“Pass her your crusts”. Mom laughed as she said it. But they did.
As a toddler, it was the only part of pizza I’d eat. This was one of the good memories I have of my early childhood.
My parents were amazing entertainers. Our home had a sort of revolving front door. Friends came and went with ease. My dad always brought friends home after work; you never knew how many extras there would be at dinner. My grandmother was doing the cooking then, and she was all about abundance.
My mother’s favorite ritual was to invite friends to the house and treat them to her famous home-made pizza on Friday nights. She worked for the telephone company, lovingly referred to as “Ma Bell”.
These ladies laughed and drank and had vivid conversations while Mom stretched out several cookie sheets of pizza dough, to be topped simply with sauce and cheese and a few spices.
I was a very picky eater, hated cheese and tomato sauce. So..when they were done, they would pass me the crusts, which might have been about an inch wide or so; enough for a toddler. It also allowed me to feel a part of this happy group.
I still make this pizza dough, from a script on an faded index card that I transcribed as a teenager from the family recipe box.
1 cup + 2 TBS. warm water. 1 pkg. dry yeast.
1 tsp sugar. 1 tsp salt. 3 cups flour. 1 TBS Crisco (soft shortening).
Dissolve yeast in water. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add Crisco till blended. Add water with yeast. Mix with a wooden spoon, (it will be sticky), then turn onto a floured table. Knead until smooth and stretchy. (add a little flour if still sticky). Roll out to the size of your pan. (Smaller cookie sheet or pie pan will give you thicker dough). Stretch dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, pressing up the sides.
Place tin/sheet with dough into warm oven. (80-120 degrees) for 15 minutes to allow rise to begin. Remove and brush dough lightly with olive oil. ** Top with pizza sauce. Add your favorite cheeses and toppings. (I like a blend of mozzarella, Asiago, and parmesan).
**Note: Once dough is out and being prepped, increase oven temp to 425-450 degrees.
Bake pizza for 8-10 minutes, or till cheese melts and crust is lightly browned.
Simple and delicious. Go away, Papa John.