Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Meal and a Movie: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

"No shirt, no shoes, no dice. Learn it, know it, live it."

You don't have to be a Spicoli, a ticket scalper, or Mr. Hand to appreciate the clarity of that message. In the eighties we were taught to obey the rules, and that made it all the more fun to ignore them.

In 1982 I was best friends with Dana. Dana worked at the newly opened multiplex theater, and more nights each week than not Dana would sneak me into the movies. I'd sit alone in the dark sipping a Tab while Dana worked. I saw An Officer and A Gentleman seventeen times during its run. But the movie that really spoke to me that year was Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It was lewd, crude, and obnoxious. And honest. Sort of.

In 1981 Cameron Crowe went undercover for Rolling Stone and wrote about his experiences at a California high school. The result was adapted into the movie, which was directed by Amy Heckerling. Fast Times is a school year in the life of siblings Brad and Stacey (Brad is the Big Man on Campus and at All American Burger. Stacey pushes pies at Perry's Pizza in the mall and dreams of dating older guys, like Audio Consultant a.k.a. stereo salesman Ron Johnson, while Mark Ratner drums up the courage to ask her out as he watches her from across the mall), their friends, and various subplots with characters such as Sean Penn's stoned surfer dude Jeff Spicoli. It is totally righteous.

A viewing of Fast Times ought to include an array of typical teen sustenance: burgers with special sauce, fries, coke, bagels, and Colt 45. But to make it a really special movie night, make some Detroit-style pepperoni pizza. After that, all you'll need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and you'll be fine. 

Practically Perry's Pepperoni Pizza
1 cup warm water
1 package yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup coarse corn meal
3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for oiling boil

Stir yeast and sugar into water; set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Use blade to process corn meal, flour, and salt for 1 minute. While processing, pour yeast mixture and oil into flour. Continue processing until very wet dough forms into a ball. Remove dough and place in well oiled bowl. Cover with clean towel or plastic wrap and rise to double, about 1 and a half hours.

Thin-sliced rounds of provolone cheese
Pizza sauce
Shredded mozzarella

Pie assembly:
Generously butter the bottoms and sides of a non-stick 9 x 13 inch cake pan.

Place dough in pan and press evenly across pan and into corners leaving a slight edge along the sides. Place thin rounds of provolone or mozzarella cheese to cover crust surface except for edge. Cover cheese with pepperoni slices. Top with sauce and shredded cheese. Place a few pepperoni slices over cheese as embellishment.

Bake completed pies in preheated 400 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before slicing.


frimp said...

I wanted to be an 'audio consultant' when I grew up! btw: I finally found the rss for 'Called to the Table!'

patrice said...

You should change your blogger handle to Ron Johnson.