Eat a Pie, a Pizza Pie

Memory is a curious thing.  It’s a constant source of wonderment to me – why do we remember the things we do?  I remember the seemingly most random and trivial things from my past while things that I think must have been important – even life changing – totally elude me.  I know my father was laid off for an extended period of time due to a union strike  during my later childhood.  This was probably a period fraught with uncertainty and The Grown Ups certainly must have been acting weird and a little stressed.  But I don’t recall it.  At all.  But I do remember my Uncle Jake bringing us balloons one time when he came to visit.  Extended unemployment vs. balloons that probably popped within the hour?  Go figure.  Now I do have a rudimentary grasp of The Big Stuff we remember – the sources of national and international trauma.  I can remember precisely where I was standing in the halls of Herndon High School when they announced over the PA system that President Kennedy had been shot.  Even today, almost 50 years later, I could take you to the exact spot.  September 11th?  I can replay in minute and technicolor detail in my mind the sequence of events when I learned that the twin towers had gone down.  For this type of memory we have our highly evolved brains to thank.  When our bodies go into “flight or fight” mode, our adrenal medulla secretes norepinephrine.  It acts as a  printer of sorts that fixes information into our long term memory.  But balloons?  Much as I love my Uncle Jake, I just don’t get the balloons.  So, what I’m getting to in my own circuitous and roundabout way is this – my son Austin as a toddler had this little sweatshirt that he loved.  It was turquoise and bright yellow.  It had this little Italian guy on it tossing a pizza in the air and saying (via the familiar cartoon balloon) “Eat a pie, a pizza pie.  Mozzarella, too.  Sausages, mushrooms, lots of goo.”  Every pizza I have eaten since has brought forth the memory of that cute little boy with the curly brown hair and big blue eyes wearing his little blue and yellow sweatshirt.  These are the random memories that make being a human being so great – I get to treasure that little piece of my life over and over thanks to some  synapse that formed for reasons that science does not yet (and may never) totally understand.  And getting pizza in the bargain isn’t bad either.  And (as you might expect) here is a recipe for a favorite pizza around the Walker household.  A quick dinner for a busy day when you can’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Spinach Alfredo Pizza

one pizza crust (make it or buy it) about 14 to 16 inches is good – if you can find it, Udi’s makes a pizza crust that  is a very good gluten free alternative

1 jar alfredo sauce

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 10 oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed until as dry as you can get it

1 can Rotel

8 oz (more or less) of Provolone cheese slices, torn into largish chunks

8 oz (more or less) of shredded mozzarella

Put your pizza shell on a pizza stone (recommended) or a cookie sheet.  Mix the alfredo sauce, parmesan and sqouzen spinach (that may not be a word but it should be) together; spread over the pizza shell.  Top with the drained can of Rotel, distributing it evenly.  Lay on the Provolone.  Lay on the mozzarella.  Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes.  Then eat a pie, a pizza pie and treasure your own memories.


7 Responses to “Eat a Pie, a Pizza Pie”

  1. 1 Kadra April 3, 2010 at 10:40 am

    That memory stuff is interesting. I love the image of Austin wearing his sweatshirt. It is good to have a pizza recipe. I am working on an “Every 2 Week Menu Plan” for our family, and pizza is one of those dinners that has “made the cut” (therefore, I’m always looking for a good pizza recipe- I do joke with Bryce that we’re pizzatarians, giving the frequency (confession time, here)that we get a slice of pizza at Costco or Winco). The 2 other items that have made the cut so far are: your Kalamata/Tomato Tilapia, Veggie Lasagna, and my famous Crack Cocaine Curry. Trader Joe’s has a $1.29 ready-made pizza dough, for those of you blessed enough to be near one.

  2. 2 kcwoman April 3, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Pizza is one of those indefinitely adaptable foods. Once you get past the crust (which are not at all hard to make, really – but there’s always the option of purchasing the ready made ones) it’s pretty smooth sailing. Three of my favorites are:

    (1)caramelized onions with gruyere cheese
    (2)gorgonzola cheese, spinach, and figs
    (3)a white sauce with roasted artichoke hearts, roasted cherry tomatoes and roasted garlic – and some sort of white cheese

  3. 3 Lorin Walker April 5, 2010 at 8:54 am

    thank you for that memory. i don’t remember the sweatshirt, but i do remember the cute little curly-haired boy…

  4. 4 Kadra April 13, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Do you think fresh spinach would work just as well?

    • 5 kcwoman April 13, 2010 at 3:11 pm

      I’ve used fresh spinach a time or two – I just “wilted” it by sauteing it for a bit either in olive oil or butter. Or even water will work. If you just lay it on the pizza as fresh spinach the high heat you use to cook pizza might make it dry out.

  5. 6 Kadra April 21, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    For your “# 3 Pizza”, do you roast the stuff BEFORE baking it on the pizza? And does like a jarred alfredo sauce work?

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