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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday Tip: Buy Ready-Made Pizza Dough

Hand preparing pizza

Most moms can’t say no.  Given this fact, we need to to cut corners.

Have you ever signed up for something (aka you can’t say no), and the night before, you realize you’re in over your head?

I feel your pain.

Last Friday, Nick’s third grade class had a multi-cultural celebration at lunch.  Each child was asked to bring a food, to celebrate his or her heritage.  Nick wanted me to make spaghetti and meatballs, but even I thought this sounded a bit much.  So I agreed to make homemade pizza instead.

How hard could it be?  I would make the dough the night before in the bread machine, and I could bake the pizza in the morning before school.  Sounds easy.  Right?

On Thursday night at 7:30 p.m., I decided to get started.  Then, one of my neighbors came over and we started talking.  Before I knew it, I had lost track of how much flour I had put in the dough.  Oh well, I thought to myself.  No one will know the difference.

At 10:00 p.m. my dough was as hard as a rock.  It hadn’t risen.  So I freaked out and started complaining.  “I can’t do it all around here!  And I don’t have a spare moment to myself!”

Doug saw that I was about to crack.  So he ran to the store and bought more flour and yeast.  At 11:00 p.m. it was back to the drawing board.  I quickly whipped up a new batch of dough, but the bread machine started freaking out on me.  So I had to hold the pan in place –by hand -- while the dough mixed. 

The morning arrived sooner than usual.  Shelly and I met to run at 6:30 a.m., and by the time I got the kids ready for school it was time for my 8:00 a.m. conference call.  I still hadn’t showered, let alone rolled out the pizza dough.

So during, after, and in-between my next three conference calls, I made pizza.  One of my clients could hear the background noise and asked me, “What are you doing, Susan?”

“I’m making a pizza,”  I told her.  “It’s the third grade lunch multicultural celebration, and Nick needs to bring a homemade dish.”

She responded, “Haven’t you ever heard of the word no?  And if you can’t say no, just buy ready-made pizza dough.  That’s what the rest of us do.”

It’s a fair point.  I really should have bought the pizza dough.  Especially when I hit a brick wall with round two.  Sometimes, working moms just like to make life harder – and we forget to cut some obvious corners.  We want everything to be perfect, and we lose our sanity in the process!

So, my Tuesday Tip this week is simply this:  don’t try to do it all.  When in doubt, buy ready-made pizza dough!


Alison said...

Amen! Every year I decide I'm going to make all of my kids' birthday treats from scratch. All of their birthdays are within a few weeks of each other, so I'm always setting myself up for failure.

This year I was icing Scarlet's lady bug cake when the icing just starting dripping off the cake (of course I blamed the humidity :). As I felt the anger and frustration mounting in my chest, I cut my losses and threw it in the trash. She really didn't care that her cake came from Giant Eagle and wasn't a lady bug.

BTW - Whole Foods sells great dough balls!

Susan DiMickele said...

Thanks for the tip on Whole Foods!