I was recently sent a copy of The Cave of Santa Clops by Gig Wailgum. I must admit my first reaction to a one eyed Santa was a little less than enthusiastic, but once I started reading and seeing the beautiful vintage style illustrations, I completely changed my mind. The story is full of the magic of Christmas and the idea of believing in a Santa Clause or in this case, Santa Clops. It is traditional in its core, but with a completely new twist that is refreshing. The story cleverly rhymes its way through adventures that includes caves with holly bats and flying dino-penguins.
Mr. Wailgum created the one-eyed Santa over 20 years ago and it has appeared in comics, newspapers, greeting cards and art galleries. The Cave of Santa Clops is available on Amazon.
Pizza dough in 5 minutes. Seriously, why would I buy it when it takes only five minutes to throw together? My husband is the one who then shapes the pizza dough into rounds and he swears that our own pizza dough is better than anything we buy. I’ve tried to trick him a few times, but he can always tell. In the winter when it’s cold it does take a bit longer for the dough to rise, but even then I sometimes speed it up by warming up the oven and then placing the bowl near the oven or even on the hearth of the fireplace. In the summer months, it can take as little as an hour to rise. Here’s how we make it and it has never failed, not even once.
5 – Minute Pizza Dough
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup warm tap water
1 package yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for bowl
Put three cups of flour into a large bowl and add the salt and mix with a spoon. Add the package of yeast to a cup of warm water and stir with a fork to mix. Add it to the flour and salt and mix with a spoon. Add the olive oil and mix again. It will be very clumpy, yes clumpy. Pour it onto a floured surface and knead with the heel of your hand for a couple of minutes shaping it into a ball. Place the formed ball into a bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil. The bowl should be large enough for the dough to rise and double in size. Place a clean dish towel over the bowl and find a warm spot. That’s it. Once it has doubled in size take the dough from the bowl and divide into two parts and shape by pulling and pressing it out with your hands or a rolling pin. Then transfer it to a pizza peel that is coated with a very thin layer or sprinkling of yellow corn meal. This makes it easier to transfer the pizza to the pizza stone in the oven.