Monday, September 8, 2008

A Plethora of Pizza

I love pizza … Heck who doesn’t? Especially h o m e m a d e pizza….
Yeah now THAT’S what I am talkin bout!! Super thin, crisp and slightly charred on the bottom. With JUST the right amount of cheese, not enough to throw you into a pizza coma like so much Thanksgiving dinner.

I had decided that it might me fun to throw a little pizza party for my godson in Palm Springs since he is getting old enough to seriously get his hands dirty in the kitchen without the constant worry of hot pots and sharp knives in little hands. So since I was going out to visit one weekend, I made a double batch of dough (see Roasted Potato and Pancetta Pizza) and headed to the desert with my peel, stone, cornmeal and a million toppings so everyone could make their version of the ultimate pizza.

OK, now something that had not occurred to me, since I am usually the one making the pizza FOR people… When you have 5 people all making pizza, it creates a HUGE mess that must be cleaned up. HA!

Everyone has an absolute blast though. Sam, in particular, enjoyed himself immensely, especially the pressing out of the dough.

I was so busy shoveling pizza in and out of the oven that I only got 1 picture of an actual BAKED pizza resting on one of Steph's Pampered Chef stones to cool slightly before cutting.

This was Andy's pizza (above) - Red sauce, pepperoni, Salami, Mushroom, and Black olive; With Fresh Mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Sam constructed his pizza with Red Sauce, Salami, Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Black Olives, 1 Basil leaf and Parmigiano-Reggiano - With some Herbes de Provence sprinkled on top... (Gourmet Child I must say)

While his father, Alex, went the Hawaiian route with Red Sauce, Ham, Pepperoni and Pineapple with Shredded Dry Mozzarella.

Stephanie, ever daring and always the individual, was the only pesto'ed pizza. Pesto genovese, Tomato, Salami, Mushrooms, Black Olive, Basil leaf, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano and Fresh Mozzarella with Pine Nuts.

While I stayed within my flavor range with only slight enhancements spurred by Stephanie's reckless abandon with her toppings. Olive Oil, Tomato, Mushroom, Basil and Fresh Mozzarella with a sprinkle of Pine Nuts and a touch of Pecorino Romano, lots of Cracked Black Pepper and a tiny sprinkle of Smoked Salt.

I love getting Sam involved in cooking at such an early age. Showing him how easy it really is. He is always so proud of himself while he is eating it. It gives him a sense of accomplishment. I love creating memorable childhood moments for him. If a little self confidence comes along with that, then so much the better.

I hope he will cherish these times as I do my own memories of my grandmother and mom and the fantastic smells and flavors that issued forth from the kitchen. Getting involved in things like cutting sugar cookies, decorating gingerbread houses at Christmas, rolling meatballs, making cinnamon ornaments, spooning divinity onto wax paper as quickly as possible before it dried rock hard and crosshatching the peanut butter cookies with a fork.

Those are some of my most vivid childhood memories; those spent with loved ones in the kitchen… I don’t see my godson as often as I would like. He lives 2 ½ - 3 hours away now that I have had to move back to San Diego. So when I get to visit, it MUST be a quality visit.



Bob said...

Good times, man. Homemade pizza rules, one of my very favorite things. Cooking with kids can be lots of fun too, and really good for them. It's one of the few things that I did as a kid that I still enjoy doing as an adult.

Michele said...

That's a great post! Much better than my pathetic little english muffin pizzas. LOL

Shane T. Wingerd said...

Thanks Michele, but I gotta tell ya, I loved your english muffin pizzas. I sometimes use flat bread too, when the need strikes and I have no dough aging in the refrigerator...