When you wake up thinking about dough, sauces, techniques I could've tried instead of things I need to do today you start to wonder about yourself. At least I'm not skipping work to wrestle with a new dough recipe. But, on your day off you drive 78 miles one way to find some canned tomatoes that are nearly impossible to get your hands on unless you are a restaurant is that cause for alarm? I say yes, if the tomatoes are no good. However, these aren't any old canned tomatoes. These are Alta Cuchina whole plum tomatoes from the Stanislaus Valley. So what, you say! OK, let me explain. The canned tomatoes that I paid $5.99 that came from Italy's Compania region near Mt. Vesuvius called San Marzanos are becoming harder to get. I have heard rumors that the region is becoming polluted and the tomatoes are not what they used to be. In any event. Tony, remember Tony from earlier blogs? Tony is buying these tomatoes. If Tony is buying these tomatoes it's like saying,"OK, Van Gogh is using Grumbacher paints. Shouldn't I be?" The tomatoes by the way are available to the public if you can find this place in Modesto at an Olive Oil plant called Sciabica & Sons. His olive oils are worth the drive alone.But that's not what this web log is about. I would wake up and know that the dough in my refrigerator is in a kitchen that is bordering on total boredom. Face it, the kitchen is where guest congregate and lean on the counters and set their drinks. There is no escaping it. You can build a wine room, you can build an outdoor patio station that some people would envy, you can decorate your family room with actual artists like a signed original by Peter Max, a signed print by Salvador Dali and two by my very good friend and international wildlife artist, Terry Isaac, it doesn't matter. The people come back to the kitchen. That's where the food is. That's where the action is and that's the comfort zone. (Just a thought: maybe it's the original Vince Larsen pizzas that keep them in the kitchen! ) Anyway, it almost embarrassed me at how plain the kitchen was. Yeah, I know, I'm an artist so it's my fault. Truth of the matter is there wasn't much wall space but there was a lot of need for some character. I thought about emailing HGTV for a kitchen makeover. I figured I would be lost in the thousands of emails there so I decided to do something about it myself. I wanted color. I wanted texture and I wanted it to represent the current journey of rediscovering pizza that I am on.
After numerous times of asking Sheri what we should do about the boring kitchen, she went out and bought some red accents. To brighten up the kitchen you need color. She bought a rug for under the sink, some red utensils and a container to hold them on the counter. For me that wasn't enough. That was like drinking near-beer or watching a bald guy imitate Elvis. What I wanted was to make a statement. I decided to float the walls with drywall mud in a random and freeform method. After it dried I painted it an off-white semigloss paint then I faux painted it with a rustic rust and an earthy brown to frame it. Sounds kinda 70's doesn't it! Don't worry it didn't end up looking like a page out of a Foxfire book. I hope. The result was an 'Old World' look that accentuated the walls so that the microwave was no longer the focus. Some people will call it a Tuscan finish. Either way the final results are in and I like it. I framed Tony's menu and hung it on the end wall and now I feel like I am being reminded to, as Tony would say, "respect the craft." I am, Tony, I just bought a case of Alta Cuchina tomatoes from the Stanislaus Valley. BTW, Alta Cuchina tomatoes are only $1.99 per can!