My mom makes a mean pizza. The fact that it’s nearly unrecognizable as pizza does not in the least take away from its standing in my mind.
First, it’s a true pie, with a thin, doughy base and a tall thick lip of crust holding in the filling. This filling, ostensibly tomato sauce but more accurately termed vegetable stew, could be a meal in itself.
When I was growing up, her signature healthy (and therefore yucky) additions were shredded zucchini and—when my father, sister and I weren’t looking—mashed tofu. I think she distracted us by letting us shred the cheese. I’m easily distracted by cheese.
My family spent summers with no electricity or phone, in a cabin at the end of an old logging road. It was a time, more recent than it seems, when you could be out of touch for weeks, with only the occasional letter to explain yourself.
Mom would cook the pizza in a heavy cast-iron skillet, which she would muscle into the oven with a clang. When our pie was ready, the late summer sun would be setting behind the trees. Strands of cool air would be threading their way through the house’s sun-baked air. The candle wax-flecked tablecloth would be set with mismatched forks and plates. And my mom, my father, my sister and I would all sit down to the most delicious and possibly the healthiest (or at least the health-foodiest) pizza ever.
That’s my favorite food memory. Share yours in the comments below!