Saturday, February 09, 2008

A Pizza the Action

Come the weekend, I often want to bake a pizza from scratch for a quick Sunday evening dinner, with leftovers to get me through my lunches during the week. It's become a bit of a tradition for me.

There's another pizza-related tradition in my life, and it centers on "play dates" with My Adorable Nephews. Normally I try to visit them on a Friday afternoon –- time with them is an excellent antidote for the week's work-related stress –- but this week the Southern Belle and I had to plan the visit for Saturday instead. And though we usually order pizza from one of the franchises in town for our communal dinner, I suggested that this time around (since I had time on Saturday afternoon to make the dough) we make pizza from scratch.

She readily agreed, knowing that the boys would be eager to help in the kitchen, and her husband (the Absent-Minded Professor) concurred, wanting to get a taste of my bready pizza crust. (He's all about the bread.)

Before heading out, I made two batches of pizza dough: a spelt dough from my own recipe, and an unbleached version of my grandmother's roll/pizza dough, something a little sweeter that I thought the boys would appreciate more.

As soon as I arrived, the Southern Belle and I spread the doughs out onto greased cookie sheets and baked them for about 10 minutes, just to get the crust started before we added toppings.

The Absent-Minded Professor threw together a pretty good sauce and smeared it liberally over both crusts, and then My Adorable Nephews grabbed the bags of mozzarella cheese and covered the pizzas with mounds and mounds of cheese.

Beaker, having a strong inclination to sprinkle ingredients for baking, dusted the one pizza (destined to be a mostly cheese pizza with a little sausage added on) with herbs while I topped the spelt crust with spinach leaves and steamed broccoli.

After another sprinkling of cheese, the pizzas were ready to bake, and despite a temperamental oven that left the cheese pizza crust a little dark, our dinner came out looking deliciously tempting!

The Southern Belle and I tackled the vegetable pizza with gusto, sharing the occasional piece with the Absent-Minded Professor and even little Scooter.

We all enjoyed slices from the other pizza, too (though, of course, I only ate from the cheese-only end), but I'm pleased to say that my spelt crust won the unofficial taste test pretty much across the board. (Beaker didn't vote: he wasn't that crazy about the pizza at all, even after all the work he put into it.)

I have a feeling we'll make pizza together again sometime: it's always a treat to get everyone involved in making dinner, and the more my boys want to help out in the kitchen, the more I hope they'll learn to appreciate their food and where it comes from.

Maybe we've started a new tradition!


At 2/11/2008 11:22 PM, Blogger Bri said...

That's so wonderful that you made pizzas with everyone. My teenage sister is pretty picky about food, but one summer we made pizza from scratch together (including sauce from fresh ripe heirloom tomatoes) and she devoured hers. I hadn't seen her eat anything with such gusto before. It really makes such a difference when they are involved in each step. They may not love everything, but it sure helps.

At 2/12/2008 7:13 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

I figure if I just keep trying, something will stick with them! And they ARE good about helping in the kitchen, so that's a great start.


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