In a conversation recently with our teen-aged daughters, the topic of making homemade pizza with their grandmother came up. “Remember how we’d always make pizza at Grandma’s house? That was so good!” said the oldest. The younger one agreed, “That was so fun!”
It’s fun, but often surprising to learn of the things that stick out to them about their younger years. Once I thought about it, I had to admit the pizza-making events at their grandparents’ home were fun — and tasty.
Grandma was so good at getting them all involved — all five grandkids. They were each assigned jobs from rolling out the crust to layering on the individual ingredients. They used a cookie sheet and customized each quarter to their preferences.
Pizza really was a brilliant meal plan. It was quick to pull together following completion of the evening farm chores, it involved all the kids, and it was one of only two meals that Grandma found was a home run with everyone for a time when the kids were small. (The other meal was pancakes.)
There was never any complaining over pizza or pancakes. They were, for a time, the meals of family harmony and happiness. Thankfully, that short list has grown considerably in the years since.
What I should point out is that this pizza wasn’t anything remarkable. It was very good, but it was basic pizza dough, sauce, pepperoni, extra cheese and, for some, mushrooms. When the cousins worked together with a common goal to combine those simple ingredients, the outcome couldn’t have tasted any better, and memories were made without any of us even realizing it.
It’s been quite a while since the cousins all congregated around the kitchen island with their grandmother to make pizza. Maybe it’s time to make that happen again. I’m sure the outcome will taste even better than any carryout or dine-in pizzas we’ve replaced the homemade version with in recent years.
While I’m not advocating changing the tried and true ingredient list the smaller versions of our kids and their grandmother started with, I did find a host of homemade pizza recipes that use a very wide variety of toppings and even crusts.
I’m betting everyone can find one that grabs their attention and maybe even creates some memories along the way. Has anyone noticed how many happy memories include food on some level?