The other night we had our Blessed Buddy (worst name, best program) over for a chaotic, casual dinner in the midst of packing for a trip the next morning. (Seriously, the dining room table was so buried in luggage we had to eat around the coffee table.)
We go meatless for Fridays year round, and now that we have air conditioning, homemade pizza was the obvious choice. J is our pizza maker, so it’s always a mad scramble after he gets home to get the pizza in the oven so the kids can eat it before they go to bed.
And I hadn’t managed to get the goat cheese for his classic (goat cheese, nuts, caramelized onions, greens, honey, balsamic vinegar) so after co op I made the dough in the bread machine and I foraged for alternate ingredients.
And what I found: pesto I made the other night from aging mixed greens; roasted garlic I made weeks ago and froze; a bag of shredded mozzarella leftover from Sunday’s small group meeting.
J caught up with our Buddy as he worked and I corralled the children and it was one of the best pizzas we’d ever made.
And it just felt like a reflection of the best parts of our marriage and how far we’ve come as a household: we didn’t start making homemade pizza until a friend brought over a damn good one when Pippin was born and shared his tricks. And then there were various bad experiments with pizza dough. And countless seasons in our shared life where things like homemade pesto and roasted garlic weren’t sitting around waiting to be used because I was slammed with pregnancy exhaustion or toting around a new baby, my eyes glittering with Crazy.
Our marriage always works best in situations where I do the prep and then step side as perfectionist angst emerges at the last minute, while J doesn’t take anything seriously until go time, and we’ve learned to use that to best advantage. So I make the toppings and the sough, and he assembled. I plan and shop for Thankdgiving and make desserts days in advance, and he’s the day of man. I plan and pack for a trip, and then the morning we leave I take the kids for a walk while J loads the car and I try not to hyperventilate.
We’ve built up these habits and formulas and skills and while there are absolutely still dinner time disasters and meals of store bought frozen meatballs I guess the pizza made me realize we’ve surfaced from Baby Crisis Mode and made the best of our newfound and no doubt temporary calm.
It was a good pizza, I guess is what I’m saying, but sometimes a pizza isn’t just a pizza.