Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Poetry & Pizza Crusts (Recipe Provided)

Often times when you talk to people who run a buisness, it isn't all that unusual to hear them gripe about how stressful it can be.

Those are the "Glass 1/2 Empty" people.

When you run a buisness, often times you are afforded the laditude to do things that you may have never imagined.

Coming up this Saturday, I will be participating in the "Kitchen Poet's Vault - Poetry and Pizza Bake."

It will be the events 15th birthday, however it's only the 2nd year that it has been hosted at my bakery.

What a blessing, seriously....nothing short of a blessing to combine some of the top poets in my State, and join them with the Saint Paul Bread Club and Slow Food Minnesota.

Poetry in the cold light of day.

We'll have 80-120 of us gathered around listening to the likes of Kevin O'Rourke (this years Kerouac Award winner), Sarah Stonich,Gary Lee Joyner,Kim Ode and this years emcee.....Mike Finley.

Yeah, I'll bust out a few lines as well, but I got to be honest.....

When I was a kid, I wanted to get all the Christmas presents.

When I was a young man, I said that I preferred to give, but I secretly enjoyed getting all the presents.

When I got old, I found that there was nothing left to be obtained, the thing that brought me the most joy was being in a position to give things to people that were really in need.

It's the same with this event.

Klecko loves a spotlight, but the people who will be in attendance and preforming are top notch.

I will be thrilled to simply be in their shadow.

My mentor Mike Finley always used to explain to me......

"If you want to thin out a room, hold a poetry event." LOL

But I've found, if you promise people food, they'll sit through your dealio and who knows, they might even clap.

So I will have close to 100 pre made pizza dough balls and some house ingredients while visitors will bring lawn chairs into the shop, and then they'll roll out their own doughs and share intersting ingredients that they've brought to share with each other....a real collective.

In the back of my mind the main question I'm wondering is.....will anybody bring anchovies?

Before I leave you the recipe and instructions for making wicked good pizza dough, let me leave you with possibly my favorite poem I've read this year.

It was written by my good friend Dara Syrkin and is off her "OCCASIONAL SWERVE" album.

I really love her work because she writes about boys-girls-motorcycles and hawks.

What an intersting combo.


She's been immortalized
In murals - photo's - and country western songs

Even you've sung

"When you got a girl
On the back of your bike...."

You've felt her heartbeat

Her fingertips at your neck

Her fatigue

Her rage

What happens to you
When she wants the scenery to change

Rides away

On her own bike

Maybe yours

Your image

Straddling the yellow line


In both mirrors

(End of Poem)

WOW....what an image, what passion! I could talk about this piece all day, but Mike Finley would call me up and warn me that poems can crush blog population as well.....LOL

I've been making pizza dough for all kinds of restaurants over the years where the concepts have ranged from fine dining to "Hole in the wall dives."

I really think you'll like this as a starter crust........

Klecko's Pizza Crust

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/3 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


1.In your mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in with the honey & water, and let sit for 3-5 minutes.

2.Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour.

3. Place the dough on your well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky, you want it to be like Silly Puddy or Play Doh.

Next put the dough into a well oiled bowl or Tupperware, and cover with a dish towl kinda loose like. Then let the dough rise until it doubles.

Punch down the dough, and roll it tight into a ball. Allow the dough to relax a few minutes before rolling it out.

4.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise for 15 or 20 minutes before topping and baking it.

5.Bake pizza until the cheese and crust are golden brown, this usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Most important of all.....don't forget the anchovies!


  1. Nice poem. My favorite one (short one that is) is Ozymandias

    1. thanks Carole....I will go read it now!

    2. I rustled up Ozymandias, too. I think Shelley and I differ a bit in our use of language. Ha! Thanks, Carole and Klecko.

  2. Lovely poem. Makes me want to get on the back of a bike - the straddling, the wind, the hanging on, the scenery sliding by - one of the best feelings!!! It's hard not to fall in love when you're on the back of a bike.

    1. Agreed...that makes so much sense.

    2. Do I get to reply on Klecko's blog? Hmm. Jennifer, you're a dear. Faith and trust come into play as well. Thanks for your kind words and fellow feeling. Ride on! --Dara

  3. I'm pretty sure Dara wrote Ozymandias as well!

    And not hearing any objection from this so-called Shelley person ... going once ...

    Hey Klecko, this was really fun to read and I'm glad you're really psyched for this.

    We are going to shut 'em all down, just like Jan and Dean once did.

    1. You can be Jan.....I'll be Dean

    2. Can hardly wait to see both Jan and Dean. Mike, Shelley and I are two peas in a pod. Uh huh.

  4. Beautiful rider. Beautiful writer. All this with some crustiness, too...what a treat. (Almost) makes me miss MN, though yesterday we saw whales, dolphins and turtles in the wild...other great adventures. and today is pozole Thursday. So add some chorizo and a bit of epazote to the pizza and have a slice for me. Thanks, K lecko, for your obvious good taste!

    1. Paulette.......lucky you, one of the 10 greatest days in my life was when I was in Maui and Sue McGleno and I got to see like 30 some whale and big dolphin (packs-gangs-w/e) bum rushing our boat.
      As time has past....i almost wonder if it was a dream.
      Don't forget to wear sunblock and I will make sure to add chorizo.....with the anchovies!

    2. Klecko, put a pin in your map for Paulette in Mexico reading your blog! Paulette is the beautiful writer. And painter, collage artist, mosaic creator, friend, mom, sister. Moral supporter. I wish Paulette could have heard your synopsis of my poem, DK. I'm sure glad I have thumbs up from you guys. xo, Dara

    3. It figures.....all the coolest people seem to know Dara.