In the summer, spending stifling days in the South may seem like cruel and unusual punishment, but, for me, it had many great rewards. One of the greatest rewards occurred whenever my grandma decided to make homemade pizzas for lunch. It was my special treat for killing banana spiders, devouring honeysuckles, and kicking over crawfish holes. It was a rough job, but someone had to do it.
When my tummy started rumbling, I ran inside to find Grandma meticulously rolling out her bread dough and placing it on a piping hot pizza stone, topping the dough with spicy hamburger, creamy white cheese and fiery red tomato sauce. Grandma popped the pizza in the oven, and when it came out, the only sound was a tiny sigh of delight. The crust was crisp and sweet which complimented the cheesy, spicy toppings. I remember looking out the window at the summer’s day thinking of all the unlucky crawfish out there and kicking my little legs in pure contentment with a slice of my grandma’s pizza in hand. It was a good day.
Recipe: Makes 8 Individual Pizzas
1 cup of red sauce, homemade or your brand of choice
¼ pound of country ham, thinly sliced
1 pound of mozzarella
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley, leaves only, for garnish
Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place pizza stone in oven for 40 minutes.
On a piece of foil, sprinkle lightly with flour and lay dough on top. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin to desired thickness. Spoon 2 tablespoons of sauce on the dough. Hand tear pieces of ham, a few pieces of cheese and seasonings onto the pizza. Place the pizza in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Once the pizza is brown and crispy, take the pizza out of the oven, scatter with fresh parsley. Repeat with the remaining 7 pieces of pizza dough. Enjoy!