I had my first day at Pizzeria 712 today. Thanks to Mom and Abe’s prayers, it went so well. I learned so many things in just one night, and the environment is so, so much friendlier than culinary school. The chef actually told me I was fast, and when he said that, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I am certainly¬†not fast, but the fact that he said that confirmed to me that this environment is positive and affirming. I like it.

Also, I got free pizza! It is amazing. They cook the pizza in a wood fired oven at 1000 degrees. The finished product reminds me of pizzas I’ve eaten in Italy. The crust is impossibly thin in the middle and airy at the edges with a complexity of flavor that’s kept Abe going back to the pizza box all night.

Tonight the restaurant owner taught me how to: make pizza dough, roll pizza dough (I am hopeless, but I hope against hope I can learn that skill), panna cotta, chocolate pudding (they BOIL their creme anglaise!! I was shocked and delighted at the efficiency!), whip cream the Pizzeria 712 way, supreme a ton of oranges and chop a couple pounds of kalamata olives. He also taught me the secret to a great streusel: 1-1-2. 1 part butter, 1 part sugar, 2 parts flour, and a pinch of cinnamon. In the process he tweaked my creaming technique.

I couldn’t believe no one in culinary school taught me the shortcuts I learned tonight: Use cold buttermilk in the panna cotta to cut down on chilling time, creme anglaise can actually survive a full-on boil, and sugar should be mixed into the butter little by little to get optimal aeration.

Anyway, enough about me. Lydia got to celebrate her birthday in school today! She woke up this morning and ran into my room saying, “Mommy, I’m so excited for this day! They’re going to celebrate my birthday at preschool!”