When I was a young-gun, getting the mail was one of my favorite things. My mother would give me her key ring, point to the tiny brass one and send me out to the community mailbox to bring back all our letters and coupons. I don't know why it was such an exciting chore for me, or why I never lost that cheery feeling that there might be something in the mailbox for me (even when my birthday was months away).
Silly as it sounds, and silly as I feel, I still get a twinge excited when I arrive home before Justin and I know there is a modest pile of mail waiting for me at the back of the box. And I literally mean at the very back, the absolute depths of our mailbox where the cobwebs are. I think our mail-lady must use a slingshot to get it all the way back there, and I always end up stretched out the car window, awkwardly reaching for the stack while the door digs into my ribs. Why don't I just get out and walk to the box, you say? Well, because we have a gravel driveway and I always arrive home in high-heels. That's why.
So while I pretend not to see the bills and junk mail addressed to the previous owners that we are still getting, I often contemplate hiding bits of mail from my husband - namely, Handyman magazine. If you're not familiar, this particular publication is chock-full of Do-It-Yourself ideas for the average Joe - cabinet installation, deck staining, etc. I usually pass it off to him without a second thought while I move on to the latest issue of Bon Appetit, but since Bon Appetit is now run by a globe-trotting playboy who sucked out all quality writing and replaced it with GQ-esque photos of 1960's Italy, I'm left to flip through Handyman.
The longer I am married, the more I learn about my husband. Not only is he an excellent marksman, he's incredibly savvy about home repair. Busted valves! Leaky basements! Faulty smoke detectors! The DVR deleted all my re-runs of The Office! He's got it under control.
Now, most women might count this as a blessing, and really, I do. But you see, he is also the type of person who gets an idea and then it takes over his mind and it's all he thinks and dreams about until its done. I blame Handyman magazine for this. When he sits at our breakfast bar flipping through the glossy pages, I can see his pupils enlarging, his fingers tapping the counter top, the ol' wheels churning. The latest issue included an article and how-to for constructing your own brick pizza oven. In the backyard. Like, a huge one.
Long story and much battle later, I sweet-talked my way from "We need this, trust me!" to "How about I show you how good a pizza can be in the regular oven and you build a fire ring for s'mores instead?" Marriage is all about compromise, kids.
So about this pizza - it will most likely put all other pizzas to shame. I must warn you though, you will need a bit of time as far as the dough goes, so this pizza shouldn't be grouped into the It's Friday Night I'm Starving Let's Get Pizza category. But with a bit of planning, you, too, can have a crisped crust (with unsurpassed flavor thanks to the addition of wine and honey), bubbly cheese pizza with a pile of freshly shaved asparagus tangled across the top. With a slip of red pepper for a bit of heat and the spritz of fresh lemon juice and raw scallion, making dinner has officially replaced getting the mail as the best part of my day.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.