How to make a homemade pizza.

Tasha and I gave my mother a bunch of pizza making related items for Christmas. We did not remember to write this up before hand, but we wanted to summarize how we make pizzas to give her a bit of an idea how to use all the new tools she has. Before I could put this together, she told me that she has already made some pizza with some good results, so I’m not sure she needs my advice, but I thought I’d write it up any way.
My tips on making homemade pizza:
I’m not an expert on the topic, I’ve learned by doing.  Starting with some initial attempts with
Tasha on our early dates, to making pizza for 10 in sugarloaf, but not a whole lot has changed in my 
ingredients, but I have learned a few key fundamentals that help make a darn good pizza at home. It starts with dough. I don’t do anything special for dough, I actually do the opposite. I buy bags of 
pre-made bread dough and use that with pretty good success.  I’m sure fresh dough would 
be better, but frozen doesn’t seem to hurt the process.  I’ve also had good success with trader joes 
garlic herb dough.

Continue reading

Sipping from the fire hose: Managing the flood of information on the web

To quote Stanley in UHF: You get to drink from THE FIRE HOSE!
That’s how I was feeling trying to keep up with the volume of information from all the websites, email, feeds, blogs, and news. I’ve tried a few solutions, none of them terribly effective. I long ago gave up visiting pages to get updates, relying on aggregators such as slashdot, or Digg. While these are adequate solutions, they aren’t flexible enough, broad enough, or easy enough to use. There are huge holes in their coverage. They don’t follow everything I want to read, there are no recipes on slashdot, and there is very poor coverage of sports on Digg. There are great sites out there, but no good aggregators for all of the content I want follow. 

Continue reading

our trail system is ridiculous

in a good way…
Today with just a bit of new fresh snow on the ground I headed out for some day off snowshoeing. I wasn’t planning to go more than an hour, but it was so beautiful out that I just wanted to keep going for a bit longer.
I took the main trail behind the house, past the beer can marker, and along the ATV/snowmobile trail that no one had been on yet. Someone had taken their snowmobile down part of “our” trail but not too close to the house. What’s more strange to me are the boot prints that don’t seem to correspond to a trail, just like someone is out wandering around. I mean, they certainly don’t have to stay on the trail, but it makes me wonder what they are doing.
I’m getting off track – so, past the second split, and this emerges to Bemis, right near the water facility. I have wondered where this access was and now I know. It continues directly across, and goes into the trail system we explored a few weeks ago. As I walked back that way, I was just in amazement. There were trail options all over, and at least by snowshoe, there is enough to check out here to take a long time to sort out. Add that every time you snowshoe, things are a little different – different snow conditions, different lighting, different trails that are pristine/unused – and I doubt I will get tired of coming back this way anytime soon. Today, the trails I took wound past a pond, a wooded lowland area, through thicker forest coverage, and back out again to an almost open field or meadow area. This may actually be a sand flat, but I’m not sure. It is also close to a few brooks and the Nissitisset.
I do wonder why I haven’t seen any cross country ski tracks or other snowshoe tracks… this seems like such a great area to me, but I’m sure part of it is that it’s out my back door. Still, I’d think at least some of the other neighbors have an interest in self powered exploration, but sadly it seems we’re in an area where
noisy toys are prevailing. I mean, there are areas very nearby where there are no ATVs and snowmobiles, but I’d think this is a great place for coexistence… I will have to go to explore some of those soon myself. And it could be different in the summer, too. In any event, I’ve only actually seen 1 person on an ATV, a high school aged kid, in my 6 or so excursions so far.
After an hour, I turned around. In part, it was because I’d already gone longer than I expected to. In part, it was because I heard someone shooting… could have been someone in his own shooting area but I couldn’t be sure. The shooting always seemed to stay to my right on my way back, even as my location changed, so I wasn’t sure if this was a mobile person or not. Without others along, I thought it best to not surprise a person with a gun so I turned around. My return was brisk but the snow was very different… it’d warmed to several degrees above freezing and big piles of snow were melting/falling off the trees. Under foot, it became more like walking on packed snow with occasional snow clumps on the bottom of the cleats I knocked loose. The sun was out, with wispy clouds dotting an otherwise blue sky. If you’ve spent any time outside in the winter, you’ve seen one of these days where the sun comes out of nowhere and yet the clouds make the day very ethereal feeling.
I got back home after nearly an hour and forty minutes of solid snowshoeing. Needless to say, I was soaked and thirsty – I’d finished most of the gatorade I brought along with me.
Tomorrow brings the possibility of 6-8 more inches, which is good… the old snow was already suffering from the warm up. I hope it will set up another visit to a quiet white wonderland that is different in some way every time we go…