Tuesday, November 2, 2010

best meals ever. EVER.

Of course it's no secret that we all love food. But what may be a secret (and hopefully a great story) is what our favorite, most cherished and remembered meal EVER was. Now this doesn't necessarily mean, 'what meal do you LOVE to eat each week (which for me, personally, would be pizza, I must admit. I'm a sucker for pizza, thin crust, thick crust, greasy plain cheese or pizza covered in every topping you can imagine. I love it ALL.). Anyways, the meal we loved most. Maybe we were three years old, or maybe it was last week. Whatever it may be, we are here to share this meal. And what made it memorable. What it tasted like. Who we were with when we scarfed it down. What it looked like, and so on and so on.

(we stole this idea from the Saveur article, 25 Greatest Meals Ever, but it's a great idea and we couldn't pass it up)

Here goes.

Dena Poblete
My Grandmother's Pizza

I know. I know. It's simple and plain and perhaps sounds a bit boring. But it's really not boring at all. In fact, it's way better than any pizza I've ever tasted. Better than pizza I've tasted in Italy; and better than any pizza I've ever made. It's probably the way I remember my grandmother kneading the dough, adding more flour when more flour was needed or adding a pinch of salt when she was feeling sassy. Or maybe it was the sound of the crunch and the seep of oil that I can vividly remember as I excitedly bit into each slice (like it was my my first bite every time).

Anyways, the first bite I can remember was when I was about five years old. My parents were out of town and I was spending the weekend at Nana and Papa's. I woke up late that Saturday morning and had my usual fried egg and  toasted scala bread (with LOTS of butter) for breakfast. My grandmother was in her usual spot in the living room, sitting in her chair, drinking her coffee and trying to 'wake up' (as she was never a morning person).Once she woke up, though, she would start her daily chores and begin cooking supper. And on this fine Saturday morning, we were making pizza dough.

The dough.

Flour, water and yeast. The magical ingredients. I mean, they must have been magic if they yielded such amazing results, right? This is what I thought as a meager five year old child. Well, it was either that or my grandmother was magic.

The assembly.

Butter is, of course, another one of the magical ingredient. Maybe this was her secret? Butter on the pan before the dough. Lots of butter. And then the dough and then the cheese and THEN the sauce. And olive oil. And yes, I'm going to say it, as cliche as it sounds, lots of love.

The first bite.

Crunchy. simple AND greasy.

You know, as simple as it may be, the memories are so vivid. And I can taste the flavors as I sit here at my desk,  but I also remember kneading the dough and peeking under the dish towel as it rose to it's great puffy mound. And when the pizza was finished cooking, it didn't look perfect like it did at restaurants (as I thought it should at five). It was messy and mishapen. But the taste was perfection.

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