In our house we are all beginning to feel the strain of another lockdown, and at times you can cut the emotional tension with a knife.
Entirely gone is the plucky can do spirit, of make do and mend from last time around. This time, we are all facing our darkest fears and gazing out into the abyss of winter darkness.
In the Borders our entire world recently has been covered by powdery white snow, which means our car is abandoned at the top of our driveway.
Like a scene from the TV show, Lillehammer, where a former New York-based gangster named Frank "The Fixer" Tagliano played by Steven Van Zandt, started his new life in icy Norway, we have a treacherous and slippy journey on foot to then drive anywhere.
Here is an example of our current domestic bliss: the fella asks grumpily, "what's the matter with you?" and I riposte testily, "no, what's the matter with you," but I digress.
Even our gainfully employed supermarket online picker daughter joins in with a rant. Her particular bugbear is, "Who in God's name buys bananas by weight? "
Take this as a public service announcement on behalf of all those online packers who get up in the middle of the night to shop at supermarkets for you.
Order your fruit by number not weight, possibly not the best time to admit I might be guilty as charged.
Meanwhile junior just heads to the stables as often as deemed essential, and we are more likely to find an entire horse in her bed, not just the head like in The Godfather.
In an attempt to improve the family mood I organise an Italian treat from the Goodfellas at Wood Wonders Oven.
They are a family business with an ethos that comes from a love of great food. The pizza dough is made from the finest Caputa 00 grade flour, known as the 'gold standard' by cheffy types.
The base mix is then fermented for at least 24 hours, to create a light and airy texture which is then fired in their wood-fuelled oven.
The tomatoes for the sauce come from the foothills near Naples, but they do try to use fresh local ingredients on their toppings, where possible.
In more normal times Simon and his wife Pippa make their delicious pizzas at events, cooking and serving from a vintage horse trailer.
However during the pandemic, they have pivoted to supply pizzas direct to customers, all cooked, cooled and boxed and delivered just to be reheated at home.
They supply households in Penicuik, Peebles, West Linton, Innerleithen, Eskbank, Bonnyrigg, Dalkeith, Gorebridge and surrounding areas on different days.
As they sound like our kind of people, and more importantly they are based in the local neighbourhood, I decided that, "I'd make them an offer they can't refuse. "
After I make the initial connection via the website and place the order we only have to wait until the Long Good Friday for our area's designated delivery day.
When I get the all important call, I'm on a Zoom meeting so unavailable to collect the goods.
I despatched the elder daughter to do the business, who sprinted up the track dressed like she has just joined the Norwegian witness protection programme.
"Not a smooth move,” she said to me before grudgingly shoving the boxed goods across the table."
"Forget about it," I bark but peeping in the dainty boxes, they look pretty good. Daughter number one is the first to crack and switch on the oven. She is doing Veganuary so we had been sure to order her a vegan Margherita pizza (£6).
While not exactly bubbling, I admit that her sizzling vegan faux cheese pizza does smell divine.
Meanwhile the fella had chosen the warming winter special of bianca pork and fennel sausage (£10).
To his mind fennel's anise flavour often can be a bit overpowering but a good roasting dramatically improves it.
The aroma is so good he gives his pizza a ten out of ten straight out of the box before he'd even tasted it.
He said the creamy, Yester dairies, Fior di latte mozzarella sat well with Grana padano shavings, both an excellent accompaniment to the crumbled pork and fennel sausage with crisp kale on top.
A hit of chilli and garlic provided just the right spicy bite to cheer him right up.
My selection of roasted Mediterranean vegetables (£9) arrived on the slow fermented and hand stretched base.
The topping came with chunks of peppers, kale, onion and fragrant rosemary spikes and loads of stretchy mozzarella. Let's just say, it impressed the boss.
We selected a smoked chicken and basil pesto pizza (£10) on junior's behalf.
She kept her cards close to her chest so the jury is still out on her verdict but she just crunched the crust with her teeth before tearing into the base, so I'd say it certainly deserves the utmost respect.
The Borders’ snow is now melting, but as a result of our deal with the local pizza mafia we’re all in much better spirits.
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