wasn't for pizza, my father would never have set foot in the kitchen.
That was woman's work and my mother was a fabulous cook. However an inventive
Neapolitan in the 17th century conjured up pizza, and my father found
a culinary interest that led him to discover recipes for authentic Neapolitan
pizza. My mother enjoyed his cooking, since it gave her that rare break
from the kitchen. His children enjoyed it as well, in part for the food,
in part for the elfish sense of humor that attended his experiments. Pizza
and laughter went together, just as my father and wicked puns went together.
gleefully with other pizza lovers about pizza dough, pizza stones, pizza
ovens. He experimented constantly with the placement of stones and the
positioning of pizza in the oven. Should it go ONLY into the oven, or
did it need a quick browning under the broiler? He preferred Neapolitan
style pizza which has the thin, crisp crust - the same kind that take-out
places delight in turning into a soggy mass of excess oil and cheese.When
Dad was experimenting with toppings, he'd be exacting and careful in the
placement of ingredients, all of which had to be of the top quality. Then
he became fascinated with the possibility of using the dough as a wrapping
and he went on to conquer calzone, made with carefully trimmed bits of
prosciutto. Dad was a slender man who eschewed fats. Basically he was
a traditionalist and claimed that the people who were strewing broccoli
on top of their pizza were eating burnt vegetables. He stayed with the
traditional tastes and learned to cook them perfectly.
pizza, but we remember, too, that Dad's main characteristic was his sense
of humor. Though he took himself very seriously in the kitchen, he was
also laughing at himself being serious. The combination was magical, because
he was always ready to laugh at his mishaps. Thank you, Dad. I feel you
always, sitting on my shoulder helping me to laugh at my own predicaments.