's been open for like 60+ years and looks exactly the same as the day they opened. They only serve pizza and drinks. No salads, no apps, nada. Also, they only accept cash. 

Lynwood serves bar-style pizza unique to this area of the world. Bar-style pizza is personal-sized with a fairly crunchy, buttery crust. The crust overall isn't super-thin or super-thick. My dad worked in the kitchen for a number of years when he was young and has learned some of their secrets. He also has special, seasoned pizza pans (pictured above and at left) from another local bar-style pizza join in the area. This is key. A few times a year, my family will have a bunch of people over and make lots of pizzas that are polished off in a matter of minutes. No fancy toppings (buffalo chicken is as fancy as we get here).

My dad has a specific routine and certain ingredients he uses. Lately, my mom and he have been making their own pizza dough (previously they bought it refrigerated from the grocery store). All toppings are prepped. The cheese is shredded. The sauce is mixed. The other toppings are sliced/diced/put into bowls. All while we each take nibbles of the pepperoni or cheese. He panicked on the first batch of pizzas that he put in the oven because he forgot the oregano on top and almost burned himself in the process by trying to sprinkle it on top. The sacrifices we make.

To continue with his routine, he tears brown paper bags and lays them out on the counter. He carefully weighs each piece of raw dough to make sure they are the exact same size. After letting them rest in the oiled, seasoned pans, he starts flattening the dough out in a specific way. Adding sauce and toppings, the pies go into a very hot oven until crispy. This night, as per usual, he stuck to traditional pizza toppings like linguica, hamburger, mushroom, pepperoni, "bean special" (baked beans on the pizza), red pepper, cheese, buffalo chicken, BBQ chicken, and a couple of others. There were about maybe 12 pizzas in total for 9 people. They were devoured in like no time at all.

Prep is key

I mean, don't these look amazing? I always eat an obscene amount (leftovers this time though!) and feel disgustingly full.

But it is so hard to stop eating. We talk about how we say "just one more slice" and end up eating three more. 

Additionally, the title of this post has really nothing to do with anything that I'm going to talk about except that my sister's boyfriend suggested this be the title. So it stands. Thanks, Adam.

There is a piece of red pepper to mark one of the pizzas. I forget why. I think so
he would remember to put chicken on it halfway through.

After laying around for a bit and digesting (and opening presents!) we had my birthday cake which was a tiramisu cake. I missed taking a picture of the cake with the candles actually in it so you all get a picture of the cake with a bunch of holes in it instead. You're welcome.

See the chef in action!