My pizza peel and cutters are some of the last kitchen items I have to pack, and the baking steel is still in the oven—I just don’t have the heart to box it up. (OK fine, or maybe I’m just too lazy to haul it out and find a sturdy enough container.) In case you've been wondering, this is my current situation:
Tomorrow, we’ll move to a bigger house just five-ish blocks from where we live now. My new kitchen is twice the size of my current one, with a much more open layout, and the new living room has plenty of space for Jack to run and play and explore. And though of course I’m excited, I'm not sure I'm ready for the closure that packing these last few kitchen boxes represents.
This is the first kitchen that has felt like home to me since before college. It’s the place where I cooked for John for the first time, where I made my very first homemade pizza, where I tested the recipes for my first cookbook. It's where Jack first squished pizza dough through his little toddler fists.
We may say we hate it just about every night and morning, but John and I have mastered the choreography of dinnertime prep in this kitchen—sensing each other’s presence while working back-to-back, I tucked in the oven alcove, John at the sink washing dishes as I set them on the counter behind him. There's comfort in that. Bad ventilation and tight quarters make for a grease-caked ceiling. The uninsulated floor makes for frigid winter mornings as we trip around each other in bare feet trading breakfast duties, Jack clinging to our legs and plopping to the floor in inconvenient places. (Though, in his defense, is there really a convenient place to play in a 50-square-foot kitchen?) Somehow, though I can't explain it, there's comfort in all that, too.
So, to pay homage to the cooking space I've called home for the last six years, I've rounded up twelve of the best pizza recipes I concocted on those way-too-short counter tops and baked in that cramped oven enclave. Nothing about cooking in this kitchen was easy, but it was all done with love. I hope these recipes inspire you to learn and grow in your kitchen as much as I did in mine. Here's to all the new adventures to come!