One thing that I am really appreciative about my girlfriend is that she is a great cook. She comes over and cooks me meals all the time which is a pretty sweet deal because otherwise I would be indulging in a Subway sandwich, soup, or Chef Boyardee for supper. I couldn’t cook myself out of a paper bag. Paige on the other hand is the exact polar opposite and does wonders in my kitchen. Spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, meatball sandwiches, sausage and potatoes, chicken, and yummy rice dishes are all things she has whipped out for me to enjoy. I am definitely a lucky guy! Tonight though, we will be eating something for dinner that both of us can help prepare!
Paige and I both thought this evening would be a great time to cook homemade pizza! We had talked about it for a while but it kept getting bumped off the menu for one reason or the other. However, tonight the meal will come to fruition. We will have the dough, sauce, cheese, and toppings….and then our hands. Yes, I might struggle with making the most elementary of dishes but I am capable of spreading sauce on dough, laying cheese over the sauce, dropping toppings down on the cheese, and then putting it into the oven. Tonight I will be co-chef with Paige and I am very excited!
Of course tonight’s pizza baking adventure takes me right back to my childhood days when it was a BIG DEAL when we made homemade pizza at our family home. Like Paige, my mom is an excellent cook. We would eat dinner as a family at our kitchen table every single night. Usually us three kids would not have much of a role in any of the cooking but when it came to homemade pizza night, things changed. Suddenly we got to use the sacred cooking utensils and create our own pizzas. This event probably occurred three times a year so it really was a special event and something that me and my sister and brother really enjoyed.
Now please take into consideration that my mom did not let “kids take over the kitchen night” turn into a complete goat rope. She made sure the potentially catastrophic event was well under control. If she had not already flattened the dough for us, she watched carefully as we stretched it over the pan we were using. She placed all of the sauce, cheese, and toppings in separate bowls for us to easily access and use. She called each of us up one-by-one to make our pizzas individually. With three kids all making pizzas at once there is always the potential for messes, distractions, and fights. After we were all finished making our pizzas my mom would put them in the oven and set a timer. She would make sure we were all upstairs when she took the pizzas out so we could proudly watch our creations come out of the oven and see for the first time how our smiley-faced pie looked cooked or whether the pound of cheese we had put on had entirely melted. It was kind of a magical time.
The peak of the excitement on homemade pizza night in the Reser household was definitely the preparation part and the coming out of the oven part because to be honest, the actual eating part was always a little anticlimactic. Now I am sure my mom already knows this, but I always preferred the taste of delivery pizza to that of homemade pizza (probably because my taste buds were not as sophisticated back then). But let that statement not take anything away from homemade pizza night because it really was all about the experience as opposed to the taste!
Before I wrap up this post I would like to make mention of something unique that my mom would always do on homemade pizza night that has a special place in my heart of memories. In addition to our regular sphere shaped or square shaped pizza pies we would make, my mom would also take out her cupcake pan and make PIZZA CUPCAKES! The process was super easy…she would just shape the dough inside each cupcake spot, have us add quite a bit of sauce, top it with quite a bit of cheese, and then add toppings. She would then throw it in the oven and out would come pizza cupcakes! Simple, yes, but also a great idea. Such a great idea in fact that my mom submitted the recipe to Taste of Home Magazine and they featured it in an issue.
Check my Instagram account for pictures of our homemade pizza tonight. The one I make for my dinner might look a little goofy but just give me points for trying. Unlike years ago, I think tonight I would rather trade the experience for the taste! Don’t Blink.