Cycle 13 – Item 5
10 (Mon) January 2022
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
with W, IZ
Newbery 100 Medals, 100 Meals (72) (see 100 NEWBERY M&Ms)
While reading the 100 books that have been awarded the annual Newbery Medal since 1922, I am attempting to create one dish for every book, a dish that is directly referenced in or indirectly inspired by the events of the book. The dishes will be featured as posts on Give Me This Day.
The Graveyard Book (2009) by Neil Gaiman. The book is about Nobody “Bod” Owens, an orphan who is raised in a cemetery by its supernatural residents after his parents are murdered, protected by the lurking dangers of the outside world.
I liked it, a lot. Each chapter is told as an episodic short story, which provides both an exciting new adventure, as well as an opportunity for growth and introspection. While largely plot-driven, the story is ultimately a thoughtful bildungsroman. The strong bonds of family and friendship between Bod and his caretakers, especially his guardian Silas (a reformed vampire), are beautifully rendered. Though far from Neil Gaiman’s best work, The Graveyard Book is the most Newbery of his portfolio.
When Bod turns 15, he finally embarks on his own, starting with his first meal in a restaurant.
Silas said, “Shall we go and get food for you?”
Bod thought about saying he wasn’t hungry, but that simply was not true. He was starving. “Pizza?” he suggested.
They walked through the graveyard, down to the gates. As Bod walked, he saw the inhabitants of the graveyard, but they let the boy and his guardian pass among them without a word. Bod tried to thank them for their help, to call out his gratitude, but the dead said nothing.
The lights of the pizza restaurant were bright, brighter than Bod was comfortable with. He and Silas sat near the back, and Silas showed him how to use a menu, how to order food.
Bod is thus introduced to the real world. Pizza, apparently, represents reality.
Inspired by the book, I made pizza from scratch – the first time in 10 years (see most recently 2.215 Pizza Margherita).
Progress Point 1: homemade dough
This time, I used semolina flour. The dough was made in my bread machine. After the long fermentation, the dough was quite pliable, easily spun and stretched thin.
Progress Point 2: homemade sauce
For the sauce, I followed an online recipe for New York-style pizza sauce by Chef J Kenji López-Alt (see recipe). It turned out very nice: thick, rich in tomato flavor, well-balanced.
My oven only goes up to 230 degrees, but the pizza stone facilitated the cooking from below.
Not bad. The crust definitely would’ve cooked better at a high temperature, but it turned out pretty well. No discernible difference in using the semolina, other than the distinctive yellow color.
I have enough dough to make 2 more pies, which I’ll try after an additional few days of fermentation.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)