Generally, ordering a pizza delivery is a big success all around. It hits the spot with the kids – yum, yum – and it’s a blessing for me – because I can ring up City Pie and have a meal on the table in 20 minutes. I have them on speed dial. There is, however, a favorite book in our house – Curious George Makes a Pizza – and it calls for making pizza at home. My husband’s family has been in the pizza business for more than 30 years, so the lady answering the phone in the story is “Grandma”. And when George sneaks behind the counter and throws a pizza pie in the air, it always lands on my son’s head.
The family pizza parlors are a couple thousand miles away in St. Louis, so we procure our dough at a local joint on our way home from the playground. St. Louis style pizza has an especially thin crust, never achievable with little hands working a stretchy dough. But, we get all the authentic flavor with the special cheese they use: Provel. It’s creamier than mozzarella, and Mingus attacks it with his big orange knife so that we can lay slices over top our pie.
Usually, to adapt a recipe for the boys, I take out steps. This time, I add one: we cook the dough for a few minutes before adding toppings. It’s a precaution.
I want the kids to be able to do the exciting steps – tossing the dough and adding the toppings – all by themselves. That means the dough will probably be a little too thick. And there will probably be a lot of toppings. The prebaked dough helps the pie cook though and, because raw dough is sticky, it helps a heavy pizza slide nicely on and off the pizza peel.
The kids spread tomato sauce, and pile on Provel cheese, bacon, green pepper, onion and Parmesan, eating as they go.
It’s ready to cook! The oven has been heating at 500 degrees. Now, we turn it to broil. The kids stand behind the “oven line” and I shove the pizza inside.
When the pie comes out, we let it cool for a few minutes and bring it to the table. After taking a bite, I declare, “MMmmmmMMMmmMMm. Thank you for making dinner!”