I won't even pretend that I'm a good cook. It's not for a lack of trying, it's just not a strength of mine and since I'm being honest, it's not something I enjoy a whole lot either. However, that doesn't mean I'm against trying to become a bit more proficient in the kitchen.
For more than a year, I've been trying to get into the "Making Great Pizza at Home" class offered by The Pantry. For those of you not familiar, The Pantry is a community kitchen concept that was born out of the Delancey family (one of my favorite pizza restaurants in Seattle). The Pantry offers cooking classes, kids' camps, food swaps, private events, and more. Many of their cooking classes sell out within minutes of being announced, hence my more-than-year-long mission to sign up for the Pizza class. In April, things worked out in my favor -- it turns out a holiday weekend is a great time to book a class.
Our class was offered on a warm summer Sunday evening. There were 11 people in our class (including us) and we gathered around a large table that occupied most of the intimate space. We got a history of The Pantry and Delancey before diving into different types of pizza and Delancey's philosophy towards pizza (and importantly, pizza dough/crust). We got a demo of how to form our dough and before we knew it we were getting our hands dirty forming our own little balls of dough.
The class was three hours long but it was a fast three hours. After getting multiple opportunities to practice forming our balls of dough it was on to stretching the dough to form the pizza crust. This turned out to be much harder than it looked, and as you might expect, my pizza crust ended up looking more amoeba-esque. Luckily, the odd shape didn't affect the taste.
Jen on the other hand made a brilliant pizza crust - round and evenly stretched. Her final product even drew the admiration of the instructor (she was so impressed, she snapped a picture of it -- the only pizza she documented).
By the end of the night, we had consumed WAY too much pizza (I didn't think it was possible) but we had a wonderful time. The "make great pizza at home" class is a popular one and it regularly sells out. I had been trying to get a spot for more than a year. Not only was it fun, the pizza tasted good, and Jen and I got to spend some time together, but you also left the class with recipes for the pizza crust, a great fresh pizza sauce, and fresh ricotta (I honestly can never buy store-bought ricotta after tasting the recipe we made). Highly recommended.