Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pizza Gina Waite

T.G.I.F. ....well almost .... but I must admit that for me, Thursday is like...Friday Eve!  FRIDAY embodies excitement to a long week's end and a reprieve from normal dining expectations!  Most especially for my family it's Mom's-night-free-from-cooking FRIDAY NIGHT PIZZA meal!  It's a tradition in our house and never more welcomed than when I was a Mother of young children!  My husband has almost always had the good fortune of having employment that allowed for weekends off.  I have always felt that having a weekend together as a family was a great gift, but never felt so strongly about that as when I had two small children under foot...when, at week's end, my husband could join me in the joys of raising, educating and creating fun (my children tell me that their Dad has created much more of the fun) until we dropped into bed from exhaustion, on account of our terrific two!  It is in this same season of life that "Friday night pizza" became a tradition and a LEGEND in our house!
            Don't get me wrong...I loved being a domestic goddess and mother extraordinaire of young, adorable's just that even a computer needs to "power-down" or you run the risk of prematurely wearing that computer out!  After one particular "very LONG week" of fulfilling supply/demands, I was so elated to hear my husband suggest, "why don't you order a take-and-bake pizza and I'll pick it up on the way home from work!"  Brilliant...the idea of someone else painstakingly making a pizza: watching over the pizza dough (raising and tossing it like a pro) smothering the prepared dough with the artery-clogging, child-friendly goodness without the fuss or muss or mess in MY kitchen....was the BEST idea I'd heard of since DISPOSABLE diapers!
            I only had one problem with this suggestion.  Realizing that my husband (being the dragon-slaying type) would not be able to pick up the pizza until after 5:30 pm for my center-of-the-universe small children, I decided I would surprise him by picking it up myself!  I could pack up my small, hungry children and make way to surprise my Romeo with a hot and crisp pizza as he walked in the door.  I loved the idea of the surprise and I couldn't wait another minute so I  loaded up my aforementioned grouchy children in the back of our two-door econo-car, and drove off to "take-and-bake" Heaven!
            After happily paying for and collecting my convenient cuisine, I carried the baby in the car-seat in one hand and balanced the pizza with the other...all while desperately hoping my older child would not get run over by desperate diners picking up their pizzas!  As I approached my pint-sized car, I realized that I could briefly set the pizza atop the roof of the car while securing my baby and child safely inside!  "Don't forget to take the pizza off the roof of the car before you drive away,"  I rehearsed in my mind as I wrangled my children into their secured seats.  My son, being a restraint-free loving child, did not go into his car seat willingly and unfortunately, for onlookers, a  re-enactment of a calf-roping contest ensued!  They were in and I was readied for home.
            I was halfway home when the consuming idea of something being "amiss" entered the thoughts in my mind!  What was it...why was my mind so unsettled?  At this thought, and 35 mph down a congested urban street, I realized that something was atop my little car.  Visions of Alfred Hitcock's "the birds" played out in my mind as I heard a never-heard-before scrapping and sliding across the roof of my econo-car!  Unbeknownst to the car behind me, they were about to receive a gift that hopefully would never be given them again...for about the time I glanced into my rear-view mirror with the realization of what the object atop my car was...I caught full view of the shocked faces of the occupants in the car just behind me as my pizza took flight.  The trajectory with which my pizza flew allowed it to make two complete revolutions in the air before landing, toppings down, directly into the middle of THEIR windshield.  If it were an Olympic event, my pizza would have received a perfect "10"... Even, I think, from the Russian judge!

            I quickly pulled off the side of the road to make sure the vehicle behind me, and all occupants, were okay.  As I ran to the carload of fresh-faced teenagers, I noticed the bewildered and baffled expressions on each of their faces!  The driver quickly lowered his window and very condescendingly asked, "Dude, why did you have a pizza on the roof of your car?"  The fact that this driver, uninformed and ill-advised of Young-Mom antics, referred to me as "Dude," I decided to quickly change my story!  I knew I would NEVER get any kind of sympathy or understanding in the wrangling of my children and the forgetful faux pas of my pizza plight from this pre-adult driver!  At that moment rather than try to explain I expressed, in one word, a pop-icon symbol that would instill admiration and a complete explanation of the oddity of a pizza flying at their car........"Dude, You just got Punk'd," I said as I quickly grabbed my tightly-wrapped-in-cling-wrap-pizza,  and ran to my car!  As I drove away, I noticed in the reflection of my rear-view mirror, the metamorphosis of the teenagers' expressions...from bewildered and baffled to complete RESPECT!
            Punk'd, for those of you who may not know, was a practical-joke-type show that allowed for a person to arrange an elaborate joke to be played on a friend.  At the end of the show (usually just before altercations were initiated) the person being punk'd would find out that the scenario was a "joke" and the "friend" arranging it all, along with the Punk'd Crew, would all walk out to greet each other.  The "friends" would usually punch, laugh and hug each other (yes, in that order) and say together "you just got Punk'd!"  In my case, I'm not sure if my newly-acquired "friends"  really believed me about being "Punk'd."  After all, there was no crew to walk out, no punching (thank goodness) or hugging involved...I'm sure there was laughter but I most definitely had never meet the traumatized teens before!  Still, at the end of the day...SOMEBODY got "Punk'd"...It just might have been ME!
            Later that evening my husband, having been surprised by an email that the pizza was already picked up and in the oven baking, walked into our home breathing in wafts of crisp dough and Italian sausage baking to perfection without any idea of the adventure we three had embarked on earlier that day!  I remember him commenting on the "unusual" look of the pizza that night. As I cut the Picasso-inspired-shaped pizza, I understood exactly what my hubby was talking about!  The pizza, not it's usual bubbly,well-shaped-self, had been enlarged by the sheer force of the splat by 2 inches all-the-way-round!  All-in-all, it was no matter!  We were all okay (my family and my newly acquired friends) and it didn't diminish the taste of our airborne treat!   Something about the method with which the pizza was "tossed" improved the crust.....Ah....I remember it now, how good the first bite that night tasted...a much lighter and crispier crust...but PLEASE...DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!!!