Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Grilled/Baked Pizza and Eyes Wide Open

As summer settles in, L.A. starts getting pretty toasty and people's grills and tank tops and farmer's tans start coming out, so we thought we'd join in. I've been wanting to use the grill on my building's roof ever since I moved in, and being that I don't know how to deal with meat, grilled pizza seemed like the ideal thing to make. Unfortunately, while the grill is communal there is no communal gas—so we were stuck using my oven. That's fine though because more people probably have ovens than grills anyway

Grilled Baked Pizza is super easy to make, and surprisingly quick if you make the crust ahead of time. (and it's delicious, so you should). This recipe makes a good two person sized pizza with a thickish crust.

For the dough:
Mix 1 cup hot water (sink hot is fine) with one packet of yeast and 1 tbs sugar. Let that stand about 10 minutes so the yeast can get going. Then add ⅓ cup oil and about 3 cups flour. You want your dough soft but not gooey.You might also throw in some garlic or rosemary. Put the ball in an oiled bowl somewhere warm and let it sit for an hour. Punch it down, wait another hour. (I encountered "pizza crust yeast" which supposedly does not need rise time, but I don't trust it. You do you.)

The video does not make this part obvious, but you next want to bake your crust a bit without anything on it. Say 8 minutes at 350.

Now the fun part: you and your date get to decorate the pizza! Throw on whatever you want. We went with tomato sauce, spinach, veggie sausage, mushrooms, and queso fresco (which turned out to be a great choice). Stick it back in the oven for around 5 minutes, remove, slice, and enjoy!

This romesco sauce is another alternative topping choice that looks delicious, but we decided to stay away from getting too labor intensive. This should be a casual dinner date; fresh sauce and fresh crust is probably something more serious.  -S

Eyes Wide Open (2009)
Written by Merav Doster
Directed by Haim Tabakman

I would like to begin by stating that though I did fall asleep the first time through, I did re-watch the movie and I feel a lot more satisfied with it than I did in our initial reaction vlog.

We begin on a terribly rainy day in in an Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem. Our protagonist is Aaron, who has taken over his recently deceased father's butcher shop. Aaron is a respectable man in his community. He has a loving wife and four children. He has a strong relationship with the Rabbi in his synagogue and with his own faith. He meets Ezri, a young wanderer looking for a phone and a place to stay, who has left the Yeshiva he had been attending and has come to the community seemingly searching for someone. Aaron allows Ezri to stay in a room above the butcher shop and he becomes his apprentice, friend, and eventually his lover. When rumors begin spreading about Ezri (i.e. why he was kicked out of school), certain people in the community begin to warn Aaron about him, insisting he get rid of him before he tarnishes their neighborhood.

There is also a parallel story involving a heterosexual couple having a relationship outside of marriage. The two are seen as immoral sinners in very much the same way Ezri is, and they too are faced with difficult decisions posed to them by the "morality police" involving love and societal decency.

It's a very stoic love story. Throughout the affair, his wife's suspicions, the community's hostility and even his own feelings towards Ezri, Aaron appears fairly unemotional. This made the movie seem a little anti climactic, but I feel like it really stayed true to the character we're following. This isn't a coming out story after all, which I really appreciated, it's a story about a man's life.

And just because I can, I chose a favorite quote.
"Why is it so hard just to let him go?" ... "I'm alive. I was dead and now I'm alive"

Overall Rating
Lore: 6/8ths of a pizza. After watching the second half of the movie, I have to recant my previous ratings.
Syd:  3/4ths of a pizza. I was pretty excited about finding an Orthodox Jewish "gay" movie, and I'd say it delivered. I want to talk more so please comment, I had to cut a lot of vlog footage.

Queer Rating
Lore: 6/8 slices.  Not because I thought it was less gay, rather because I realized that it was about so much more than that... but still pretty gay.
Syd: 1/2 a pizza. It has gay acts, but they are not treated particularly differently. Which is a good thing of course.

See ya next week!

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