Back To Pizza Basics


What toppings do you put on your pizza? Is pineapple a real pizza topping?

I was raised in a large family of four kids, so needless to say (but I’m going to anyway), the battle over pizza toppings remained a stable part of Friday night eating. My mother’s children had an expanse of tastes that made it necessary for her to have each of us take weekly turns to decide what would go on top of the tomato and cheesy goodness. When it was my turn, my brothers and sister groaned and complained to Ma that she was wasting a chance to have something new and different on pizza night.

They already knew that we would feast on a plain pizza.

There are two types of people in this world: those who like pizza with toppings and those who don’t. I fall into the latter category. It’s not that I don’t like toppings on my pizza. There is one restaurant that makes an eggplant pie that I simply love, but barring specialty pizza once in a while; I am a purist. Some extra cheese is okay, but we must discuss dropping on mushrooms, olives, or jalapenos. And who in the world wants to add pineapple?!

I grew up in New York and am a bit of a pizza snob. We take our pizza seriously. Whenever I venture past my state’s borders, there are two things I avoid eating–bagels and pizza. I once tried a Chicago-style pizza when I visited the city. It’s a lovely place with nice people, their pizza is another story. I am picky and choose to stick with the best type of pizza (New York) in its most pristine state. 

Pizza has saved me many nights as a homeschooling mother and author when lessons ran late or deadlines loomed.

Although I enjoy cooking, I cannot always get to the stove. On hectic nights, I often wonder, “What can I make that is quick and easy?” If the answer is “nothing,” I order pizza. I don’t feel guilty about it, either. It’s not like we eat out every night. It’s just that we’re having someone else make dinner for us.

My six kids now have the topping debate like I did when I was a kid. In the same way my mother did for me, I try to minimize bloodshed and allow the individual to make his or her own choice. The combinations they come up with are interesting, which is fine. The size of our family makes it necessary to order multiple pies, and I always make sure to order one plain pie.

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