My short social media break has been eye-opening in many ways. Friday night I removed Facebook and all the news apps from my phone so that I would not absent-mindedly click on the apps. It was a habit and I needed to break it.
We spent Saturday morning at the Kalamazoo Christmas parade. It was a beautiful morning. It was 45-50 degrees with bright sunshine. We had a spot in the sun and it was nice and warm. We arrived about an hour early and I normally would have been sitting in my chair reading Facebook or the news and trying to get a cute picture or find something witty to say. But, instead I sat and talked to those around me. At one point we shared maps of the parade and the line up of the parade with a young man sitting next to us. His family was very happy to look at it and read all of the 85 groups that they would see.
The parade started and I watched the parade. I didn’t take pictures to post, except for a couple of my daughter as she danced by. The father, a weathered older man, next to me asked which child was my daughter and I pointed her out. He then began to tell me that the two young men that were with him were his sons and that his wife died three months ago. He told me the story of how they had been married 34 years , how wonderful she was and how very sad he was. As the parade was going by, I listened as he talked.
I realized later that if I had been on my phone he probably wouldn’t have talked to me. I would have been looking down and would have appeared not have been open to saying hi and chatting with others. I was honored that he talked to me and told me his story. He obviously needed to talk and I was the one that was there. After the parade was over we were packing up our chairs after the family left and suddenly I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I turned around and the man was standing there. “Thank you,” he said to me, “It was a pleasure to meet you.” When was the last time a stranger had said that to me? I started to think of the way I have been presenting myself to the world.
Then there is the amount of time wasted by Facebook and all the other apps mindlessly surfing. When we were in the car we listened to music, talked or played games. No one was staring aimlessly at a phone. Although we did use Suri to get us out of a traffic jam on Sunday and we were very grateful for that. a The extra time I had cooking and cleaning was amazing. I turned on some music and went to it. It was so much easier to not think of what was happening outside my home and focus on what was happening in our home. So, some of this I will continue moving forward. It was a great weekend.
Back in Rochester, NY there was a small pizza chain that made unique pizzas. Ravioli topped pizza, eggplant Parmesan pizza, and Mediterranean salad pizza were a few I can remember. But, they also had this cowboy pizza with potatoes on it. I always thought it sounded weird but decided to make my version of it the other night.
The pizza was really good. I don’t know if the potatoes added much to the pizza other than a bit of texture. Everyone asked for seconds and this was a HEARTY pizza. The Italian sausage, caramalized onions, and barbecue sauce added so much flavor to the dish that it was just so good. We added mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese to make it a ooey, gooey dish.
I served this with a green side salad to make the meal complete.
Cowboy Potato Pizza
- 1 lb. pizza dough (makes one extra-large pizza or two small)
- 1 lb. hot or mild Italian sausage, removed from casings if necessary
- 4 onions, thinly sliced
- 2 large potatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 + cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a pizza stone or greased rimmed baking sheet press pizza dough into desired shape and thickness. Using a fork poke holes across the crust. Bake for about 4-5 minutes until pizza begins to set (it will form a thin crust and just begin to cook). Remove pizza from oven.
- Spread barbecue sauce over top of pizza dough leaving a 1/4″ ring around the edge so it doesn’t drip off and burn on the pan. Use more or less sauce to your liking.
- Place sliced potatoes in a single layer on a microwave safe plate. Microwave the potatoes for 1-2 minutes until they are softened. Lay the potatoes in a single layer over the barbecue sauce.
- Cook sausage over medium-high heat breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. Once the sausage is completely cooked use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage to a plate covered in paper towels to soak up any extra grease. Lower heat on stove to medium-low and add onions to sausage pan. Cook onions, stirring often, for 15-20 minutes until onions are well browned and softened. You want the onions to cook slowly so if they are cooking too fast turn the heat in the pan down to low.
- Layer the sausage and then the onions over the potatoes on the pizza.
- Finish pizzas by adding the cheese over the top. Mix the two together to completely cover the pizza.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until pizza is browned on the bottom and beginning to brown on top. Remove pizza from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting to set pizza.