I just learned a life lesson.

From carbohydrates.

Let me explain.

I just started a diet, but I found myself thinking about food in my Zoom yoga class, just when the instructor said I should listen to my body.

My body said: GIRL, PIZZA ME.

I heard it distinctly.

In my experience, carbohydrates communicate across time and space.

My first attempt at making pizza was last month and turned out terrible, but I was determined to try again.

This is what we used to call stick-to-it-iveness.

As in last time, the dough stuck to my counter, my fingers, and my hair.

But a woman on a mission to sabotage her own diet stops at nothing.

Turns out it takes special ingredients to make pizza, like special 00 flour, which comes in grams. Last time, I couldn’t convert metric measurements, so I didn’t realize that the recipe said to use the entire bag of flour and ended up with four massive blobs of flour, three of which I froze.

I suspect that’s the reason my body started talking.

The pizza dough in the freezer was calling my name.

Like money burning a hole in my pocket, only cold.

So after yoga, I took a bag of dough out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to thaw. But by lunchtime, it hadn’t thawed at all and I really wanted pizza that night, so I put it on the counter.

And forgot about it.

Later, when I remembered it, it had melted.

That didn’t stop me.

I was having pizza, even if it was pizza soup.

I put it back in the fridge for 15 minutes and it got solid again.

Well, semi-solid.

OK, solid enough.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we, ladies?

So then I took it out, floured the counter, and tried to stretch out the dough, this time putting a lot of flour on my hands so it wouldn’t stick. But every time I pulled the dough, holes would appear where it got too thin, and I patched those up, which I was pretty sure was good enough.

I didn’t really care if the pizza had a hole in the bottom.

No one would know.

Except you.

I didn’t realize I was out of San Marzano tomatoes, so I had to use the normal kind, from San Wegmans.

Then I dumped on some mozzarella, but I only had part-skim, which the recipe says you shouldn’t use, but why stop now.

I picked fresh basil from my plant, but I’d learned last time that if you put the basil on before you bake the pizza, your pie will be topped with brown leaves and you will need a rake.

Then I realized I hadn’t preheated the oven, which is supposed to be at 500 degrees. It would take forever to heat that high, and I couldn’t let the pizza sit out for too long, so I settled for 325.

Close enough.

Three digits, right?

The last question was how long to bake it. One recipe said five minutes, but another said 10. I didn’t want to burn the pizza and I was in a hurry to break the diet I hadn’t even started yet.

So I took it out early, and it was profoundly undercooked. I gummed a piece, then put the rest back in the oven for another five minutes, and remarkably, it turned out pretty great.

In fact, it was delicious.


It was ugly, messy, and had holes, but still delicious.

And this is what I learned.

Sometimes the margin for error is wider than you think.

You can do everything absolutely wrong and it won’t matter.

It will all turn out all right in the end.

I am hoping this applies to more than pizza.

I have a feeling I’m going to find out.

Look for Lisa’s best-selling historical novel, “Eternal,” in stores now. Also look for Francesca’s critically acclaimed debut novel, “Ghosts of Harvard,” now in paperback.