Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Life's Too Short for Bad Pizza

When I was a child, pizza was a once in a while treat. And when I got older and my sister got her driver's license, it became a weekly treat. My mother (who didn't drive), my sister, and I would go grocery shopping on Thursday nights stopping at the local House of Pizza for a large pepperoni with extra cheese. So much cheese it required finesse and fine motor skills to get it to your mouth without the whole cheesy mess sliding off. 

Then I discovered Chef Boyardee pizza in a box. Add water and make the crust. Open the can of sauce. Sprinkle on the dried cheese. And when I got brave, add a can of sliced mushrooms. 

That's the pizza I used to lure in my husband. 

That's right. Pizza in a box. You can tell our standards weren't very high. 

We were poor students. And a great date night was when you had enough cash and gas to drive the eight miles to the Pizza Hut for a pizza with extra cheese and beef topping. (Isn't that what they called it on the menu? How enticing.)

Then we got married. He got his Army commission. We moved to Virginia. And discovered this little Greek pizza place just down the road from us in Alexandria. And every Friday night that he was home we went out for a large pepperoni and a pitcher of Budweiser and we'd dream of going to those exotic places on travel posters that they used for decoration in the pizza parlor.  We started our Army travels and ate pizza in many different places. Including Germany where I perfected my made from scratch recipe and started having Super Bowl pizza parties. 

Once upon a time in my life even bad pizza was good. Any ooey gooey slice oozing with cheese and heart attack encouraging pepperoni was a slice a heaven in my mouth with a side of grease dribbling down my chin. 

Gradually I left the pepperoni behind. Too many post pizza party burps. And just too much slick orange grease on top of the pizza for me to contemplate and feel guilty about. I moved on to all those wonderful veggie toppings. The artichokes and tomato slices. The olives and mushrooms. Roasted red peppers and thin slices of red onion.

And then I became lactose intolerant. 

A horrible thing when cheese is a major food group in life. 

So I take those little white pills before ever biting into a slice. But still sometimes pizza causes me pain. Which caused me to rethink this whole pizza thing. 

Pizza is still king. 

But bad pizza is no longer tolerated, never mind loved. 

I can make my own pizza. Which I do frequently. Sunday night was pizza night. A nice thick foccacia style crust with crushed tomatoes and mozzarella topped with fresh basil. 

Or I can drive half an hour east or west to the two best pizza places near me bypassing maybe one hundred other ordinary pizza joints. Which I do when I can talk hubby into going. 

But no more cheap ass pizza. 

Because life's too short for bad pizza. 



Anna van Schurman said...

OMG I used to make that pizza in a box. One of the first things I cooked regularly. Loved it. Now Pizzeria Regina is the gold standard, but I will suffer a tomato pie.

KDono62139 said...

Thanks for your site, love it! Have been making my own pizza since I was a kid & my father's tomatoes were too many & my homemade tomato sauce could be frozen to use over winter. Lost my original pizza crust recipe from Time Life Italian cookbook series so if you've got a good one, would love to know about it! Thanks!