Sunday, July 5, 2009

$1.78 = Pizza for 7

I made pizza for dinner tonight using an amazing Artisan Bread recipe. Seems I just make it a habit these days to keep a batch in the refrigerator ready for any passing whim.

Tonight, as I piled our pizza high with a shameful amount of pepperoni for my husband and artichoke hearts, black olives and mushrooms for me, my mind wandered back to a less plenteous time. I was counting my current blessings when it occurred to me that a long ago pizza had also been a blessing.

I was a single mother with 6 children at home and had not only lost my job but lost our home and every belonging to a fire. The children and I were scattered in two dingy, single bedroom apartments carved from an old ramshackle house. The quarters were quite temporary but that didn’t lessen the blow to my pride. As our resources were finite and dwindling, mealtime was a heartbreaking challenge.

One day, while job hunting, I noticed a sign on a local eatery, “All you can eat salad bar $1.99 – To-Go $.99”. I stepped inside to see what was offered and how large or small the To-Go boxes were. My mouth began to water and an idea began to form; Cheeses, Mushrooms, Peppers, Cubed Ham, Pineapple Chunks and PEPPERONI. I filled my dinner sized container so completely that it almost wouldn’t close, paid my 99 cents, of course plus tax, and hurried to the grocery store. With a 79 cent box of the “Chef’s” pizza mix in hand, I smiled all the way home.

There in the kitchen, smaller than my closet, the children and I waited breathlessly for the dough to rise then pulled and patted and stretched it as far as we possibly could. We spread and sprinkled and layered. And then we baked. The minutes ticked by so slowly. The sweet fragrance of our pizza, as the temperature rose, was almost more than our patience could bear and we warned ourselves not to burn the roof of our mouths with the hot cheese, though I’m sure a few of us did. Never-the-less, it was a pizza I will never forget, one that I will never forget to be thankful for and one that can never be matched, no matter what the price.


Anonymous said...

This is an amazing idea... thank you!! RB

Anonymous said...

This is great. Reminds me of a $0.83 meal I once had when I was freshly on my own. The local steakhouse sold a baked potato for $0.75 plus tax. Every plate out the window came with a slice of texas toast, and I asked for a second. With one visit to the salad/potato bar, I feasted on a loaded baked potato and a BLT. One small handful of lemons added to my water with a Sweet & Low, and I washed it all down with wonderful lemonade. It was satistying and within my non-existent budget! There are many creative ways to be thrifty!!! Gee, pizza sure sounds good! CB