Youth is wasted on the young.
This quote has been attributed to both George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde. To be honest, I don’t have the energy today to investigate the origins of this quote further this morning, so I’ll credit it to both wise Irishmen.
Just to be clear, I’m not talking about children here. I’m talking about ‘youths.’ Grumpy teenagers, moody 20-somethings. That very special age when your life, your very own independent life, becomes everything. The world is your oyster and you have no wisdom to shuck it with. I’m not throwing stones from glass houses here, I did it too.
I scowled through family vacations in Hawaii because I missed my boyfriend and my parents wouldn’t stop being sooooo embarrassing (WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU, YOUNG FINN? YOU LITTLE SH*T.)
I spent days at the campus pub when I should have been studying. I ate fried food all the time and didn’t gain a pound, but still remained unhappy with my then-size-0 figure. I wasted hours (and years) distractedly stressing out over relationships that, in retrospect, really weren’t worth holding on to- time I could have spent focusing on myself, my future, my interests, my friends.
It isn’t a list of regrets per se, because we can’t expect our young selves to see the vast opportunities right in front of us, no matter how much the adults in our life try and flash them over our eyes. It’s being able to look back with the wisdom you have gained, look at your former self and think “I make better decisions now.”
And I do, on the whole.
Sure, I’ll still order than last glass of wine I don’t really need at the slightest twisting of my arm (translation: waiter comes around asking if we want another round and both people at the table look at each other like “doesn’t matter to meeee…” Doesn’t matter to me always ends in one more glass. Don’t do it. That’s usually a bad call.)
I’ll still spend my weekends watching just one more episode off Netflix when I should be staging food- especially at this time of year when natural light becomes scarce.
Sometimes, I’ll buy clothes that seemed like a good idea at the time but then never leave my closet (why did I think I could pull off mint green jeans? I can’t.) That’s just money gone forever…
But nowadays, the big stresses are different. I’m calmer, happier. I have responsibilities, and I honour them. I know who I am and what I value, and pour my energy in to those things. I am comfortable with myself! I don’t get FOMO (fear of missing out)! On the whole, 30 is really kicking ass.
Imagine what I could have done with this self-confidence and self-awareness and wisdom at 21, back when I had all the time and freedom in the world! Alas, such is life… this is how we learn.
So- what does all this rambling have to do with a pizza? Well, it’s a decidedly 20-something recipe that has evolved with me.
Imagine- it’s 2:30pm on a Tuesday and you’ve just gotten out of the dullest Industrial Psychology lecture in the world. You cooooould go to the library and study for that Econ mid-term on Thursday… but at this point, is your brain even going to absorb any of that info? Yeah, probably not. Definitely not, I’d say. That’s my expert psychological opinion (by 300 level courses you can call yourself an expert right 😉 )
Text a friend- pizza? Friend’s feeling tacos but you can’t get those on campus without getting for soy cheese (thanks, hippie campus). Nah. Meet at the fountain in 10 and we’ll head to my place for TACO PIZZA. And, obviously, several beers. We’re calling it- productivity for Tuesday is now officially over.
Back then, they used to put lettuce on top of a taco pizza when you’d order it from a pizzeria. In theory, this was great because it provided crunch. In practice, the shreds of iceberg lettuce would wilt and all but dissolve by the time the pizza arrived and no one would want to touch the leftovers- and in university, you DON’T WASTE LEFTOVER PIZZA.
Nowadays, I skip the lettuce and top it with cilantro and avocados instead. It’s cool and creamy and flavourful and won’t bog down your ‘zza with piles of wilted terrible.
Yogurt in place of sour cream- it’s tangier, healthier, easier to spread, and always lives in my fridge. Creamy beans, spicy ground meat, melted cheese… copious slashes of hot sauce.
I may not be enjoying this at 3pm on a Tuesday, but it’s still enough to satisfy the stoney kid in me.
4.0 from 4 reviews
- Pizza Dough:*
- 1⅓ cups warm water
- 2¼ tsp instant yeast
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 250g ground turkey or beef
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ⅛ tsp chili flakes
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp onion powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp water
- ¼ cup refried beans
- ½ tomato, diced
- 1 Tbsp red onion, diced
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
- ½ large avocado, diced
- 1 Tbsp cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 2 Tbsp plain yogurt, thinned with 1 tsp water if needed
- Hot sauce (optional)
- To make dough: Preheat oven to 200°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine water and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until yeast has dissolved and mixture is frothy. Add in flour, sugar, salt, and olive oil; knead on a low speed for 5-10 minutes until dough has formed. It should be elastic and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl; cover with aluminum foil, and place bowl in the oven. TURN OVEN OFF. Let the dough rise in the warm oven for about 2 hours until it has doubled in size. Divide into two balls of dough, then use one for the remainder of this recipe. (Prepare another pizza with the second ball of dough, or store in the fridge for another night.)
- Remove dough from oven, place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet into the oven. Crank the heat on the oven up to 500 degrees. Let the stone heat for at least 30 minutes in the oven.
- Brown ground meat in a pan over medium-high heat. Add spices and stir to coat. Add water and simmer until thickened.
- Dust a flat surface with some coarse semolina and stretch out the portion of pizza dough you will be using. Take the heated pizza stone/tray out of the oven and transfer the dough directly on to it. This will cause the dough to start cooking right away, ensuring a nice and crispy crust.
- Spread a thin layer of refried beans on the pizza dough- this will act as your ‘sauce.’ Spread taco meat, tomato, red onion and cheddar over the pizza. Bake for 8-12 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is lightly browned.
- Remove from oven. Top pizza with avocado, cilantro, hot sauce and yogurt drizzle. Enjoy!