This weekend was mad busy.
It really wasn’t all that hectic…it just felt that way, because I had a long list of things to do that just got pushed back day after day and I’m the kind that panics when things don’t get done way ahead of time.
For one of my first assignments for my broadcast reporting class, I had to shoot a 30-second reporting video (VSV) about our school campus tram service.
There were some confusion among my classmates about what was required of our assignment. Most of us assumed that we just had to shoot some raw footages, as we never really got much training on video editing.
But nope. Some day into the weekend, our professor sent us an e-mail clarifying that he wanted a complete VSV—meaning we had to shoot several sequences, get a legit sound bite, then edit the video into a 30-second VSV via Final Cut Pro and turn it in as a DVD with the full script.
Sorry, did I lose you? It doesn’t matter whether you understood or not—it’s broadcast jargon. All I’m trying to say is—it’s been a hectic weekend. By the time the confusion was cleared up, it was Sunday night. Which meant Monday was the day I finally got to working.
This is how I spent the most part of my day today:
- I lugged my tripod and camcorder all around campus.
- I chased after trams.
- I tripped over spaghetti of wires.
- I made my interviewee repeat her answers 4 times because the audio wasn’t working.
- I almost got hit by a car while trying to shoot in the middle of a parking spot.
- I had to reshoot some scenes because a group of dental students were gossiping behind me and all the juicy talk was loud and clear in my tape.
I kind of felt like a mutt. But it was fun.
By the time I had finished burning the DVD and was walking back home chomping on a Snickers bar, I felt amazing. My neck and arms were sore and I was tired, but feeling incredibly accomplished.
As much as I gripe about it sometimes, I really love this hands-on journalistic work. I love it because I really learn. I made a lot of mistakes, but I know for sure I won’t be making the same ones again. Like trying to set up camera equipment in the middle of a parking spot, or trying to interview a grouchy-looking graduate student.
Yes, mistakes were made. But the best part about being a student is that making mistakes is a requirement in efficient education.
So. Speaking of mistakes, I recently made a boo-boo in my baking, too.
Now, if you’ve been keeping up on the last couple months of posts, you know that I’ve been bitten by the baking bug. Specifically, bread. Bread with yeast.
I’ve made lots and lots of fabulous bread, and they all turned out amazing. But one bread didn’t. It flopped, literally.
You see, I tried to make a cornmeal bread. I didn’t research for a recipe. I got so pompous from my baking success that I just…kind of winged it. Basically, I kind of harrumphed, “Ha! I’m such a baking genius that I can just pull any bread out my ass.”
Except…the bread just didn’t rise. It was dense and just…sitting like a lump of yellow brick, no matter how many hours I waited for it to rise.
I was majorly ticked off. I guess I can’t just pull a good bread out of my ass. That sucks. What sucked was also the fact that I may have wasted good ingredients. Cornmeal isn’t cheap in this area. Grr…
And then, I had a fantastic idea. I’ve been wanting to make pizza for a long time. And I had some odd scrap ingredients in my fridge that needed scraping up. Pizza + Random Ingredients + Flopped bread dough = Crazy Ass Pizza.
See, I may not be able to pull a good loaf of bread out my ass, but I sure as hell can pull out an outrageously awesome pizza. So there.
(Or Cornmeal Flatbread Pizza with Black Beans, Zucchini, Cranberry and Brie)
- Lump of failed cornmeal bread dough (not gonna share a failed recipe. Go create your own lah!)
Black Bean Puree:
- black beans
- cottage cheese
- teaspoon of sugar
- dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- dash of ground cumin
- shot of Tabasco (optional)
Marinated Zucchini-Cranberry Topping:
- thinly-sliced zucchini
- 1/2 small onion, thinly-sliced
- big handful of dried cranberries
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- about 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
- tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- teaspoon of brown sugar
- black pepper
- Mozzarella cheese
- more black pepper, fresh-cracked please
Roll out the cornmeal dough. Honestly, you don’t need a cornmeal dough. You can use a perfectly normal and ready-made pizza dough if you want. I’m just trying to save a failed dough here.
Transfer dough onto a pizza pan.
If you haven’t already, make sure to slice the zucchini as THIN as possible, so that it cooks through properly in the oven:
Then, mix together all the zucchini-cranberry stuff:
Let sit for a few minutes, or you can prepare them beforehand and let marinate overnight if you like. All the more flavor to ya!
Spread the black bean puree over pizza dough. Top with zucchini-cranberry stuff. Sprinkle with cheeses.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes until the dough is crispy and the cheese is golden and toasted. Like this!
I normally don’t buy brie that much, unless it’s from Trader Joes, because it’s so pricey. But look! My local supermarket went on a crazy Brie clearance sale!
Wheee! As always, I went overboard and bought 5 wedges home. Now I have to eat brie every day. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
About the pizza. I’ve never tried the pizza at Naples that Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat Pray Love raved about, but until I try that pizza, I’m going to mark this one down as The Best Pizza I’ve Ever Had. No kidding.
Obviously, since the crust didn’t rise, it was dense, but with the high temp of the oven, it crisped up nicely and tasted very much like thin, crunchy polenta. Yummy.
As for the black bean puree—totally beats boring ol’ marinana sauce. Smoky…creamy…mildly sweet…yet spicy…I could eat it by the spoon (which I did with the leftover puree).
The zucchini-cranberry topping? SPECTACULAR. It probably could be eaten as a side dish or as a salad. It was tangy and just hopping with flavor.
The zucchini was not cooked to a pulp, but not raw either—just slightly firm, but cooked enough to have none of the icky raw taste. Or maybe it’s the marinade that did it—whatever, it was just freaking GOOD.
And the sweet, tangy itty bites of dried cranberries dotted all over there? Soaked up in sticky, syrupy balsamic marinade? Oh, culinary genius, oh gastronomical goddess (That’s me, Sophia).
As for the brie and mozzarella, do I need to even talk about them? It’s creamy, oozing brie. With gooey, stringy mozzarella. This is the reason why I’ll never understand vegans, ever. Daiya just doesn’t cut it, my dear friends!
A big hunky, flavor-exploding slice for myself.
And oh wow, I just realized that this is completely vegetarian. I’m suddenly much prouder.
Sorry, no delivery, guys. This slice is all for me. You’ll have to make this yourself. View above recipe.
If this is a mistake, I never want to be right.
Question of the Day: What was the best mistake you’ve ever made? Also…let’s fantasize a crazy-ass pizza right now. That’s means no pepperoni and cheese, please.