A few things have been gasting my flabber this week.
Firstly, the BT Young Scientists exhibition. To any non-Irish readers, this is an annual Dublin show where nerdy teenage students exhibit their science projects. Or so I always thought. Last weekend, faced with yet another bleak two days of having to solo-entertain them, I dragged my offspring along for the first time (theirs and mine). An afternoon in the company of nerds isn’t their usual rodeo, but I thought that some of the nerdiness might rub off on them. Or at the very least there’d be free stuff to keep them quiet.
So imagine my surprise when it was really amazingly brilliant (at least, I thought. The kids mainly stole lollipops from stands. Oh, and one orchestrated a call-up on stage, did a demonstration, got a free book, and then TOLD PEOPLE HE’D WON A PRIZE AT THE YOUNG SICENTISTS EXHIBITION.) Those kids are just AMAZING (the Young Scientists – obv not my lot, who are amazingly cunning is all). Most of the stuff I couldn’t understand –words like abiogenesis and valence bond and luminiferous ether – but even the stuff I could sortof understand just left me feeling uneducated and a bit stupid. Just to be clear, nobody there was over 18. My friend’s 14 year old had a stand – researching the vagal nerve – and she happily chatted to me about the parasympathetic system. On the way home my own 14 year old counted his free sweets and I had a little cry.
Anyway, they were all brilliant, as was the 3D film about space junk (spoiler – none of us is going out to space any time soon without getting run over by a load of crap which is spinning around the earth for all of eternity. Should someone tell Elon?) and the lecture by the man who spends all his time watching Marvel movies and trying to see if he can make any of their superpowers actually work.
I then had my own scientific experiments which were also pretty successful, leading me to flabbergast #2: What happens when flour and yeast and salt meet warm water and a flat oven-heated stone? HOME-MADE PIZZA is what! I won’t bore you with recipes – just google “best pizza dough recipe EVER LOL OMG” and randomly pick one, they’re all pretty much the same – But. Here’s the clincher: You MUST get yourself a pizza stone. They’re cheap as chips (or more accurately, as cheap as a take-away pizza) and are the dog’s bollox when it comes to making properly decent pizza at home.
The other clincher – after much experimenting (and tasting) – is that no matter how hot your oven declares itself to be, assume it’s lying and leave it to heat (with the stone inside) for at least ten minutes more.
Finally – use 00 flour.
I wish I had a picture, but my young scientists (speciality: Italian nutrition) wolfed the lot down, twice.
Our flabbers may have been gasted, but our bellies were full.
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