After what seemed like my 600th time washing up over this lockdown period, I had the opportunity to order a take out meal from an independent business in Leeds. A take out. What is that? Seems like another lifetime when I was accustomed to take aways.
A part of me feels guilty for not cooking myself. I am so used to using up all my food and leftovers, so nothing is wasted or thrown away, and now I’m just going to order pizza that somebody else has made and they are going to bring it to me. I feel privileged.
Most of my life I have worked at least three jobs, starting and ending at various times every day of the week. A routine is something unheard of in our home in our ‘normal’, everyday world. Cooking at home is rare! Take outs are my essential fuel – or at least they were – as I’m going about my day to day life. They literally kept me going, but it also cost me a fortune every month. So, I have enjoyed slowing down and being able to cook at home. It’s one of the positives of this devastating time. We are paused and able to be with our loved ones.
But back to what I was saying. The takeout did make me feel somewhat guilty. How much can life change in just a few months?!
I used Uber Eats for the first time. I loved the fact I could see the driver was on his way. You know when your hungry belly is grumbling away asking ‘How long for this food?’ – and I liked the fact that there were several choices for the driver to safely leave your food without contact. The lovely driver called me when he was outside, letting me know he was about to drop the pizzas at the door. I do feel like leaving food on your doorstep around here is a huge gamble in this climate.
I ordered from Pizza Loco, who are based in Oakwood, just over three miles from me and I oddly have never heard of them. My daughter ordered the Hot Honey Pizza with Magherita, Spianata, salami, mozzarella, thyme, basil and honey. I ordered the Rick & Morty, not just because I like the cartoon but also because I have never had a pizza with Fior Di Latte, Parmesan, Mortadella, Whipped Ricotta, Basil oil and roasted pistachios.
We opened up the boxes to clouds of dancing steam and there lay two beautiful, colourful, cheesy pizzas smiling at us. The appreciation we felt is indescribable.
The pizzas tasted unreal. My teenage daughter approved, giving her thumbs up while trying to swallow a whole slice at a time. She ate the whole honey pizza to herself and tried some of mine. Where the hell does that food go? She’s tiny with a barbie doll waist. I can certainly identify where my pizza went. (Adjusts sweatpants, because they REALLY are all that fit me right now.) I didn’t know how I’d feel about pistachios on my pizza. My taste is usually really simple when it comes to choosing toppings. I think simple is better and it’s all about the dough. But being adventurous really worked in this case and the dough was delicious. My daughter said the pizza tastes like the ones we get when we eat indian. I think she meant naan bread? I guess the soft and crisp element did have that familiarity. I feel like you can taste the freshness and really identify the different ingredients, as opposed to the usual desperate drunken pizza takeaway choices you may or not recall. They usually taste like fake cheese, processed meat and oily, tasteless doughs.
It all came to just over £20 with delivery, which is a pretty good price considering the quality and love that goes into these pizzas. While they are a major luxury to us right now, I will still order them again real soon, perhaps on my birthday in just a few weeks. I will look forward to eating them again and not having to wash any dishes for one meal.
I’m glad I had a form of guilt ordering a takeaway and hopefully a takeaway continues to be a treat and not a lifestyle going forward. There’s a lot to be recommended about Pizza Loco.
Photographs by Robyn Wilson.