Mantry Unboxing: Pizza Party + January Favorites

Right away I need to say that it feels great to be thawed out and to be able to get in and out of my driveway like a normal person again. Being stuck in the house for several days out of the last two weeks sounded like a killer idea three weeks ago but I’m glad to see the snow go, glad I’ll be able to get to the park to actually run since I have another race in the coming weeks, glad to be able to step off the back porch without slipping off the bottom step.

That isn’t to say that I haven’t taken a spill this year. Slipped many times, yes, went ankle-deep unexpectedly many times, also yes, but the apex came on the last day we were truly stuck-in. On Friday I finally got the snow shovel that I had ordered from Amazon. I say “finally” making it sound like it took forever to get here but it really only took the normal 2-day Amazon Prime shipping duration but in reality it just means that in 30 years I’ve never owned a snow shovel, let alone shoveled snow. Our driveway was still snow and ice, same as our sidewalk, and it was Ice Bears game time. I decided to take my snow shovel for a test drive on the way to the car, took a step off the front porch, slipped, grabbed the shrubs, slipped again and went down. Hard.

There’s a reason people shovel their snow the first chance they get. There’s also a reason we, as humans, should avoid ice under our feet and our wheels. I didn’t understand either of those until now and I also didn’t understand that apparently at age 30 those “I’m not young anymore” comments start to become legit. Though I fell and hit only my rear, my knees, legs, elbows, shoulders, back and chest all feel as though they were equally slammed into the coldness. I spent the evening at the Coliseum holding back wimpy little whines and moans from random aches and pains. It was pathetic.

Equally pathetic is this sad, sad news: This will be my last Mantry unboxing for a while. Without going into unnecessary detail, some more pressing matters need to be addressed and the few bucks I send to Mantry every month are better used elsewhere at the moment. Luckily for everyone involved (Erin, myself, and you, my dear reader) this month’s Mantry has all the ingredients required to possibly become the best yet. This month’s theme: Pizza Party!

From left to right:
Lemon Sugar Cookies from Grey Ghost Bakery, Charleston, SC
Scarpetta Genovese Pesto from Sauces’n Love, Lynn, MA
Classic Red Sauce from Jar Goods, Hoboken, NJ
Pizza Flour from Hayden Flour Mills, Phoenix, AZ
Prosciutto from Daniele, Inc, Pascoag, RI
Smoked Pepperoni from Vermont Smoke & Cure, Hinesburg, VT

There aren’t many things I like to make as much as homemade pizza. I recently got a new pizza stone to take the place of my recently cracked one and am looking to make up a few batches of sauce and dough soon. Everything in this crate is going to help me make pizza that I know is already good even better – check out the pepperoni! Check out that prosciutto! I can’t wait to get down on the pesto! We’ve already chowed down on two of the sugar cookies and they were lovely. Be on the look out for some tasty pizzas in the future on my Instagram!

Last month’s Mantry crate was a killer addition to the short month that brings us Black History Month as well as Black Metal History Month and the Super Bowl all in a measly 28 days. But not everything can be on the “top” list so what I’ve chosen for this month are:

Dry Cured Chorizo by Aurelia’s Chorizo (Boerne, TX)
Smokey Black Bean Dip by La Esquina (New York, NY)
Sweet Heat Pecans by Molly & Me Pecans (Holly Hill, SC)

The dry cured chorizo went onto a pizza, just like Mantry suggested, and I was glad they did. Usually I use Mexican chorizo that’s not much like the cured version you find in the Spanish variety so “put it in the pizza” wasn’t much of an idea I’ve had in the past but this allowed me to combine two of my favorite things into one dish! We gobbled on some of the smokey black bean dip with some leftover pita chips and loved how it was a great combination of creamy beans and a kick of fire that remained on the tongue. What a killer dip! We’re still enjoying the sweet heat pecans, mostly sweet than heat, but the bit of heat they do have is more of a compliment than a distraction. Something about candied pecans, man…

Just like last time and the time before and the time before, I’m keeping these items on a board over on Pinterest if that sort of thing does anything for you.

I hope the rest of you are as thawed out as we are now in Knoxville, I hope Old Man Winter takes a hike. And in preparation of potentially more snow, I implore you to do what I intend to do: prep some pizzas!

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