Was there any day more exciting in primary school than lunch order day? Everyone would turn up in the morning with their order scrawled on a brown paper bag, the couple of coins required to pay for it taped to the front. And if you were the chosen one that week you would get to be the hero who carried the shopping basket full of your classmates brown paper dreams down to the canteen. Later in the day you’d carry those same bags back packed to the brim with everyone’s favourite steaming hot junk food. Meat pies, chicken nuggets and sausage rolls were always common picks. But another one of my favourites was the good old pizza pocket. What was yours?
The thing about childhood memories is that they glisten so wonderfully in our minds, but attempts to relive them as adults usually end in disappointment. Every time we’ve bought pizza pockets as an adult it’s usually followed by a, “These used to be so much nicer,” comment. More likely, they were never quite amazing but we were much more easily impressed as children. So when the pizza pocket craving hit recently rather than re-living that disappointment again I decided to make my own!
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I love shopping freebies. If there’s one way to get me to buy a product, it’s to include a free cook book with it. Especially if it’s a product I often buy anyway. Leggo’s and Philadelphia do this a lot. And that suits me just fine, because it gives me an excuse to stock up on their products more than I already do.
But this week did one better. It offered a free cook book, and a free pizza tray in exchange for buying three Leggo’s products. I’ve been meaning to get a proper pizza tray for so long, and to be able to snag one for $6 worth of tomato paste, one of my most used ingredients at meal time, was about as good as it was gonna get. Get in muh trolley.
Pizzas aren’t an especially difficult thing to cook. Especially if you’re anything like me and are happy to eat most anything shoved on a pizza. What is it about pizza bases that makes everything taste 3000 times better? I don’t really bother with recipes. I’ll make up the base and just throw on an assortment of ingredients I have on hand and voila! Dinner’s served.
Even still, the recipe book “Love Pizza” presents a bunch of delicious flavour combinations I hadn’t thought of before, and can’t wait to try. But for this week’s Cook Book Challenge, I chose one of the most unconventional pizzas of the bunch.
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There was this one restaurant in the city my boyfriend and I used to frequent. They had gorgeous meals for cheap prices and we always had a positive experience there. Amongst our favourite meals were these delicious calzones, and enormous ones at that. They were the size of half a dinner plate and choc full of filling. The savoury calzones were delicious, but the dessert ones even more so. We'd often order the strawberry and chocolate calzone to share, because imagining we could get through one alone was madness.
Some time ago we had an event in the city so decided to go back to this place for dinner and were devastated to find it was no longer there. They have other branches around, but our experiences there were… well, we'll just say they were nothing like their city counterpart. We've missed their meals like crazy, and their strawberry calzone was definitely one on the most pined after list.
Last week, while planning the meal for the night, I had a craving for it when it finally occurred to me: It's just a calzone. How hard could it be to replicate?
The answer is not very hard at all…