I have never figured out why a disc of dough, some tomato sauce, a little cheese and a smidgen of sausage costs more than my mortgage. I think it’s because the pizza companies know that by the time you get ready to order a pizza, you are desperate. It’s either a week night and you have nothing in your refrigerator except lettuce and leftovers from two weeks ago or it’s 20 minutes before the football game starts and there are a dozen people in your house looking at you and silently asking the question: “What’s for dinner?”
So you pay through the nose for a substandard pie. I started making my own pizza about two years ago. The Publix, the best supermarket in the world, sells pizza dough. But I learned the hard way that making pizza at home can also be expensive if you ask your loved ones what they want on it. This is not a good idea. It can also be incredibly time consuming because you have to cook all the toppings before you make the pie. However, the other night, I decided not to ask about pizza preferences. I just looked in the fridge and freezer and made a mental rule that if I didn’t already have it, it was not going on the pie.
So here’s what I came up with – and I apologize for these paltry photos. We were so hungry we ate most of the pizza before I remembered to take pictures. The whole pie was much more photogenic. But I digress.
The other pizza I made had barbecue sauce, precooked chicken that I had in the freezer from the time I had to make emergency chicken salad for a P.E.O. tea and had to buy that chicken in a plastic bag in the deli case (not recommended, but it works in a pinch), sauted red onion, and Cheddar cheese.
So here’s the thing. This whole process takes about 30 minutes if you use stuff you already have. Preheat the oven to the highest it will go (mine goes to 525 degrees). Roll out the dough, top the pizza and put it on a cookie sheet if you don’t have a pizza stone (which, naturally, I have because I’m a classic over achiever). The pie will take no longer than eight minutes to bake. Watch it through the oven window. These pies can go south in a New York minute (which I’ve never actually figured out what that is).
I have to tell you that I’ve resorted to a number of these quickie meals in the last few days. This is Christmas Giveaway week at the Community Resource Center and we are going at lightning speed to satisfy the needs of thousands of people in crisis at this time of year. If you want to see what I’m up to on the flip side of my life, visit the two chicks in a warehouse blog.
One last thing and then I’m out of here. Do you know what I got from one of our nonprofit partners at the giveaway? Bless her heart, Bobbie Cox, who works like a dog to help the most marginalized people in Tennessee, brought Betsy and I a “drunken” orange cake and a bag of sweet potatoes today. It just doesn’t get any better than that. It really doesn’t.