I grew up working in my dad’s supermarket. I started sorting 16 ounce returnable bottles at age 12 and worked at the store for the next decade. I was there all through my formative years – after school, on weekends, and during summer and holiday breaks. Today, the thought of going into a Jewel or Dominick’s is repulsive. It’s not that I have a bunch of bad memories, I’m just sick of being inside supermarkets. Just sick of it.
Let me contrast this experience with that of a buddy of mine. He owned his own pizza shop at age 13 and worked in the business during his formative years. I’m talking pizza overload during all of his teenage years. So shouldn’t he be sick of pizza? Shouldn’t he be repulsed every time someone wants order a bunch of pizzas and watch some football? No! And no! In fact, he’s a pizza aficionado. A veritable pizza guru. A pizza Yoda who can actually make a pie levitate.
What do you do when you have this sort of love for pizza? Well, you have all your friends over once a year and make pizzas to order. I was lucky enough to get invited to this private event and I snuck a camera in, hoping that I could learn something. Watch and learn grasshopper.
Use your fingers, don’t use a rolling pin. It’s all about making it round and keeping the air bubbles out.
In fact, do a fork-tap all over the pie to keep those pesky air bubbles out. That’s caring.
Since your home oven probably can’t get to 800 degrees, pre-cook the dough for a little just to make sure it’s crispy. Use a pizza peel to move it in and out. Oh yeah, you can just stick your bare hands in the oven (below) if you’re tough enough. If you’re afraid of burning your fingers, well, maybe you should just have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or something.
Lay out the ingredients and give your friends free reign in choosing the toppings. Hey, it’s your party and their party. It’s everybody’s party. I’ve obscured the faces in the previous and next picture to protect the innocent, of course.
Here’s what mine and my wife’s looked like. I’m a straight sausage guy, but my wife tosses in a little mushroom and black olive. It’s all good, we’re all happy. No need to fight about what toppings to use because we got plenty to go around.
Thanks man, the pizza rocked.