We definitely do - live the good life, that is. Although at first glance, the good life may appear diametrically opposed to the life of a prepper, but nothing could be further from the truth. The assumption is that preppers spend their time thinking only of the worst case scenario, planning for that allusive thing known as TEOTWAWKI, but the reality is that in our pursuit of preparedness, simplicity and self-reliance, we are actually living life to the fullest. We learn, we create, we experiment - we think. In our attempts to master the world around us, we truly become modern day "renaissance men".
As the Mistress of my home, I take great pride in serving my family. I love nothing more than creating a home that calls to the very soul of the people that I love. We thrive on good fun, good conversation and good food. We daily live the good life.
And so, as we live the good life, we have learned a few things. One essential thing we have learned is the secret to PERFECT wood cookstove pizza! When I began cooking and baking on my wood cookstove, it was a comedy of errors. If the bread was baked to perfection on top, the bottom was raw. If the bottom was done, the top was doughy. The heat was too high or the heat was too low. The cookies would look perfect, but because the temperature was too low to bake properly, they were roughly the consistency of rocks. Oh, the learning curve!
Trial and error (and much perseverance) paid off, and my baking became acceptable and then even wonderful. Bread, biscuits and cakes came out looking impeccable - now I could really bake. And then I tried pizza.
You have to understand - pizza is an institution in our home. EVERY Friday evening is "pizza and a movie" night. We have EVERYTHING we need for pizza stored in our long term storage. Wheat for the crust, olive oil, garlic and pizza sauce are all on our shelves. I have canned mozzarella cheese, Italian sausage, pepperoni and mushrooms. Dried onions and green pepper are at the ready. So you see, I HAVE to be able to bake these beauties to perfection.
Dutifully, I slid a freshly prepared pizza into our wood cookstove oven. I put it on the bottom rack so that the bottom would bake properly while the cheese melted into the top. The oven was hot (about 450°) and the pizza browned right up. After about 25 minutes, the pizza looked perfect. It was nicely browned on top with melted cheese just beginning to brown. Knowing that because I baked the pizza on the floor of the oven the bottom would be done, I slid the pizza onto a cutting board and slid the pizza cutter through the hot crust. After everyone had dished up, we bit into our first bite of honest-to-goodness wood cookstove pizza, and almost had to spit it out. It was raw. I mean, absolutely raw. I couldn't believe it. I had baked it for plenty of time, in an oven that was certainly hot enough, and my pizza was raw in the middle. Frustrated, I put the pizza back onto the pizza stone and put it into the gas range to finish baking.
|Baking the pizza on the TOP of the stove|
|In the oven|
|A browned bottom crust!!!|
Looking at the nicely browned bottom of the crust, I knew that Friday night "pizza and a movie" would not have to end in the case of TEOTWAWKI, but only become more precious.