Eating In, Part 2: Black Moses of Soul (Kitchen) Edition

The Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic Pizza

With Hot Buttered Soul

isaac hayes will make you pizza

isaac hayes will make you pizza

Thu is right: Eating out is just too expensive, and that should be reason enough to stay home and try to cook like G-Ramz. But what if you’re independently wealthy and you think that eating at home is just plain boring? What could possibly coax you into staying home and cooking for yourself? The answer: make your dinner sexy again.

I like to add an element of soul to my home-cooking experiments, just to remind myself that eating is one of the most basic physical needs and should be honored and revered. As Julia Child once said in a PBS documentary, “Eating is right up there with knocking boots”. But, even though there are some real pervs out there,  Gordon Ramsey doesn’t quite represent my idea of what an ideal kitchen love-god should be (of course, I’m a notoriously bad judge of what’s sexy, though – I think that curly mustaches are cool). Enter the Black Moses of Soul, Isaac muthafuckin’ Hayes.

Isaac Hayes perfectly embodies everything that (I feel) a man should be: Flamboyant, tough, mostly quiet (but when he talks, it’s a surprising mixture of intellectual and astrological musings that’ll make just about any thinking woman’s heart skip a beat), and a stoic facial expression that’ll make you think twice before asking to borrow money from him.

For a period in the 90’s when I was cooking in restaurants in Olympia, I would bring the same mix tape of Isaac Hayes songs to every shift and play the tape over and over again and do a little stationary dance at the line during the rush. Damn, I really thought that I was cool back then. From 1995 to 1997, I shaved my head and grew a beard (There are pictures). Surprisingly, no one called me a “wigger” (at work).

I dragged my wife to one of the gnarliest neighborhoods in Memphis just to go to the Stax Museum, where you can see the actual Cadillac that Black Moses used to ride around in (complete with furry interior). I can’t wait to go back.

The Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic Pizza is my way of reminiscing about those days in Olympia, when I was oh so naive to think that shaving my head and growing my beard was enough to give me soul. Soul comes from being born a white boy, and accepting that you’ll never be black. I didn’t fully accept this until I was 31. So, I have officially had soul for about 8 years now.

  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • Trader Joe’s pizza dough
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved and broiled until softened
  • 1/2 cup cooked chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta (or some mozzarella, just make it sexy)
Pizza prep: Preheat oven to 500°. Roll out that dough with a rhythm that was born and raised on the rough streets of Memphis, shining shoes as a child, all the while imagining a day when you’d have your own 9-piece band (heavy on the horns), making people move they asses, on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round or 13- x 12-inch rectangle. What I say?! Lightly spread a large baking sheet with olive oil; sprinkle with cornmeal (optional, but this is what a true player would do). Transfer dough to prepared sheet, but be sure to take a moment to spin 360 in front of the stove and tap your feet. Oh yeah, YEAH! Wooo… Roll up the sides 1-inch to form a rim, then spread some mo’ olive oil, I said some mo’, gimme gimme some mo’ olive oil, on that baby. Ooh, oww… baby.
Spread marinara sauce on the dough, then top with grape tomatoes, cooked chopped onion, and the cheese. Bake at 500° for as long as it takes for The Isaac Hayes Movement’s masterpiece, “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic” to play from the first cymbal tap to the final, glorious, tinkling piano key. The song is the key. Mmmm. That’s a tasty morsel.

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