BBQ Pizza .. and other summer firsts

On my optimistic days, I like to think of myself as an adventurous person. You may not think that if you had just met me – I don’t have any slash injuries (unless you count lip stitches and the one time I almost lobbed off the tip of my index finger on a cutting board), my hair has been the same colour (well, there was that year I dyed it dark purple) nor do I have any impressive tattoos (but if you have advice for wrist tats, we should talk soon). For the most part, I am on the quiet side – I’m with those kids against the wall who would rather wait for the ball instead of charging after it. In fact, if you watch me long enough, I’ll probably leave the room in search for something less aggressive. But things can get boring, let’s just be honest. And quiet people don’t like being called boring. Trust me on that.

Instead, I like to try new things. This summer, a high-school friend and I were asked to join a softball team, and we almost did. Until another friend asked if we wanted to try out ultimate frisbee. See, we both played softball in high school, but it was so minor, so blip, that I can only remember the backside of the hitters. Then again, I played catcher. Frisbee it is.

Playing ultimate frisbee for the first time is pretty interesting for two reasons. One, I never noticed how much ultimate frisbee resembles basketball – you’re covering someone and waving your arms in front of them to block their throw (or technically, toss) as you would defend on the court. And two, you meet people. On this league, it’s not like I know most people, and there are a handful of new folks. Rather, the opposite. My guess is that most of us are in social situations where we know the people we’re with. But think back to the time you were new and green. Were you nervous? Afraid? Shy? Maybe it is another first time for me in that I was neither of those things. In fact, I’m really enjoying getting to know my team a bit better. Usually it’s to clarify a play or ask what crashing the cone means, or if that was a pick or a foul .. and what’s the difference again? Being green at this sport has its advantages too, because none of your questions are stupid. You’ll get the benefit of the doubt. And they’re pretty welcoming to people who are coming out for the first time. Because if you never try, you’ll never know.

Like this pizza. It’s made on a BBQ – but you probably gathered that from the title – which I’ve never tried before. So, I followed the how-to slideshow from Serious Eats. Actually, I tweaked it a bit to my taste, using whole crushed cloves of garlic under the mozzarella, thinly slicing some tomato, brushing in some oregano and salt with the olive oil, and using fresh basil from our garden. I like my pizza really doughy. The crust is the best part, in my opinion. If we’re ever having pizza and you think to throw out your crusts, just give ’em to me. So I didn’t exactly roll out my dough for this pizza. In fact, if you want the rustic crust, just use the back of your hands to gently but quickly stretch out the dough in a circular motion, leaving the edge quite pouffy. And believe me, it gets puffy. When it was finished, the dense chewiness was so so satisfying!

In the end, I don’t actually think that grilling a pizza tastes very different from making it inside an oven. But this first time was worth a try; now I know.

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