One of our favorite family routines is to snuggle up over the weekend with a good movie (here are some of our favorites). When we moved to Nashville, our schedule changed a little bit, and we had to substitute Friday night movies for Saturday or Sunday night movies some weeks.
But even though it wasn’t on Fridays all the time anymore, adhering to that family routine helped us find some stability in an otherwise really difficult transition for us. Being away from family and friends, learning a new city, adjusting to our new our church—all those struggles were eased a little by this simple staple of our week.
And movie night just wouldn’t be movie night without pizza. We get take-and-bake pizzas sometimes, or when we’re feeling particularly extravagant and lazy, we’ll get delivery. But most of the time, we make pizza from scratch. Here’s how we make it:
We’re from Missouri, and St. Louis-style thin crust is mine and my husband’s favorite kind of pizza. It took me a long time to find a crust recipe that was what I was looking for, but I finally discovered this amazing crust when I read Dinner: A Love Story. The key is to bake it for a while in a really hot oven. The pizza will look done at 10 minutes, but if you can wait until it’s been in there 15-20, it will be worth it.
Crushed tomatoes are my favorite base to use for sauce. A one dollar can will make two to four pizzas, depending on how much sauce you like. If you have time, you can sautee some onions and garlic in olive oil, then add in the tomatoes and whatever herbs you like and let it simmer away for the afternoon. But if you don’t have that kind of time, you can just stir the herbs, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch each of salt and sugar to the jarred tomatoes, and the pizza will still be great.
I we were really fancy, I probably would have figured out how to use those balls of mozzarella in a way that I liked by now, but I’m not quite that much of a foodie. On the other hand, we do try to avoid processed foods and added chemicals as much as we can, so pre-shredded cheese is out, too. For a while, I was buying blocks of cheese and shredding them myself, until one day, when sliced cheese happened to be cheaper, I found a happy compromise. No shredding, and the pizza is evenly covered. I’ll never go back.
Since our household is 75% testosterone, our go-to is to load the pizza up with all the meat we have in the house, whether that’s ham, bacon, ground beef, pepperoni, sausage, or some combination thereof. But I keep jarred olives and mushrooms on hand, too, and occasionally throw on green peppers if I have some that need to be used up.
And finally, to those of you on restricted diets, my heart goes out to you. We did a Whole30 earlier this year, and are still trying to puzzle out if changes to my diet could help with my arthritis. As I’ve tried limiting different foods, pizza night has consistently been the hardest part of those changes. But this pizza crust is pretty amazing if you’re grain-free, and the deconstructed pizza bowl in It Starts With Food is a pretty close second.
I hope your next pizza movie night is a huge success, and that establishing those routines and traditions within your kiddos will help your family culture grow closer each week!