Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

PIZZA NIGHT

As a young boy, my mom and Aunts would rave about my grandfather’s pizza. I asked him once how he made his pizza so “good”. He responded in a Mr. Miyagi type pearl of wisdom, “You just have to love pizza”. I took away from that a new understanding and confusion. First, I was amazed to find out that kids are not the only ones that love pizza. But if that were true, why didn’t we have pizza more often?

The real lessons came later. I realized that if you truly love something, then you will give the extra care and attention it deserves. When making pizza, or anything else, you should make it the way you like it.

When I was old enough, I went to the store and bought all the ingredients to make my own first pizza. It was awesome. It was about 4 inches thick, and wiped out my college food budget for the week, but it was the best pizza ever.

Many people love pizza. It is easy and versatile. In addition to being yummy, pizzas are fun to make, which makes it a great activity for the family. Have a house full of the neighbor kids? No problem. Let them make their own personal pizza.

Some people prefer the store bought ready made pizza crust, which is a little pricey, but it is a no fail way to go; while others may reach for the refrigerated pizza dough. Even still, there are those who enjoy making their own pizza crust. Once you determine the type of crust you want to use, the next step is the sauce. Before you reach for the stuff in a jar, try making your own. It is easier than you think. It just takes a little preparation. The great thing about sauce is you can make it the day before. Because like wine and cheese, it tastes better with age. Personally, fresh is best. But if you do not have time to peel and cut tomatoes, or have an herb garden, cans will work.

NOW THE FUN PART:

Once everything is prepared it is time to start the party. Set out the pizza crust, sauce and toppings.
Toppings can include but are not limited to:
Ham, Pineapple, cooked Bacon, cooked Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, sliced Mushrooms, sliced Olives, sliced or chopped Onions, Bell Pepper, cooked Chicken, Sliced Tomatoes, cooked Hamburger, Artichokes, Garlic, Spinach, Lots and Lots of Mozzarella Cheese (shredded or sliced)

Let the kids paint on some olive oil with a basting brush. (A moderator should portion out the olive oil and sauce for each pizza.) Then let the kids decorate their pizza with their favorite toppings.

Life lessons:
I have taught an object lesson at a few of our pizza parties. I would start out with some dessert toppings on the table. Ask the kids if they like chocolate syrup, whipped cream, or cherries. They all say “Yeesss!” and “Yum!”. Then say, “Great, we are going to make pizza today. Do you like chocolate syrup and cherries on your pizza?” The normal response has been “Nooo!” and “Yuk!”. Some of the kids may have been to a restaurant that serves dessert pizza, but we can ignore them. So the question remains, “You mean to tell me you like chocolate syrup and love pizza, but do not like them at the same time?” How can that be?

That reminds me of a saying. There is a time and a place for everything.

”Who likes to play, run and tell funny jokes?” Everyone should be saying, “Me, me, me!” Then I ask, “Are there some times when it is not OK to run, play, and tell funny jokes? Who can give me some examples of places that we should not run, play, and tell funny jokes.” Places like libraries, church, school, museums, and visiting mom or dad at work. Some places it can even be very dangerous to run, jump, and play. Sometimes it is so much fun to laugh, run, play, and tell funny jokes. And sometimes it is not OK to do those things. We can love chocolate syrup and we can love pizza, but we do not have to eat them together. So let’s have some fun and make some pizzas with only our favorite things that we like.

Submitted by my brother Todd.