I am enough.
I’ve most recently been taking a new acting class in Austin this fall. Something I started about two months ago and I can honestly say it was the best professional decision I’ve made since moving here. I’ve been in class as an artist since before high school… gathering new information to teach myself how to tell stories. I’ve done everything from Viewpoints (Insert a happy breath here), to Meisner, Stanislavski, Shertliff, Shakespeare, Suzuki, Sense Memory, Alexander Technique... and if you want to include my dance background we could do that too.
I too, in the World’s turmoil of the day to day, have become heavy hearted, Stressed, in my head, judgmental and perhaps more fearful. And I was reminded this week of a statement my teacher said… “Jennifer, you are enough. There is nothing more you can be than you. And that is enough. You. Are Enough.” This took me back to a time in Chicago when I was 22. Time of Your Life. Steppenwolf. Viewpoints. I was rolling around on the ground while playing the clarinet and saying one line of a monologue over and over again all while my other cast mates were doing the same thing. Feeling silly. Feeling unpredictable. And feeling so open. And so enough…
As you all know the Cubs won the World Series about a week ago. As you know the Cubs had not won the World Series since 1907. Chicago… the most memorable times in my life. And I’m not ashamed to say that as a young girl in my Twenties, Chicago made me the most open. And the most hopeful. And with that, I would like to share the best thing I think I’ve ever created in the kitchen. Because this was truly enough.
CAST IRON CHICAGO SYLE PIZZA
1/2 pizza dough recipe (See below)
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 cup mixed veggies of your choice (such as cherry tomatoes, eggplant, onion, green pepper, mushroom)
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
OPTIONAL: Italian seasonings, Parmesan cheese, fresh basil, salt, pepper, pepperoni, sausage, (anything goes here)
If roasting veggies, preheat oven to broil, toss veggies in olive oil on a baking sheet, and broil for 4-6 minutes on the top rack (low/medium broil), tossing once for even cooking. Remove from oven and set aside.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Next, coat a cast iron or round baking dish with extra virgin olive oil and run a garlic clove around for seasoning. Plop your dough down into the pan and push it up around the sides about 1 to 1.5 inches. Let rest for a few minutes while preparing the rest of your toppings.
First sprinkle in 1/2 of mozzarella cheese, then add veggies, then sauce. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese, Italian seasonings (dried basil, oregano, thyme, red pepper, etc.) and grated Parmesan cheese. Layer cheese and choice of toppings until it reaches the top. Finish off with additional mozzarella.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese and sauce are bubbly. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting then serve immediately.
(Pizza Crust Quick Rise Recipe)
Preheat oven to 425°F
1-3/4 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope Fleischmann's® Pizza Crust Yeast
OR Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup very warm water (120° to 130°F)*
3 Tbsp. of Oil
Combine 1cup flour, un-dissolved yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add very warm water and oil; mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Gradually add enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Dough should form a ball and will be slightly sticky. Knead** on a floured surface, adding additional flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes
Pat dough with floured hands to fill greased pizza pan or baking sheet. OR roll dough on a floured counter to 12-inch circle; place in cast iron pan allowing the dough to drape over the edges.
I’m eager to share a song with you. One that would profoundly go well with a cast iron Chicago style pizza, a World Series game, and a pretty damn good acting class. I’ve been inspired by this musician for quite some time. She’s an American Artist trained in Classical piano whose roots come from Russia. Her song, US, is beautifully fit for the company of love, pure of heart and fearlessness. It’s about the profound love of two people…. Proving how the love is so big, that it spreads to others. It’s pretty special and I think you’re going to really dig it.
I think most of us can agree that we become trapped in today’s society of what not only we read on social media, but what we predict others think of us. Me. You. We. Us. Maybe it’s just an actor’s thing, but maybe it’s an everyone thing too. I hold close to the thought of what someone once told me, “Everybody is in.” Even the Chicago Cubs. And even my cast iron pizza. And even me. Because I am enough… I. Am. Enough.