Over the past few weeks, I've been spotlighting songs that mention Kansas and a recipe to complement each song. Thus far we've looked at:I'm not good at parties. Being around a crowd always makes me a bit uneasy. I'd much rather stay at home with family and friends. The social pressure of a party makes me feel awkward, and to cope with this I usually drink too much, which compounds the problem. I've learned that party hosts don't like it when a drunken guest rifles through the refrigerator, nor do people appreciate guests speculating that Laverne and Shirley may have been lesbians. I met no harm.
"40-Hour Week" by Alabama
"Lawrence, KS." by Josh Ritter
"Choctaw Bingo" by Jame McMurtry
"Kansas" by Fred Eaglesmith.
Today we conclude this feature by examine Soul Coughing's "True Dreams of Wichita".
For various reasons, I'm not also not very adept at small talk. For one, I struggle to focus when engaged at a conversation at a party. I always get the feeling that there's a more interesting conversation within earshot of the one I'm currently involved in, so I strain to catch snippets of the talk occurring around me, which make me lose my train of thought. Of course, the dullness of my conversation probably can be attributed to me.
Also, music at a party always compounds the problem. For most people, music is mere background noise, but for me it's always in the foreground. I gravitate towards music and lose interest in conversation.
Several years ago at a party , the song "True Dreams of Wichita" by Soul Coughing demanded my attention at a party: Here's a taste:
I've seen the rains of the real world come forward on the plainI've seen the Kansas of your sweet little mythYou've never seen it, no.I'm half sick on the drinks you mixed
Through yourTrue dreams
Of WichitaBrooklyn like a sea in the asphalt stalksPush out dead air from a parking garageWhere you stand with the keys and your cool hat of silenceWhere you grip her love like a driver's licenseI've seen you fire up the gas in the engine valvesI've seen your hand turn saintly on the radio dial
I've seen the airwaves pull your eyes towards heavenOutside Topeka in the phone lines her good teeth smile was winding downEngine sputters ghosts out of gasoline fumesThey say You had it, but you sold itYou didn't want it, no.I'm half drunk on babble you transmitThrough yourTrue dreamsOf Wichita
When I think of Wichita, I think of pizza. I know this doesn't make any sense to most people, but for this Kansas boy who received a healthy of dose of Kansas history during his formative school years, Wichita is the birthplace of Pizza Hut, a fact I was very proud of one I was younger.
However, today I have no use for Pizza Hut or any other pizza chain. In fact, it's been three years since I've last had a pizza delivered to The Greasy Skillet headquarters. When we crave pizza we make it ourselves using the following pizza dough:
What are your favorite pizza toppings?
- 1 package yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm (100-110) water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Proof the yeast by adding the yeast, water, and sugar to a mixing bowl. Whisk together and allow it to rest for 10 minutes, until the mixture becomes foamy.
- Add flour, salt, and olive oil.
- With your mixer, use the dough hook to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes. You might need to add a little flour, so that the dough comes together into a ball.
- In a warm place, proof the dough for 45-60 minutes, until it doubles in size.
- Use the dough for your pizza or freeze it for a later use.
I'm not going to share a recipe on how to make a pizza; after all, you know how to do that, but here are my five tips to help you surpass Pizza Hut.
- Use a baking stone, so you can get a crisp crust.
- Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and bake your pizza at a this high temperature.
- Build your pizza on a piece of parchment paper, so that you can easily slide it on and off baking peel or inverted cookie sheet.
- Experiment with toppings and use quality ingredients.
- I like to prep all the toppings and set them out on the counter, so guests can make their own pizzas.
- Always have some dough in the freezer.
- Have fun!
- My wife enjoys a sausage and sauerkraut pizza.
- I like to poach a chicken breast and thinly slice it. Then I place it on a pizza with some fresh spinach, red onions, feta cheese, and mozzarella.
- I also like spreading some pesto in place of a red sauce, and then I sprinkle it with a little mozzarella cheese.
- Chopping and placing fresh garlic on a pizza really kicks it up a notch. We also occasionally place just a little cream cheese on a pizza.
- Little Miss Picky Eater likes the following small pizza with no sauce and lots of cheese:
What are your favorite pizza toppings?