Saturday, March 1, 2008

When the Moon Hits Your Eye

Like a big pizza pie
That's family night.

I've read more times than I can count about the importance of family dinners. Researchers cite a meal shared with family as the cure-all for everything from bad grades and asthma attacks to avoidance of drugs and alcohol. Equally important for children is establishing family traditions which bind families together, instill values and create memories. We recently dubbed Friday night, "pizza night" at our home.

We make homemade pizza dough and everyone's hands get dirty. The boys take turns dumping in the locally milled flours we found at our downtown health food store. We mix in our locally processed yeast and local, raw milk from a CSA drop point that will soon be hosted at my home. The dough takes a quick sojourn in the oven while the kids practice shredding (and eating) cheese and stealing olives as quickly as I slice them.

Then comes the fun part - "decorating" the pizza. I spread on last fall's homemade pasta sauce. Despite its months in the freezer, the sauce still tastes of October - the bursting San Marzano tomatoes from my favorite local farm simmered with farmers' market onions and carrots. Next the boys apply less than judicious amounts of shredded local cheese, local goat cheese, home-dried tomatoes from last year's farmers' market, blanched backyard greens and olives that are slightly less than local (302 miles away to be exact).

End result: the culmination of a work week that everyone looks forward to, a cooking lesson for the kids, a meal spent telling stories and ignoring laughed shouts of "poo-poo head" from the youngest, a local meal in the "dark days" of winter and the best damned pizza I've ever eaten. That's amore!


Melinda said...

Psst, we agree:

Green Bean said...

Great minds think alike! :)

Olivia said...

Green Bean,
I have a family of, but that is a great idea. And it looks scrumptious. I'm going to start that tradition myself and invite friends. Thanks.

katecontinued said...

What a fantastic Friday ritual. I am years past family meals and live alone, but your post brought back a memory. I want to share the opposite of your warm gathering.

In the early 60's my parents got caught up in drinking with the gang after the office. It was a strong cultural pattern for this young optometrist and his wife to be a part of the community.

We teenage girls had to fend for ourselves. Every single Friday night we had Chef Boy-AR-Dee pizza. This link will shock you. This boxed connoction was so vile that I don't like pizza or spaghetti to this day. I can still smell that sauce.

Your homemade pizza experience is galaxy away from my childhood memory.

Crunchy Chicken said...

We were doing Friday night homemade pizza nights there for a while too, but stopped doing it. This is a great reminder to start it up again!

Burbanmom said...

Mmmmm. Pizza. We do "MYODP" (Make Your Own Damn Pizza) night every now and again. That way, the picky little eaters can just get dough with cheese or whatever they want and I don't have to worry about Daphne wiping a booger on a community pizza crust (yes, she does that). She's a klassy girl.

Allie said...

That's great! My husband's family always did Friday pizza night and still does whenever the boys are all home. It's such a nice tradition. My mother-in-law even figured out how to make wheat free pizza so I wouldn't be left out of the festivities.

CindyW said...

Looks yummy. I have been thinking about this too. Also thinking about making mozzarella cheese first for the pizza...

Your boys say "poo-poo head" too? That seems to be a universal joke for toddlers.

Mandy said...


I am hosting a group blogging live online primary party on my blog tonight! Stop by and join in the chat! Leave your 2 cents as we watch the numbers and results coming in!!

Everyone welcome, spread the word!!


Green Bean said...

Olivia - traditions are important for all size families! Glad you'll be starting this one.

Kate - yuk! We ate Chef Boy Ar Dee too as kids and it is so nasty now to think of that stuff. Frankly, though, it was probably less artificial than most of the stuff on the market these days.

CC - it's not like you haven't had anything else going on but traditions are so nice. Plus you don't need to think what to cook for dinner.

Burbs - remind me not to eat pizza crust at your house!

Cindy - Yes, I believe poo poo head is the universal shout of toddlers everywhere. Of course you're going to make your own mozarella now that you've mastered yogurt. Show off! ;-) I'll get there someday. Just need to shake this sick thing first.

Allie - I don't think I mentioned it but our crust was gluten free. My boys are GF. I couldn't taste the difference!

Mandy - I'll check in tonight. Exciting night for US politics. Go Obama!


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