Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What's Cookin' Wednesday ~ Ummmm Pizza

Next to the apple, pizza just has to be God's most perfect food.  Pizza has most of the food pyramid all cooked up to ooey-gooey deliciousness.

I love pizza so much that I even consider a piece of toast spread with tomato sauce, sprinkled with some mozzarella cheese,  and then broiled for a few minutes a pizza worth eating.

I am not a pizza snob.  Christmas decoration and coffee snob, yes, pizza snob, no.

When I was a kid, Saturday night was pizza night at our house.  Back then, in the dark ages, there wasn't the plethora of take-out places to go to.  Besides, we weren't a 'going out to eat' type of family anyway.  Going out for pizza was a rare treat.  Remember Shakey's Pizza?  Ye Public House?  There was a window with steps where you could watch them make your pizza.  My parental units always had dark beer and I had orange soda, Debbie had root beer.  Oh, and the potatoes Shakey's had - mojo's.  Ummm ... to die for.

The first Shakey's opened in Sacramento in 1954.  'Shakey' was the nickname of the founder, Sherwood Johnson, because he suffered from nerve damage from having malaria.  People can be so cruel!  On the first weekend it was open, the restaurant wasn't able to make pizza because the pizza ovens weren't completed.  So they served up all the beer and used those profits to buy pizza ingredients for the following Monday.

As it is in our America, a series of buy-outs and takeovers has made Shakey's what it is today - there are more franchises open in the Philippines than in the United States.  Mojo's are still on the menu here in the U.SA.  I wonder if Philippine-oans have had the pleasure of trying mojo's?

Anyway ~

Mom and Dad made pizza from scratch - all the way down to the dough.  To this day, Debbie still uses the same recipe.

Me, now I am a bit different when it comes to pizza.

The first thing that I do is call Papa Murphy's.  I usually order the Murphy's Combo without onions, but I have been known to shake things up with a Cowboy every now and then.  Really, there ain't any pizza at Papa Murphy's that isn't marvelous.

And 'marvelous' ain't a word that I throw around willy-nilly.

Most of the time, the nice young person at our Papa Murphy's offers to replace the onions with another ingredient.  I always pick olives.

Knock, knock ...

Who's there?

Olive ...

Olive who?

Olive you ...

Anyway ~

When it is time to cook the pizza, I take off all the plastic wrap.  This is a very important first step.  There sometimes is a direct connection at our house to wine night and the lack of removal of the plastic wrap.


Pick off all the onions that you can.  It seems as though the nice young people at our Papa Murphy's can't ever seem to get the 'no onions' part right.

Open and drain a small can of sliced black olives.  Because if I am getting the onions I don't want, I am sure as heck not getting the olives I did want.  Sprinkle said olives over pizza.

Sprinkle on some extra parmesan cheese.  It just gives the pizza an extra cheesy zippiness.

Bake for half the time suggested, and then rotate the pizza 180° in the oven.  Gently slide pizza off of the Papa Murphy's pizza pan, so it lies naked on the oven rack..

Bake until the pizza is browned and the crust is crispy.  The next step is very tricky.  You have to maneuver the piping hot pizza out of the piping hot oven without causing a catastrophe.  Namely, the pizza ending up face-down in the oven.

Which actually happened to me years ago in the very early days of our marriage.  I was attempting to  impress Randy with my skills at making homemade pizza.   

It still plays like a movie in my head ...  
... Friday night ...
... Randy talking to Jack on the phone ...
... The most beautiful pizza flipping over upside-down and landing at the bottom of the oven
... Randy getting off the phone real quick ...  
... I cried ...  
... And cried ...  
... I got mad ...
... Then  I cried some more ....

Randy had Velveeta Shells & Cheese for dinner that night.

I really, really dislike immensely pasta of any kind.  I probably had wine.

Have the BEST day ever!
~ Dorothy 

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