Our favorite pizza

Confession: We always have pizza on Saturday nights, unless we are away from home. It’s a tradition I grew up with in my family, and now my children count on it.

The soft and delicious crust is a recipe passed down to me by my mom.

Pizza Dough

1 scant Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup warm water

— Stir together and let rest 5 minutes.

1 Tbsp. oil
½ tsp. salt
Garlic salt to taste
Oregano to taste
2 ½ cups hi-gluten flour

— Add, and knead with dough hook attachment in mixer until dough is soft and elastic, no longer clinging to sides of bowl. Let rise till double, 30-45 minutes. Pat into pizza pan.

Sometimes I shake extra herbs into the dough – sage, thyme, parsley, basil. Or I use half a cup of whole wheat flour and two cups of hi-gluten.

Recently we’ve been stuffing the crust. We cut string cheese in half the long way and wrap the dough around it – or use equivalent size strips from a chunk of bulk cheese.

Then we butter the top of the crust (only the stuffed part) and sprinkle it with garlic salt, to make basically a stuffed breadstick. Now the crust is the best part of the pizza!

We add pizza sauce and our favorite toppings – usually a pound of bulk sausage, browned; mushrooms (on all but two slices); shredded mozzarella; and lots of pepperoni. We bake it at 375° for 30 minutes, and enjoy together.

Yum.


Do you have food traditions for certain days each week? I’d love to hear them, and give them a try in our family.

Also, just FYI – I let Kelly comment on my last post to give an update on how she’s doing. By now she’s as active as ever, having to be reminded of the doctor’s orders to go easy on her tummy until her follow-up appointment. Thanks for your kind words to her and to me.

My mother

Confession: There is a whole new level of pain and beauty involved in seeing your mother without her hair. It was such pretty hair, long and thick and shining white. I miss it, and I miss the part of her that is not the same without it.

The first time she took off her hat to show me her shorn head, it was a jolt and a sickness, a thing wrong with the world that could never be made right.

But I also got a good look at her face. It seemed revealed, as though a skin had been pulled away, giving a glimpse of personality I’d never seen before. I’m a face reader, but I had missed a whole layer in my mother.

Once I went to a ladies’ seminar where each attendee was asked to bring along a sheet and a pillowcase, no explanations given. When I arrived at the registration table, I was told to wrap the sheet all around my clothes and put the pillowcase on my head, covering all of my body but my face. Every lady at the seminar wore that absurd disguise for half the day, and I was a little sulky about it and let some of my hair show. But the point was (and I liked it afterwards) to see how you felt about yourself, and how you viewed other people, if all you could see was a face.

Gone were the quick summaries – Oh, she goes to that kind of church – She has gray hair, so she must be over this age – Wow, nice dress – Okay, I’d never wear that together – She’s a trendsetter – That one’s Amish – All of it was gone. All you had were the faces, and what nice, friendly faces they were! Separated from all other impressions, they were more visible, more speaking, more important.

So with my mom.

She has common sense and grit and earthy wisdom and not-quite-kosher humor in that face.

And she is not well right now. But she is well cared for. It’s a team effort, loving a cancer fighter, and I am a small cog in the wheel with my four kids and my multi-faceted sickness germs to steer away.

But family and friends are offering incredible support. My siblings and their spouses send up love and texts and beautiful gift packages – my two nurse brothers stay tuned to her numbers and vitals – my remarkable sister with a cancer history of her own used her furlough to offer in-home support for a whole month – and my dad is doing everything else singlehandedly. Okay, not quite. There are many, many other givers: You know who you are. Thanks so much for doing this for my mom.

On the right is my mom with my baby, last summer. On the left is my mom’s mom with me!

We are very proud of her. And God is in the redeeming business.

Shari

What to buy our husbands

Confession: After I wrote about kids’ gifts, Claudia commented “Now what to buy our husbands…..?”

Truly.

So I made a flowchart to tackle that conundrum. Sorry I’m not more help. Click to view full size.

gifts-for-husbands

To all of you, a merry Christmas Adam, which is what Kelly calls the day before Christmas Eve…

And a Merry Christmas, from our family to yours.

family-pic-2016_9193

Love,
Shari

Mother’s Day

Confession: I think we should all get medals the morning *after* Mother’s Day, when the daily grind kicks in. How was your Mother’s Day? Mine was lovely…

kelly and i

I woke up to find the kids bouncing around, waiting for me to see what they made with their daddy—a poster with flowers and butterflies.

poster

Each of their faces was framed in a flower, and each had written five butterfly “certificates” for services they’ll offer me.

butterflies

One hour of entertainment for Kelly

Clean my room

Help with flower bed weeding

Date night

Unload dishwasher

One hour solitude

Back rub

Wow!! Plus my sons pooled their money and bought me an Almond Joy. I can’t tell if it’s my favorite candy bar because I really love it or because no one else does. It’s a win-win situation. I had half of it for breakfast.

Then my son Regan came back from Sunday school with a Daffin’s candy bar for me and a card with five adjectives he’d chosen for his mommy. I howled. The first one was “pretty” and the second “merry.” I absolutely love the word merry and couldn’t have chosen a better compliment, but it seems so close to categorically untrue.

We went to the beach and luxuriated in sand and sun, our first time this season. The kids got soaked and the adults got in sync and it was deep family joy.

family

boys

I found a tiny golden stone like a chick.

chick

I talked with a friend or two after church about Mother’s Day, the little wince we feel on a day like this because we know we don’t deserve quite all the nice things that are said. When we had one baby we thought we did pretty good… now we’re several kids into it and have a few regrets. We complain and we yell and we worry about what we ought to have done differently and we see the fault-lines we are passing on.

I think we will talk more about mothering this week. First, how was your Day?