Pizza in a frying pan

Kate Gregory

Making pizza in the wilderness takes a little preparation. You'll need to dry some mushrooms in a home dehydrator if you want mushrooms on your pizza. At the grocery store, buy some low-fat mozzarella, about 1/2 lb., and a pizza mix; we use Chef Boyardee Skillet Pizza but there's no magic skillet-ness to it, any mix would do. You can also make your own dough using the bread dough featured in the English muffins recipe. Pick up some no-refrigeration pepperoni (we get the Bridgford brand) wherever you can: Kmart, camping-supply store, or grocery store. Grab a summer sausage or salami while you're there. You'll also need an onion. You might like different things on your pizza, but these are what we use and they are representative of what you need to do. And you need a frying pan, and a stove that can simmer (ruling out our Whisperlite -- we use the Coleman for pizza.)

Before you leave, take the pizza stuff out of the box. Keep the instructions so you know how much water to add. Set aside the dinky little package of parmesan: it's actually quite nice sprinkled over spaghetti. If you're going somewhere with a can and bottle ban, and you take these things very seriously, open the can of sauce and dry it in the dehydrator to make a leather. We take the can, burn it dry, and pack it home.

When you land at the campsite, get a cup or so of water boiling and rehydrate the mushrooms in a mug. Set to work slicing the cheese thinly, peeling and slicing the onions, slicing the pepperoni, and so on. If you made a sauce leather, reconstitute the sauce in another mug. When all the slicing is done (stack plates of sliced things on top of each other to keep flies out, and appoint a chipmunk guard) look at the mushrooms. If they look almost like mushrooms, make the dough. If not, wait about twenty minutes and then make the dough. It has to rise, so they don't have to be quite ready when you start.

Depending on the size of your frying pan you will need two batches. To feed nine we did two mixes and three batches. Oil the pan, spread the dough, put on sauce, cheese, herbs, onions, pepperoni, mushrooms, and so on. Cook over low heat for about half an hour, with a lid on. You might want to put a carefully folded towel on the lid for extra insulation. If you're cooking in batches, get the whole pizza out onto a plate and slice it out of the pan so that you can cook the second batch right away without having to clean the pan. Get the second batch on before you eat your first, because you'll really begrudge any waiting you have to do. It's worth it though -- really yummy!

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